Gas can be embarrassing, whether it causes bloating, flatulence, burping, or belching. While gas is a normal part of the digestion process, you can reduce the symptoms with a few diet and lifestyle changes.
Here are 12 tips for controlling gas.
12 tips for controlling gas
1. Change up your diet
Certain foods are known to cause gas more often. Keep a food diary and note which foods seem to trigger or worsen your symptoms. Foods that may cause more gas include:
- High-fiber foods
- Brussels sprouts
- Whole wheat
- Brown rice
- Corn, pasta, potatoes, and other starchy foods
- Dairy and dairy products (particularly if you are lactose-intolerant)
- Sugar substitutes, particularly sorbitol
- Fried or fatty foods
- Carbonated beverages
- Fiber supplements
2. Go lactose-free
If you find that dairy products are causing gas, switching to lactose-free products may help you control gas and alleviate symptoms.
3. Find a different sugar substitute
If you find that a particular sugar substitute worsens symptoms, try a different substitute.
4. Ask your doctor about fiber supplements
If you use fiber supplements, consult your doctor regarding the amount and type of supplement that is better suited to you if you are experiencing gas because of it.
5. Eat smaller portions
Since it may not be wise or even possible to eliminate all foods that cause gas, try simply reducing the amount of these foods to see if doing so reduces symptoms.
6. Eat slowly
Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. This allows the enzymes in your saliva to assist in the digestion process so that your digestive system doesn’t have to work so hard.
7. Avoid swallowing air
Activities that can cause gas include ones that make you swallow more air:
- Chewing gum
- Sucking on hard candy
- Drinking through a straw
- Drinking carbonated sodas
8. Check your dentures
Poorly fitting dentures can make you swallow excess air when you eat and drink. If they are loose, talk to your dentist.
9. Exercise regularly
10. Use over-the-counter medications
Over-the-counter medications that may be good for controlling gas include:
- Lactase supplements
- Activated charcoal
11. Try herbs
Another herb that may be effective in controlling gas is chamomile, which is thought to work by relaxing the muscles of your digestive tract.
12. Talk to a doctor
If diet and lifestyle changes do not provide relief from gas or bloating, consult a doctor. Your doctor can perform an examination and order tests to rule out conditions such as celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial overgrowth, or problems associated with the pancreas. They can also determine whether any of your medications are causing intestinal gas.
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Mayo Clinic. Gas and gas pains. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gas-and-gas-pains/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372714
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Intestinal Gas and Gas PainGas (intestinal gas) means different things to different people. Everyone has gas and eliminates it by belching, burping, or farting (flatulence). Bloating or abdominal distension is a subjective feeling that the stomach is larger or fuller than normal. Belching or burping occurs when gas is expelled from the stomach out through the mouth. Flatulence or farting occurs when intestinal gas is passed from the anus. Causes of belching or burping include drinking too rapidly, anxiety, carbonated drinks, habit, and swallowing air. Learn about causes of intestinal gas, foods that cause gas and bloating, treatments that reduce excessive gas and soothe gas pain, and much more.
What Helps With Bloating and Gas?What can you do to help with bloating and gas? Gas and bloating do eventually go away on their own. If your bloating only happens occasionally, make sure to chew your food well and sit up straight for a while after eating to help your body digest.
What Is Excessive Gas a Sign of?Gas is a normal, healthy feature of the digestive process. Excessive gas may be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, GI issues, problems digesting carbohydrates, celiac disease, GERD, and other potential problems.
Why Am I So Gassy and Bloated?Bloating is a feeling that your abdomen is distended or larger than normal, but it does not necessarily mean that it is. Gas (flatulence) also can be a problem if you are bloated. Common, less serious causes of bloating are eating too fast, too much, or too many fatty foods; swallowing air; pregnancy; and menstruation. Cancer and IBD (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease) are examples of the more serious causes of bloating. Examples of foods and drinks that cause bloating are high-fiber foods if you don't eat them regularly; eventually the bloating and gassiness will resolve if you eat them on a regular basis; fatty greasy foods, dairy products (for example, cheese, ice cream, milk, and yogurt); foods high in salt (for example, processed, frozen, and canned foods), and artificial sweeteners. Some doctors and other health care professionals recommend natural remedies like chamomile or peppermint tea or pumpkin to relieve bloating. Examples of OTC medicine (medicine available without a prescription) and other products that may relieve bloating and gassiness are, Gas-X, Beano, Pepto Bismol, Metamucil, probiotics, and Ex-Lax for constipation associated with bloating. If you have persistent or severe gas and bloating, and if you have any of these symptoms see a doctor or other health care professional, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain, bloody diarrhea, fever, or if you think you are or may be pregnant.