8 Easy Ways to Relieve Gas
- Getting the Best of GasBloating. Flatulence. Burping. Gas in the digestive tract can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. It’s caused by swallowing air, as well as the breakdown of foods in the large intestine by bacteria. Although gas is normal, there’s a lot you can do to relieve it. Here are eight helpful tips.
- 1. Gulp Less AirIf you frequently burp, you may be swallowing too much air. Eat and drink more slowly to help reduce the amount of air that you swallow. Avoid gum, hard candies, and carbonated drinks, which can also make you gulp down too much air.
- 2. Check Ingredient LabelsCertain ingredients in foods may cause gas. These include sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol, found in sugar-free candies and gum. High-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener in sodas and fruit drinks, can also contribute to gas. If you consume lots of these foods or beverages, cutting back could ease symptoms. In addition, many adults are lactose intolerant and develop gas if they consume dairy products. If you have this condition, you can reduce your dairy intake or take pills or drops containing lactase when you drink milk.
- 3. Use OTC MedicationsSome over-the-counter medications can relieve gas. Alpha-galactosidase, also known as Beano, contains an enzyme that helps digest the gas-causing sugar in beans and certain vegetables. Take it just before eating. Simethicone (Gas-X, Mylanta Gas) helps ease bloating and belly pain by dissolving gas bubbles that have formed in the intestines.
- 4. Keep A DiaryDifferent things cause gas in different people. Write down what you eat and drink and any gas-related symptoms you experience afterward. Looking over your diary can help you identify which foods may give you gas—and reducing or avoiding those items can help you feel better.
- 5. Consider Your CarbsEating lots of carbohydrates may give you gas. The stomach and small intestine don’t fully digest some carbs. The undigested food goes on to the small intestine and large intestine, where bacteria break it down and release hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Other bacteria in the large intestine create methane gas or hydrogen sulfide, that nasty odor you smell when someone passes gas.
- 6. Avoid High-Fat FoodsAlthough carbohydrates are tied to gas, reducing the amount of fat you eat may also help. Eating less fat allows the stomach to empty more quickly, so gas can move more rapidly into the small intestine instead of making you feel bloated.
- 7. Visit Your DentistLoose-fitting dentures may also cause you to swallow lots of air. If you wear dentures, ask your dentist to make sure they fit correctly.
- 8. Talk With Your DoctorMake an appointment if your symptoms change, affect your everyday life, or are accompanied by other issues such as diarrhea, constipation, or weight loss. You may have a more serious condition, such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease. Your doctor can rule out other problems and help you feel better.
8 Easy Ways to Relieve Gas