Gas and bloating occur as a natural result of the body's digestion breaking down food. When gas does not leave the body through burping or flatulence, it builds up in the digestive tract and leads to bloating. Read on for information on reducing gas and bloating by changing dietary habits and treating your symptoms with medicine.
Method 1 of 3:Getting Immediate Relief
1Avoid holding gas inside. Many people force their bodies to hold gas in to avoid embarrassment, but passing gas is a necessary bodily function that occurs to help the release of a by-product of digestion. Preventing yourself from passing gas just leads to more pain and discomfort. Instead of holding it in, find a comfortable place to release it.
If you are in public when a bout of gas or bloating strikes, find a bathroom where you can stay until the pain has subsided.
If you find it difficult to pass gas, try adjusting your body positioning to allow the gas to be released. Lie down and relax your muscles until the pressure in your stomach and intestines is gone.
Moving around can help, too. Take a brisk walk around the block or walk up and down a set of stairs to help the gas make its way out.
2Use a hot pad or compress. For quick relief of abdominal pressure caused by gas and bloating, lie down and lay a hot water bottle or warm compress across your stomach. Allow its heat and weight to help the gas leave your body and the pressure subside.
3Drink mint or chamomile tea. Both mint and chamomile have properties that aid in digestion and help relieve stomach pains. Buy mint or chamomile teabags, or use fresh mint leaves or dried chamomile flowers. Steep the ingredients in hot water and enjoy for immediate bloating and gas relief.
4Take an activated charcoal supplement. Activated charcoal can reduce gas and bloating in some individuals. It can also help relieve cramps caused by gas and bloating.Trustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
Follow all instructions on the packaging, including dosage recommendations.
Ask your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you're already taking medications.
5Have some garlic. Garlic also has properties that stimulate the gastric system and help relieve gas and bloating. Garlic supplements are available at health food stores, but fresh garlic may provide faster relief.
Eat garlic soup, since the warm water helps deliver the garlic to your system quickly. Mince a few cloves of garlic and sauté them in olive oil on the stove. Add vegetable or chicken broth, let it simmer for a few minutes, and enjoy hot.
Avoid eating garlic with other foods that may cause more gas and bloating. For best results, consume it plain or in a soup.
6Take over-the-counter gas relief medicine. If you are already feeling gas and bloating pressure, medicines meant to prevent gas and bloating will not work. Choose a medicine meant to break up gas bubbles and reduce the pressure in your intestines and stomach.
Over-the-counter medicines that contain simethicone are meant to ease gas buildup.
Activated charcoal is also said to help relieve gas. Activated charcoal is sold at health food stores and drugstores.
Method 2 of 3:Making Lifestyle Changes
1Avoid foods that cause your body to produce excessive gas. Gas forms when carbohydrates that are not digested in your small intestine are fermented by bacteria in your colon. Foods that cause this to happen affect some people more than others do. If you experience gas and bloating often, you might want to limit or avoid consuming these foods:
Beans and other legumes. Black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, peas, and other legumes are notorious for causing gas to form. They contain a sugar called oligosaccharide the body cannot break down; the undigested sugar stays intact through the digestion process and results in gas production in the small intestine.
Fibrous fruits and vegetables. Fiber has many health benefits, but it cannot be digested and it is one of the main culprits that cause gas and bloating. Try to figure out which fibrous fruits and vegetables give you the most trouble. Cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables tend to cause more gas production than salad greens.
Dairy products made from cow milk.Expert SourcePeter Gardner, MDBoard Certified GastroenterologistExpert Interview. 25 August 2020 Cow milk contains lactose, which disagrees with many people's digestion. Avoid milk, cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products made with lactose milk. Goat's milk is said to be easier for people to digest, so try it as an alternative.
Artificial additives. Sorbitol, Mannitol, and other artificial sweeteners cause many people to become bloated.
Soda and other carbonated drinks. The air bubbles in carbonated drinks lead to bloating, since the air stays trapped in your stomach.
2Go dairy free if you have lactose intolerance. Dairy can cause painful gas and bloating in some individuals. Instead, opt for lactose free dairy alternatives.Trustworthy SourceNational Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesHealth information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a division of the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
For example, you could switch to soy or almond milk.
3Limit simple carbohydrates and sugars. You may experience extreme bloating after eating simple carbohydrates and sugars because your body can't properly digest them. If this is the case for you, following a sugar-free diet may relieve your symptoms.Trustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
Don't replace sugars with artificial sweeteners, as they can also cause bloating.
4Avoid gluten if you have an allergy or intolerance. Gluten is a protein found in certain grain products. If you're sensitive to gluten, you may experience bloating and gas after eating it. The best way to avoid bloating and gas is to cut out products that contain gluten.
Gluten is typically found in breads, baked goods, pastas, seasonings, and similar items. Read labels to look for products that are labeled as"gluten free."
5Change the order in which you eat food. The body naturally produces hydrochloric acid, which breaks down protein, when you first start eating a meal. If you start a meal by eating carbohydrates, the hydrochloric acid gets used up before the protein you eat later in the meal hits your system. The under-digested protein then ferments and leads to gas and bloating.
Instead of starting your meals with bread and salad, take a few bits of your meat, fish, or other protein first.
If digesting protein continues to become a problem, consider taking hydrochloric acid supplements, sold at health food stores. Take them after the meal while you are still digesting your food.
6Chew your food well. Chewing your food is the first part of the digestion, when your teeth and saliva start breaking the food down. Making sure you chew every bit thoroughly before swallowing creates less work for your stomach and intestines, reducing the chances the food will ferment and cause gas.
Try to chew each bite 20 times before swallowing. Put your fork down between bites to give yourself time.
7Eat fermented food. Proper digestion requires a supply of healthy bacteria. People have been supplementing their bodies with bacteria-containing food for centuries.
Yogurt containing probiotics is a common source of bacteria that aids in digestion. Kefir is another cultured dairy product that is easy for the body to digest.
Sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented vegetables are also good alternatives.
8Use digestive enzymes. Digestive enzyme supplements can help your body break down the indigestible components of beans, fiber, and fats that might be causing your gas or bloating. Try to identify what food is causing the problem and choose the correct supplement.
If you have trouble digesting beans, try Beano, which contains the enzyme needed to digest oligosaccharides.
Digestive enzymes should be taken before the meal, rather than after, to so your body is ready to digest the food as it hits your system.
Method 3 of 3:Treating Digestive Disorders
1Be aware of the frequency and severity of your symptoms. It is natural for gas and bloating to occur every once in a while, especially after eating one of the typical culprits, like beans or ice cream. If you have painful bloating or excess flatulence daily, though, the issue may extend beyond what you can fix by changing your dietary habits.Expert SourcePeter Gardner, MDBoard Certified GastroenterologistExpert Interview. 25 August 2020
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects your colon, and causes cramping and diarrhea when you consume certain foods.
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder triggered by taking in of gluten, a protein found in bread and other food products containing wheat, barley or rye.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source
Crohn's disease is a gastrointestinal disorder that can become severe if not treated effectively.Expert SourcePeter Gardner, MDBoard Certified GastroenterologistExpert Interview. 25 August 2020
2Seek medical attention. If you have daily gas and bloating that causes pain or interferes with your daily life, call your doctor to discuss possible causes and solutions. Since gas and bloating are often directly related to what you eat, prepare to discuss your dietary and lifestyle habits with the doctor.
Foods to Eat and AvoidFoods That Lead to Bloating and Gas
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