Gas is produced as food is broken down during digestion. Bloating, belching and rectal gas are complains that are associated with digestion. Following simple diet and lifestyle changes can help to decrease gas production and relieve symptoms. It is important to first talk to your doctor about any concerns.
Belching is the release of swallowed air from the stomach. The stomach does not produce any gas. A small amount of air is normally swallowed during drinking and eating. Some people also swallow air with their saliva. Belching is rarely serious, but it can be an embarrassing problem.
The following tips may help:
- Avoid pipes, cigars, cigarettes
- Chewing gum
- Hard candies
- Sipping straws or small topped water bottles
- Repair poor fitting dentures
- Avoid carbonated drinks
- EAT SLOWLY!
Bloating occurs after eating. It is usually caused by inadequate contractions of the stomach and upper intestine. Relaxation of abdominal muscles can also be a cause. Medications can sometimes help this by increasing contractions in the stomach and intestine. Bloating may be associated with problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, delayed stomach emptying (called gastroparesis), or malabsorption of nutrients. Because of this it may be necessary for some testing to be done. Your doctor will discuss the appropriate course of treatment for you.
Flatus (rectal gas) is a byproduct of the digestive system. If foods are not digested in the small intestine, the bacteria in the colon feed on the sugars and carbohydrates produce the gas. People vary on their ability to digest foods. Certain sugars and carbohydrates are known to be hard to break down and the foods that contain them cause you to produce gas. The main foods causing increased gas are listed below. Talk to your doctor about your problem to decide the appropriate course of treatment.
FOODS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO INCREASED GAS PRODUCTION
- Legumes- most beans, especially dried beans and peas.
- Milk and milk products- milk, ice cream, cheese
- Vegetables- Cabbage, radishes, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, sauerkraut, kohlrabi, asparagus
- Root vegetables- Potatoes, turnips, rutabaga
- Fruits- Dried fruits, apples, bananas
- Cereals and Breads- Wheat products
- Fatty foods- All fried foods, rich cream or cheese sauces, some pastries
- Liquids- Carbonation of beverage or medicines
Gas Prevention information