Avoid Foods Known To Cause Gas
One way to manage flatulence and belching is to eat fewer of the well-known gassy foods. Common culprits include:
- Fruits like apples and pears
- Vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and onions
- Whole grains like bran
- Dairy products, including milk, cheese, and ice cream.
These items contain fiber, sugars, and starches that don’t digest or absorb easily, eventually causing intestinal gas.
Foods containing sorbitol, a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit, are on some peoples gassy foods list. Other people are bothered by carbonated soft drinks and fruit drinks. If you discover that these foods are causing you excess gas, eliminate them from your diet or consume them in smaller portions. When it comes to foods to avoid, moderation is key, says Stephen Bickston, MD, a professor of internal medicine and the director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at the Center for Digestive Health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Keep in mind that almost any food or combination of foods can cause gas.
Certain foods dont get along well in certain people, says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician in Poulsbo, Washington. Some people find they are gassy if they eat fruits with proteins, or if they eat starches and proteins together. Its personal and requires a little experimentation to find out what the culprits are.
What Is Intestinal Gas
Intestinal gas is a mix of odorless vapors, including oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen and methane. This gas forms in the digestive system. When these vapors mix with intestinal bacteria, an unpleasant sulfur odor can develop.
Your body releases gas through the mouth or rectum . Sometimes gas gets trapped in the stomach. This gas buildup causes abdominal pain and bloating .
Remedies And Treatments For Stomach Pain And Gas
Most stomach pain and gas will go away on its own, but there are steps you can take to ease discomfort and prevent future gas pain. Gas-related stomach pain remedies include:
The only way to get rid of gas is to pass it. Donât hold it in. If youâre worried about odor, try reducing foods that contain sulfur-producing compounds such as broccoli, cabbage, and beer.
Many gas-relieving products are marketed, but scientific evidence of their effectiveness is limited. Many people claim to experience relief, so they may be worth trying. The most common medications that claim to relieve immediate symptoms are activated charcoal and simethicone .
Peppermint and peppermint oil have the best record as digestive aids, but there are many other foods that may help. In one study, Chinese herbal formulae outperformed placebos in soothing IBS symptoms. Commonly included ingredients are:
- Wearing ill-fitting dentures
Enzymes Before Eating Certain Foods
Taking enzymes before you eat can help you better digest your meal. Most enzymes are only available for those with a medical condition that prevents them from producing their own. However, two widely available enzymes for problematic foods are:
- Lactase supplements can help those who are lactose intolerant.
- Alpha-galactosidase supplements can help people digest legumes.
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How Is Intestinal Gas Managed Or Treated
- Alpha-galactosidase , an enzyme to break down hard-to-digest foods.
- Bismuth subsalicylate for adults with upset stomach and diarrhea.
- Lactase enzymes for lactose intolerance .
- Probiotics to get rid of bad gut bacteria.
- Simethicone to reduce intestinal gas buildup that causes bloating.
Prescription medications may help if you have a motility problem like IBS. Antibiotics can treat bacterial overgrowth in the intestines that cause excess gas and bloating.
Food Intolerance And Bloating
Food intolerance can lead to bloating when:
- your bowel does not empty properly
- the food causes gas to be trapped
- too much gas is produced as a reaction to the food
The most common foods to cause problems are wheat or gluten and dairy products.
The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely.
Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most. But do not get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP.
Find out more about food intolerance.
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What Causes Gas In The Digestive Tract
Gas in the digestive tract comes from two sources:
Aerophagia . This is usually caused by eating or drinking rapidly, chewing gum, smoking, or wearing loose dentures.
Belching is the way most swallowed air leaves the stomach. The remaining gas is partially absorbed into the small intestine and a small amount goes into the large intestine and is released through the rectum.
Breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine Some carbohydrates are not digested or absorbed in the small intestine because of a shortage or absence of certain enzymes. The undigested or unabsorbed food then passes into the large intestine, where harmless and normal bacteria break down the food. This process produces hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and, in about one-third of all people, methane gases, which are released through the rectum.
When Gas And Bloating Are Symptoms
Often, the gas and bloating you are experiencing are merely symptoms of a greater condition. You may actually be experiencing an upset stomach, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea or nausea after eating. Or, you may have a more chronic condition, like an intestinal disease. Itâs helpful to understand the underlying problem, so you know how best to treat it.
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What About The Symptoms Of Gas Pain In Particular
So, about that last symptom on the list up there. For the most part, your GI tract is efficient at getting rid of gas, Kyle Staller, M.D., M.P.H., a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells SELF. Sometimes you might not even notice it, or it might make its presence known with a harmless burp or fart. But other times, gas can cause spasms and distension in your GI tract during the digestive process, which can be pretty painful, Jamile Wakim-Fleming, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF.
Pain can obviously come in a lot of different forms. Gas pain in particular, however, can include abdominal cramps and the feeling of knots in your stomach, the Mayo Clinic explains. Depending on the location, it can even be easy to mistake gas pain for other health conditions. For instance, Johns Hopkins Medicine says gas pain that shows up on your right side might feel similar to gallstones or appendicitis.
What Even Causes Gas Pain
Why does gas sometimes hurt so bad that you want to cry and check yourself into the ER? Good question. There are a few main causes of gas to keep in mind:
1. Youre swallowing a lot of air: We touched on this above, but its worth emphasizing as a gas pain cause. While its unlikely that youre actually trying to suck down a bunch of oxygen, certain habits like regularly using a straw, drinking a lot of carbonated beverages, eating too quickly, and chewing gum can cause you to take in more air than normal. When this causes gas, its typically via burping, since the air comes back up before it can go all the way to your stomach.
2. Youre eating foods youre sensitive to: Your stomach and small intestine dont entirely break down certain carbohydrates you eat, so they end up getting to your large intestine intact, according to NIDDK. There, bacteria make gas as they process these undigested sugars, fibers, and starches. Certain foods, like dairy products and cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, are more likely to cause gas than others, but everyones triggers are different.
3. You have a health condition: Gas can happen if you have health conditions that affect your digestive system, like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, or Crohns disease, or bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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What Should I Do To Prevent A Gassy Stomach
Consult your Gastroenterologist if the symptoms are recurrent or persistent or if any of the alarm features enumerated above are present
Identify triggers if any, like milk, juices, aerated beverages, high fatty meal or certain condiments and avoid them.
Maintain ideal body weight. Exercise regularly. Eat small meals. Avoid late night meals or snacks. Do not lie down for at least two hours after a meal. Drink adequate water . Develop mechanisms to deal with undue stress.
Reduce intake of cereals like wheat, maida and rice, instead fill your stomach with vegetables, dals, fruits. Some may benefit by reducing carbohydrates and dairy products and increasing protein intake. FODMAP diet is recommended and ask your doctor to advise you about this diet.
Dr. Bhaskar Nandi
If All Else Fails Keep A Food Diary
If your gas pain persists even when youve tried other remedies, it may be helpful to start tracking what youre eating and drinking. There are a host of foods and beverages that might be causing you pain. In addition to fiber- and dairy-rich dishes, your body might be sensitive to sugar substitutes, fried food, foods that are high in fat, or even carbonated beverages like soda and seltzer, the Mayo Clinic says. Since this is a broad range of items, keeping a food diary will allow you to check in with your doctor for specific suggestions of how to avoid or handle eating foods that might be contributing to your pain, the Mayo Clinic suggests. It can also give your doctor a window into whether any health conditions may be causing your gas pain.
Hopefully, these tips will help make your gas pain feel a bit better, and luckily, in most cases, gas doesnt require medical attention, the Mayo Clinic says. But if you’re struggling with incredibly painful gas and nothing is helping, call your doctor. They should be able to help you find the root of the issueand how to stop it.
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The Best Treatments For Gas And Bloating
Did you know that lemon is a natural detoxifier? It acts as a cleansing agent, which, Taz explains, helps to eliminate unwanted bloat from the body. She recommends sipping on hot lemon water in the morning. Or try balancing your digestive system with this caffeine-free herbal tea.
Additional reporting by Amy Schlinger
Consider If Dairy Is Actually The Culprit
If you’re currently in the fetal position dealing with gas pain, think back to how much cheese, milk, and ice cream you had recentlyeven if you don’t think you’re lactose intolerant. You can spend years having zero issues when you drink a venti latte in the A.M., followed by a grilled cheese sandwich at lunchuntil you suddenly do.
As most people age, they start making less lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose, the sugar in dairy products, Dr. Staller says. This is one cause of lactase deficiency and lactose intolerance. As your digestive systems bacteria try to break down lactose without enough lactase to do the job, you may experience annoying symptoms like more painful gas than usual.
Many people in their 20s and 30s have symptoms and dont suspect that its the dairy products, Dr. Staller says. If you think dairy is behind your painful gas, try cutting it out for a few weeks and see where that gets you.
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Does Drinking Water Help Relieve Gas
While it may seem counterintuitive, drinking water may help to reduce bloat by ridding the body of excess sodium, Fullenweider says. Another tip: Be sure to drink plenty of water before your meal too. This step offers the same bloat-minimizing effect and can also prevent overeating, according to the Mayo Clinic.
How Can I Relieve Gas Naturally
Here are additional suggestions to decrease bloating:
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How Do You Fart Without It Smelling
Other Conditions That Cause Gas
Gas is sometimes a symptom of a digestive condition. These include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease. This term describes chronic inflammation in the digestive tract and includes ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease. Symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain that can mimic gas pains.
- Irritable bowel syndrome . This is a condition that affects the large intestines and causes a variety of symptoms, such as:
- stomach pain
- indigestion that feels like gas
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What Side Do You Lay On For Gas
Place a firm pillow between your knees and hug one to support your spine. While you sleep on your left side at night, gravity can help take waste on a trip through the ascending colon, then into the transverse colon, and finally dump it into the descending colon â encouraging a trip to the bathroom in the morning.
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Does Tums help with gas?
Tums is labeled to treat heartburn and indigestion. It helps neutralize and decrease the amount of acid in the stomach to relieve symptoms such as bloating and abdominal discomfort. Calcium carbonate is sometimes combined with simethicone to relieve symptoms of gas and flatulence associated with indigestion.
How do you relieve Kabag?
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The Causes Of Gas And Bloating
Gas and bloating are caused by a variety of different things. One of the most common causes is overindulging in food or drink. If you have a food intolerance, you may also get extra gassy. Eating high-fiber foods, like beans and green vegetables, can contribute to bloating because those foods do a number on the digestive system. The little bubbles in fizzy beverages can add air to your stomach and give you gas as well. Even something as simple as swallowing air when you eat too fast can make you feel gassy.
How Can I Prevent Intestinal Gas
Most foods containing carbohydrates can cause gas. A food diary can help you determine which foods make you gassy. But dont cut out too many things. Many vegetables, fruits, dairy products, wheat products and beans cause gas, but theyre also very good for you.
To reduce your bodys gas production, you can:
- Chew slowly, and dont talk while eating.
- Cut back on carbonated beverages, chewing gum and hard candies.
- Drink through a straw.
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How Do You Massage Poop Out Of Yourself
Start at the right lower side of your abdomen. Slowly make circles in a clockwise direction using gentle pressure. Then, use the palm of your right hand to apply gentle pressure to the inside of your hip bone. Release and apply pressure to the right side, underneath the center of your ribs, and the left side.
Sip A Glass Of Water Slowly
Drinking water does two things, says Dr. Wakim-Fleming: It can help move any gas-causing foods in your system through the digestive process, and it makes it harder for your intestines to contract in a way that gasses you up. See, your intestines contract to move food, and if they contract too strongly or for too long, that can lead to or exacerbate gas.
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Check For Lactose Intolerance
Lactose is a sugar found in milk.
Your body needs an enzyme called lactase to break down lactose. However, most people dont produce enough of this enzyme to break down lactose once they reach adulthood. The resulting condition is called lactose intolerance (
- Increasing your fiber intake. Aim for 1830 grams per day of both soluble and insoluble fiber from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- Drinking adequate fluids. Drink 68.5 cups per day of water and other fluids.
- Exercising regularly. Walking, jogging, swimming, or bicycling for about 30 minutes each day may help keep your bowels moving regularly.
Keep in mind that you may need to increase your soluble fiber intake with caution, as this type of fiber is fermented in your colon and may contribute to bloated feelings .
Additionally, adding fiber to your diet too rapidly may worsen constipation, so its important to increase your intake slowly. Aim for an intake of 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men .
While constipation may be relieved with medication, certain types like bulk and osmotic laxatives may make bloating worse, so talk with your doctor about your symptoms to determine whats best for you .
Constipation may cause or exacerbate symptoms of bloating. Increased fiber and fluid intake, as well as physical activity, are effective natural treatments.