Dear Dr. Da…


Dear Dr. Date,
After your discussion of such dangerous topics as fellatio and cunnilingus, I was wondering if you could handle something really gross. It seems that when I go out and enjoy a few beers, I end up with an excess of gas. Yes, it does relate to my love life, because I am horrified by the thought of sending a date screaming from my home because (s)he is on the verge of asphyxiation. I would far rather disgust my dates with flagellation than flatulence. What are my best remedies (barring abstinence)?
— Gutwrenched

There are two things in beer that can cause excess flatulence: the carbonation and the yeast. If you’re gulping or slamming beer you’re just asking for trouble because the beer will continue to produce gas in your stomach and intestines. You also could be having an adverse reaction to the yeast in the beer. The logical first step would be to eliminate the beer from your diet, but other medical sources also cite any alcohol as a cause of excess gas.
While your diet is a likely cause of gas, stress could also play a hand. If you’re nervous while dating, this could cause your stomach to upset and more gas will be produced. This is a complicated puzzle that is best solved by you. The number of variables involved in your life is large and you’ll need to spend time isolating all the possible causes.
Some other dietary culprits are high fiber foods such as beans and complex grains, milk products and some vegetables like cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cabbage. Try eliminating each one of these foods one by one from your diet. If that doesn’t work, then try eliminating all carbonated beverages, alcohol and caffeine one by one.
Another possible cause is any activity where air is swallowed, such as chewing gum or tobacco or smoking cigarettes. The most probable cause, however, is the beer — or more specifically the carbonation in the beer. The best course of action would simply be to not drink beer.
If you positively must drink beer to date, then you could also try one of the many natural herbs purported to decrease gas. According to Josh, a helpful clerk at Tao Natural Foods in Uptown, any of the herbs in the anthelmintic family will help. These include licorice, anise and fennel. Josh revealed that he had been suffering from excess gas earlier in the day and found that a product called DGL — diglyceride licorice — helped quell the problem.