I used to be the worst local emitter of greenhouse gases. This was not just a matter of occasional mild annoyance for a few unlucky individuals in my immediate vicinity, it was a permanent Bhopal-scale industrial catastrophe unleashing wide-area soul-rotting pestilence on hapless populations… Who did not run away fast enough from the invisible abomination was left twitching on the ground, gasping for non-existent air. Needless to say, my apartment was a strictly non-smoking area.

I was also an expert at going on as if nothing happened while feigning to ignore the origin of the pollution, so credibly playing innocent that some of my co-workers suspected an actual problem with sewer piping in our high-tech office building – the Camorra’s illegal toxic waste disposal operators would be proud. But contrary to widespread rumors, none of my co-workers has ever been spotted bringing a canary along to his workplace.

Anyway, I’m relieved to come out with apologies and a hopeful announcement that those days are past… Afters years of unsuccessful experimentation with various remedies and diet alterations, I have finally found the cause…

Activated charcoal had no effect, anything else my physician prescribed had no effect, antibiotics given on occasion of some intestinal infection did help temporarily but there was the collateral damage of killing all intestinal flora – and antibiotics are not a long-term solution anyway. Contrary to most suspicions, the humongous volumes of vegetables I ingest daily were not the cause – nor was my high-fiber diet. My physician was short of hypothesis to test and even less of potential solutions.

Gone on a personal crusade against intestinal methane-producing bacteria, I ended up systematically eliminating food classes from my diet, each over a week-long period, and noting the incidence on my flatulence. The conclusion of my research : I have become lactose-intolerant.

Eliminating all dairy consumption from my diet reliably reduced flatulence to negligible levels – it took less than two days for the effect to become manifest. I have also long known that dried fruits such as apricot are notable contributors, but the effect if marginal compared to what lactose does to me. For a while I had put the blame on breakfast cereals, but that was the result of a mistake in my experimental protocol : eliminating the breakfast cereals reduced milk intake at the same time.

It feels a bit strange – I had become so used to the permanent bloating, intestinal rumblings and disturbed lower intestinal tract that I had forgotten how life is without them – especially as they had notably worsened in the last years. The feeling of relief is simply awesome and a big cause of the smile I have been harboring for the past few days. As a bonus, I suspect that lactose may have been a contributor to some of my mild knee pains.

Anyways – enjoy the good news and if you have a similar problem, be sure to check that you are not intolerant to lactose. And if you suffer from an ailment for which no one finds the cure, despair not – take the matter in your own hands and start experimenting… After all, no one knows you as well as yourself. So there, a message of hope – sometimes the solution has always been in front of you, waiting for you to see it if you make the effort of looking for it with even the slightest amount of scientific inquiry.

Meanwhile, I’m now enjoying the wonderful flavours of rice milk, almond milk, soy milk, horchata de chufas, spelt milk, quinoa milk and many other sorts of grain milks and vegetable milks – all different and all tasting great. I liked them before ending my cow milk consumption, but I was finding them a bit pricey… Now I have the perfect pretext to splurge on better quality food ! In addition, that fits nicely with my health policy of reducing consumption of animal proteins in favour of  proteins from vegetable sources. Did I mention I’m happy ?