Although the name given to it may seem insignificant, being able to identify where the gas begins, and where it ends, can help you deal with painful and uncomfortable symptoms.
Flatulence, or belching, is intestinal gas that is expelled from the rectum. Bloating is used to describe the feeling of excess intestinal gas that has not yet been released.
Gas passing through flatulence is caused by the body’s inability to absorb or release certain carbohydrates in the small intestine. Once these nutrients pass through the small intestine, bacteria break them down, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and sometimes methane. But that doesn’t happen to everyone.
When it comes to the causes of gas, there are several big culprits:
Eat fiber-rich foods like beans, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains
Drink soft drinks
Eating too much or talking while eating, causes you to pass more air
Drink with a straw
Use of artificial sweeteners
Chronic bowel diseases such as diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel disease
Food allergies such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance
Overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine
It is common to feel gas after eating and release it through flatulence. It is normal to pass gas 13 to 21 times a day.
But if you have painful gas and chronic, foul-smelling flatulence, you can start investigating. Try to eliminate the cause using these steps.
1. Avoid foods known to cause gas
One way to control constipation is to eat some well-known foods. The most common culprits are:
Fruits like apples and pears
Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and onions
All grains are like bran
Dairy products, including milk, cheese and ice cream.
These products contain fiber, sugars and starches that are not easily digested or absorbed, 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 confused by soft drinks and fruit drinks. If you find that these foods cause you a lot of 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 combination of foods can cause gas.
2. Drink before meals
If you drink liquids with your food, you lose stomach acids and can’t break down food properly. Try taking it about 30 minutes before a meal to help your stomach settle.
3. Eat and drink slowly
When you eat or drink quickly, you may swallow too much air, which can cause gas. A simple solution? Slow down when you eat.
4. Take over-the-counter nutritional aids
Digestive enzymes are available as over-the-counter supplements. You will know quickly, within a few weeks, if it makes a difference. Antacids will not do much for excessive gas
5. Try activated charcoal
Although research is still in progress, researchers believe that activated charcoal can help reduce and treat excess gas and bloating. Unlike the charcoal you find in your drink or fireplace, activated charcoal takes a special treatment that makes it safe for human consumption. Once you take activated charcoal (in liquid or pill form), it binds to the fluid in your intestines, which can reduce gas and bloating and create stronger 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 examination and then 672 mg on the day of the test. The researchers found that they had better ultrasound vision of certain organs that would normally be covered by too much gas.
6. Do not fill the air
Habits like smoking, chewing gum, and drinking through a straw can cause the stomach to fill with air, which leads to gas.
7. Avoid artificial sweeteners
Sorbitol and related alcohols used in many sugar-free versions of foods can also cause gas. Sorbitol is often the main ingredient in all brands of sugar-free gum. Sugar substitutes found in coffees or in popular soft drinks are not the type to cause gas. Different sachet flavors: sucralose, saccharin, aspartame are not associated with gas or laxative effects.
8. Try herbs for gas relief
Some studies suggest that a number of herbs can help get rid of excess gas. For example, a study published in April 2015 in the European Review of Medicine and Pharmacology found that ginger helps digestion. This helps because if the stomach empties quickly, gas can rush to the small intestine to relieve bloating and discomfort.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that peppermint oil improved stomach pain.
Chamomile is believed to help relieve a number of digestive issues, including stomach upset, bloating and intestinal gas, by relaxing stomach muscles and improving digestion.