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Heartburn/GERD Health Center

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Avoid 6 Health Woes That Ruin a Date

Experts offer tips on preventing embarrassing problems that can derail a promising relationship.

Gastrointestinal Woes continued...

Where does gas come from? "Either you've swallowed gas or it's generated in the bowels," Raymond tells WebMD.

Yes, you can actually "eat" gas, or air. There's even a name for ingesting air: aerophagia. Raymond explains the various ways that air gets absorbed. Drinking through straws is a common way. Lots of people tend to swallow air when they're nervous, notes Raymond. Certain ways of chewing can also cause you to swallow air. The good news about gas produced via aerophagia? It smells, well, just like air.

If your gas smells far less innocuous than air, chances are you've eaten something that is gas-producing. Raymond recommends doing a "food diary" to determine and eliminate the offending food. Dairy products, whey, and cruciferous vegetables top the list of gas-inducing foods, she explains.

Once you've identified the culprit? "Get it out of your life," Raymond advises.

Annoying Allergy Symptoms

Sneezing all over your date is sure to put a damper on things. Whether you suffer from this or other annoying allergy symptoms like a runny nose or itchy, watery eyes, you'll want to rein them in before a big date.

The first step toward stifling sniffles and such is to find out whether they're related to seasonal rhinitis, which usually strikes in spring and fall, or if perennial (year-round) allergiesallergies are to blame. Once you've homed in on the cause, you can avoid triggers and, if necessary, use medications to keep symptoms at bay.

If you suffer from seasonal rhinitis, taking your date on a stroll through a garden on a warm spring day or a hay ride in the fall will probably not score you any points -- unless you prepare ahead of time.

Inhaled nasal steroids (such as Flonase and Nasonex) have become the "gold standard" treatment for fighting symptoms of seasonal rhinitis. Marie-Helene Sajous, MD, a fellow at Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center, recommends that seasonal rhinitis sufferers start using the inhaled steroids daily about a week before allergic-inducing culprits like leaves, molds, and grasses are out in full force, and continue their use throughout the season.

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