Gas and gas pains
Intestinal gas can strike at the worst possible
moment - during an important meeting, on a crowded
elevator or on a first date. And although passing
intestinal gas (flatus) usually isn't serious, it
can be seriously embarrassing.
The fact is that everyone passes gas - a
combination of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon
dioxide and methane - at least 12 or more times a
day. But some people have excessive gas that bothers
them most of the time. In some cases, gas you can't
expel or that accompanies
irritable bowel syndrome
celiac disease or
stomach flu (gastroenteritis) can cause intense,
more of the following suggestions may help prevent excessive gas:
identify and avoid the foods that affect you the most.
Some of the worst offenders for many people include beans, peas,
lentils, cabbage, radishes, onions, broccoli, brussels sprouts,
cauliflower, sauerkraut, apricots, bananas, prunes and prune juice,
raisins, whole-wheat bread, bran cereals or muffins, pretzels, spicy
foods, beer, sodas, and other carbonated beverages, including
carbonated water, milk, cream, ice cream and ice milk.
back on fried and fatty foods.
Often, bloating results from eating fatty foods. Fat delays stomach
emptying and can increase the sensation of fullness.
cut back on high-fiber foods.
Add them back gradually over weeks. If you take a fiber supplement,
try cutting back on the amount you take and build up your dosage
gradually. Be sure to drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water a
day if you use fiber supplements.
use of dairy products.
Try using low-lactose dairy foods, such as yogurt, instead of milk.
Or try using products that help digest lactose, such as Lactaid or
Dairy Ease. Consuming small amounts of milk products at one time and
or consuming them with other foods also may make them easier to
digest. In some cases, however, you may need to eliminate dairy
over-the-counter digestive aids.
Add products such as Beano to high-fiber foods to help reduce the
amount of gas they produce. For Beano to be effective, you need to
take it with your first bite of food. It works best when there's no
gas in your intestines.
Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of two or three
chew your food thoroughly and don't gulp.
If you have a hard time slowing down, put down your fork between
when you're anxious, upset or on the run.
Try to make meals relaxed occasions. Eating when you're stressed can
interfere with digestion.
acidophilus capsules or liquid.
If your symptoms are the result of antibiotic use, you may get
relief with acidophilus capsules or liquid. These supplements may
help replace the beneficial intestinal bacteria that antibiotics
destroy. You can find them in natural food stores and some
drugstores or grocery stores.
Try a cup
of peppermint tea.
Peppermint oil contains menthol, which appears to have an
antispasmodic effect on the smooth muscles of your digestive tract.
You may find that a warm cup of peppermint tea can provide relief
from gas and gas pain. On the other hand, peppermint may contribute
to heartburn and acid reflux.
See if you benefit from using one of the many over-the-counter
products that contain simethicone (Mylanta, Riopan Plus, Mylicon).
Simethicone helps break up the bubbles in gas. Charcoal tablets also
may help. They're available in natural food stores and many
Gas and gas pains
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