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Tips For Coping With Gas and Bloating


Gas and bloating may be from a variety of causes, including underlying medical causes, including physical causes such as lactose intolerance.  Let your doctor know about your symptoms - particularly if they persist or get worse or are severe.

Also consider the following self help ideas.

Foods and Drink To Test and Possibly Avoid

The following foods are known to cause gas and bloating - although they may not cause gas and/or bloating in any particular individual. Test them for yourself. 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 a gassy food without a problem.  

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Fructose
  • Lactose
  • Potatoes
  • Sorbitol
  • Wheat

Carbonated drinks such as soda and drinks containing alcohol both have the potential for increasing intestinal gas and contributing to bloating.

Change How You Eat

To make sure you are not swallowing an excessive amount of air:

  • Eat slowly, so as to avoid gulping air as you are filling your belly.
  • Avoid chewing gum and hard candy.
  • If applicable, make sure your dentures fit properly.
  • Stop smoking. For tips about stopping smoking, click here

Treatments for Bloating

The following tips have been known to relieve bloating:

  • A heating pad or a hot bath may ease abdominal discomfort. 
  • Taking the supplement known as Beano when eating beans or legumes may help reduce the gas from those foods. Over-the-counter anti-gas remedies, which often contain polyethylene glycol or smethicone may also help.
  • Exercise. To expel intestinal gas, try taking a brisk walk or getting some other form of exercise.
  • A relaxed position. Try laying quietly on your left side and bring your knees up to your chest. This position can sometimes help release trapped gas.
  • Over-the-counter gas relief remedies may also be effective, but be sure to read all the ingredients. Some brands contain sorbitol, a food additive which has been shown to irritate the digestive tract and cause diarrhea, cramps, and pain.

Food combining

Food combining focuses on the way you combine foods at each meal. The theory is that some food combinations are easy to digest and other combinations produce gas, bloating and other gastrointestinatl (GI) discomforts. A summary of food combining and its benefits can be found at Search on Donna Gates. The title of the article is "The Most Powerful Food Secret." It was published March 15, 2012.

If Applicable, Treat Constipation

People who suffer from constipation are more likely to experience intestinal gas and bloating. Talk to your doctor about developing a treatment plan. For self help tips about dealing with constipation, click here.

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