There are many ways to describe excess gas: gas, gas, and bloating. Although the name you give it may seem unimportant, being able to identify where the gas begins, and where it ends, can help you deal with painful and bothersome symptoms.
Flatulence, or farts, are intestinal gases that escape from the rectum. Bloating is used to describe the feeling of excess intestinal gas that has not yet been released.
The gases that pass through flatulence are caused by the body’s inability to absorb or digest certain carbohydrates in the small intestine. Once these undigested foods pass through the small intestine, bacteria break them down, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and sometimes methane. But this does not happen to everyone.
Regarding the factors behind gas, there are several major culprits:
Consumption of foods high in fiber such as beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains
Drink soft drinks
Eating too fast or talking while chewing, which causes more air to swallow
Drink through a straw
Consumption of artificial sweeteners
Chronic bowel disease such as diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel disease
Food intolerances such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance
Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine
It is common to feel gas after eating and release it through gas. It is normal to have gas 13 to 21 times a day.
But if you have painful gas and chronic, smelly gas, you can start playing detective. Try to eliminate the cause by following the steps below.
1. Avoid foods known to cause gas
One way to manage gas is to eat less of these well-known foods. The most common culprits are:
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 products contain fiber, sugars and starches which are not digested or absorbed easily, which can cause intestinal gas.
Foods containing sorbitol, a natural sugar found in fruit, are on the list of sensitive foods for some people. Other people are bothered by soft drinks and fruit drinks. If you find that these foods are causing you excess gas, eliminate them from your diet or eat them in smaller portions. When it comes to foods to avoid, moderation is key.
Keep in mind that almost any food or food combination can cause gas.
2. Drink before meals
If you drink liquids with your meals, you lose stomach acids and you cannot break down food as well. Try to drink it about 30 minutes before a meal to help your stomach digest better.
3. Eat and drink slowly
When you eat or drink quickly, you can swallow a lot of air, which can cause gas. The simple solution? Slow down when you eat.
4. Take over-the-counter digestive aids
Digestive enzymes are available as over-the-counter supplements. You will know very quickly, within a few weeks, if that makes a difference. Antacids won’t do much for excess gas
5. Try activated charcoal
Although research is still limited, researchers believe that activated charcoal can help reduce and treat excess gas and bloating. Unlike the charcoal you find in your grill or fireplace, activated charcoal undergoes a special treatment that makes it fit for human consumption. Once you take activated charcoal (in liquid or pill form), it attaches to the liquid in your gut, which can reduce gas and bloating and create firmer stools.
In a small study published in the Journal of Ultrasound, 42 people with a history of excessive gas in their intestines took 448 milligrams (mg) of activated charcoal for two days before a medical exam, then 672 mg on the day of the exam. The researchers found that they had better ultrasound vision of certain organs that would normally have been obscured by excess gas.
6. Don’t fill up on air
Habits like smoking, chewing gum, and drinking through a straw can cause the stomach to fill with air, resulting in gas.
7. Avoid artificial sweeteners
Sorbitol and related sugar alcohols used in many sugar-free versions of foods can also make gas worse. Sorbitol is often the first ingredient in all brands of sugar-free chewing gum. The sugar substitutes found in coffee shops or popular soft drinks are not the type that causes gas. The different sweeteners in sachets: sucralose, saccharin, aspartame are not associated with gaseous or laxative effects.
8. Try herbs for gas relief
Some research suggests that a number of herbs may help relieve excess gas. For example, a study published in April 2015 in European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Studies found that ginger helps speed up digestion. This is helpful because if the stomach empties faster, gas can travel to the small intestine more quickly to relieve bloating and discomfort.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that peppermint oil significantly improved abdominal pain.
Chamomile is believed to help relieve a number of digestive issues, including upset stomach, bloating, and intestinal gas, by relaxing gastrointestinal muscles and improving digestion.
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