Showing posts with label hydrogen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hydrogen. Show all posts

Dec 11, 2015

Holidays and Flatulence

Every time we swallow, we gulp in air too. Fizzy drinks compound this. Bicarbonate in the saliva and pancreatic juices react with stomach acid to produce carbon dioxide and many of our gut bacteria react with whatever is passing through to produce methane, hydrogen and more C02. All of these cause wind, but it is the tiny amounts of sulfur containing gases that make it smell.

Things to avoid as much as possible when dining with relatives and friends for the holidays - go easy on food with a high proportion of the un-absorbable carbohydrate that provide a feeding frenzy for lower gut bacteria. These include beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, artichokes, root vegetables, prunes, apples, and fruit juice (which is heavy in fructose).

Fizzy drinks, gulping, eating too fast, and overeating pump the gut with wind that will escape either up or down, as does smoking and chewing gum. Tight clothing and restrictive underwear give your bowel gas fewer options.

A brisk outdoor walk is a great way of reliving the pressure and a charcoal biscuit or tablet from pharmacies can minimize the smell. Chemists have other anti-flatulence products and in extreme cases, Under-Tec pants have a carbon filter gusset that deals with the odor.

Aug 16, 2013

Atoms, Particles and Molecules

Atoms are the smallest pieces of matter; they are made of particles (protons and electrons). When atoms are grouped together, the groups are called molecules, which are the smallest bits of compounds.

By way of example, within the element copper, a copper atom is the smallest piece of copper that exists. Hydrogen is an element; two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom combine to form a molecule of water, which is a compound.

Element - a basic substance that can't be simplified, such as copper
Atom - the smallest amount of an element, such as copper atom
Molecule - two or more atoms that are chemically joined together, such as hydrogen or oxygen
Compound - a molecule that contains more than one element, such as water