Dear Dr. Stoll: I have transitioned to a plant-based diet feel better than I have felt in a long time; however, I have also noticed a significant increase in flatulence. Now that you're done laughing, in all seriousness, do you have any suggestions on how I can prevent (or at least reduce) this problem?

This is a very common—and uncomfortable—issue that occurs when transitioning to a plant strong diet. Several interventions can be helpful: taking a good, broad-spectrum probiotic which contains 30-50 billion CFUs (colony forming units), 1-2 times daily for 4-6 months, helps to restore the normal bacterial profile in the gastrointestinal tract and ultimately breakdown the insoluble fiber, thus minimizing gas production. Also, rinsing and soaking beans before consumption will help reduce the gas producing elements. Finally, chewing your food well, drinking less water at meals, and possibly adding some digestive enzymes, can be very helpful. Hopefully, this will make your life more comfortable! Keep pressing on, you are on the right road and will overcome this speed bump.