Gas and gas-related pain can strike at the worst possible moment - during an important meeting or on a crowded elevator. And although passing intestinal gas (flatus) usually isn't serious, it can be embarrassing.
Everyone passes gas generally at least 12 or more times a day. But some people have excessive gas and gas pains that bother them most of the time. In some cases when you can't expel the gas can result in intense, intermittent abdominal pain.
A few simple lifestyle modifications can help reduce the amount of gas you produce and relieve your discomfort and embarrassment.
- Try smaller meals. Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of two or three large ones.
- Change how you eat: Eat slowly, chew the food thoroughly, and don't gulp.
- Avoid chewing gums, carbonated beverages, and drinking from straws to make sure you are not swallowing an excessive amount of air. Air may be partially absorbed by the small intestine, through pass-thru, the large intestine, and rectum and get excreted but part of the air may not even enter the large intestine and may cause bloating and flatulence.
- Drink a lot of water throughout the day.
- Don't eat when you are anxious, upset, or on the run: Try to make meal-times relaxed occasions. Eating when you are stressed can interfere with digestion.
- Cut down foods known to cause gas. Food that produces painful gas in one person may not cause any gas symptoms in another. Common foods that can cause gas include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, whole-wheat items, whole pulses, lentils, high-fat foods, milk, and certain dairy products.
- Use a food diary and keep a careful record of what you eat and whether or not you experience gas afterward. You may find that your body can handle smaller amounts of gassy food without a problem. A dietitian can help you with eating a healthy diet.
- Exercise: Increasing your physical activity may help you pass gas if you have problems with bloating.
There are a number of remedies for gas relief. However, a healthy lifestyle and change in dietary habits, depending on one's sensitivity to certain foods, go a long way in preventing the production of excess gas in the body.