Last modified: July 21, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
Are you passing gas more than 21 times a day? Does your stomach often feel painful and bloated? Take a look at our guide to dealing with a gassy stomach.
While it is quite normal to feel gassy, it is also socially embarrassing for most people. Though, to make you feel better, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) states that it is perfectly normal for a healthy individual, passing gas around 13 to 21 times a day.
Gas is just air that is stuck in your digestive tract and it leaves your body in two ways. Either it escapes from your mouth when you burp and belch or through your rectum when you fart. Flatus, the gas you pass through the anus, can have an odor because of the presence of sulfur.
In addition to making your feel embarrassed, gas can also make you feel uncomfortable. To help you combat the production of gas and bloating, we have put together a list of things that can definitely help.
Avoid Swallowing too Much Air
Air trapped in your body causes gas pains and flatulence. While it may seem a bit odd, there are ways to avoid taking in too much air. For instance, avoiding smoking, chewing gum and the use of straws while drinking can help in reducing the amount of air in your body.
Additionally, swallowing more often can allow air to move into your digestive tract. This can happen in situations where you are sick and experiencing postnasal drip or a using ill-fitting dentures.
When you’re eating too fast, you can swallow more air, which can cause gas related issues. So, next time you’re having a meal, try to slow down and take your time to chew the food. This will not only help with digestion but also significantly reduce flatulence and bloating.
Avoid the Foods that Cause Gas
Even though there are common culprits that cause gas, it is important for you to listen to your body and identify the cues. Knowing which foods trigger the symptoms, can really help in creating a diet plan that works for your digestive system. Everybody is unique, so what may work for you, may not necessarily work for someone else.
According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, some of the foods that cause gas include beans, certain vegetables and fruits, dairy products, and carbonated drinks. Additionally, foods containing sorbitol, a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit, such as dietetic foods and sugar-free candies can also trigger the symptoms.
Make your own Food
While occasional take-out or dine-out is absolutely fine, cooking your own food can help in dealing with gas woes. This is because when you’re making your food, you’d know exactly what goes into it and you can avoid consuming ingredients that cause bloating and flatulence. Not to mention, fresh, home cooked food is also healthier.
There are many benefits of exercise and helping combat flatulence is one. When you workout or move around, the muscles in the gut relax and help in passing the gas. This is why it is recommended to take a walk after meals and avoid resting immediately after consuming your food.
Take over the Counter aids and/or Probiotics
When it may seem like natural remedies or changes to your diet aren’t sufficient in combating gas, you can also take over-the-counter digestive aids. These contain digestive enzymes that help you body break down complex carbohydrates into digestible sugars for better digestion and lesser flatulence.
Additionally, you can also include probiotics in your diet. These helpful bacteria can help in alleviating symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain, and gas.
Know When to Consult a Doctor
Usually occasional gas and abdominal discomfort can be treated at home with over-the-counter aids and a change in dietary habits and lifestyle.
The recommendations shared in this article can help you in dealing with a gassy stomach but if your symptoms are persistent or severe, this could indicate the presence of an underlying digestive condition and warrants a consultation with your doctor, especially if the symptoms are accompanied by weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting and/or heartburn.
Some of the reasons for persistent flatulence and stomach pains can be lactose intolerance, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and colon cancer. If you have any additional questions or would like a consultation, connect with one of our doctors today and put your mind at ease.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.