The Great Canadian Fart Survey

The patient had ignored advice to take an enema to remove gas prior to the procedure. Everyone has experienced being present at a dinner party, needing to pass flatus and wishing to be in the Sahara desert. But retaining gas may cause harm. Dr. Wynne-Jones a New Zealand physician claims being polite results in herniations of the bowel (diverticulosis) due to constant pressure from the gas. He advises patients to pass flatus whenever necessary. But he makes no mention of whether he’s ever invited a second time to dinner parties. How much flatus collects in the bowel depends on the type of bacteria present, the speed at which gas reaches the rectum and the amount of undigested carbohydrate in the lower bowel. Genetics plays a role. If your Mother produces methane gas there’s a good chance her children will also manufacture it. A lighted match once placed near the trowsers of a friend expelling gas turned royal blue due to methane gas. But please don’t try this experiment. Novartis, the company behind this study, believes it has a flatus buster called Gas-X (simethicone). This is a silicone-based substance included as an antifoaming agent in many other medications for the release of excess gas and digestion.

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New Data Concludes Wait Times for Patients With Gastrointestinal Disease Are Increasing Across Canada

Colonoscopies are among the medical tests for which professional fees face a cut of 10%. Pointing to new initial data gathered in April 2012 from the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Survey of Access to GastroEnterology (SAGE), Desmond Leddin, Lead of the SAGE, says “a comparison of data from surveys performed in 2005 and 2008 shows that wait times for patients with gastrointestinal disease have increased across Canada.” “This CAG national survey information combined with the new fee structure in Ontario gives us cause for concern about patient safety,” says CAG President Dan Sadowski. “With evidence in hand that patient wait times have been increasing over the past seven years, we can’t support any government decision – in Ontario or elsewhere in Canada – that results in reduced access to, or longer wait times for, important medical procedures including colonoscopy, which can prevent and reduce cancer rates.” About 20,000 Canadians are diagnosed with colon cancer every year. Of that number, one-third will die of the disease. Notwithstanding these statistics, the CAG and OAG agree that cancer screening is a success story in Canada, and that prevention and early detection by access to colonoscopy is key to reducing the burden of the disease. The proof rests in the release of statistics on May 9 by the Canadian Cancer Society on the decline in deaths from colorectal cancer due to increased screening. “We have made important gains to reduce national rates of colorectal cancer through colonoscopy screening programs,” says Dan Sadowski. “We are concerned that the Ontario government’s decision to cut professional fees will have two bad outcomes. The first is that longer patient wait times will grow even longer due to a drop in access to cancer screening procedures. The second is that it may open the door to similar policy decisions in other regions in Canada. In both cases, it is the patient who will bear the brunt of these decisions.” Links:

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