Treating Bloating and Gas from Chronic Constipation

Gas happens when bacteria in your large intestine feed on the carbohydrates that are in your stool.  If you're constipated, it can be harder for the gas to pass.

That can leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable, too. Follow the constipation treatment your doctor recommends. You can also use these tips to ease the bloat and gas.

Diet Changes

You probably already know that cutting down on portions and eating slowly can help. You may also want to try a low-FODMAP diet, which has been shown to help people with IBS. FODMAPs are a group of sugars found in foods like dairy, beans, and certain fruits. They don't break down very well in the small intestine. When they reach the large intestine, FODMAPs provide fuel for bacteria.

To follow a low-FODMAP diet, avoid foods like these:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Beans and legumes (peas, lentils, soybeans)
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Ice cream
  • Milk
  • Nectarines
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Wheat

You can slowly add these foods back to your diet, one at a time, to pinpoint which ones make you gassy.

One downside to eating a low-FODMAP diet is that these foods are high in healthy fiber. Ask your doctor or a dietitian to recommend other high-fiber foods that don't cause gas.

Over-the-Counter Gas Relievers

A few OTC products contain ingredients that can help cut down on the amount of gas you produce.

Some people try simethicone to help their body release gas. But it may not work for everyone.

There are also OTC products made with alpha-galactosidase that make it easier for your body to digest gas-producing foods like beans and milk.

Avoid Chewing Gum

Gum makes the list of foods you'll want to avoid if you're gassy. When you chew gum, you swallow air, which turns into gas in your belly.

Sugar-free gum is better for your teeth, but it's also gas-friendly. Sugars like xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol are FODMAPS. Bacteria feed on them in your intestine and turn into tiny gas-making machines.

Ginger

Ginger is a flavorful plant root that adds spice to cooking. In medicine, it's known for its stomach-soothing properties. It can help with nausea and an upset stomach. Because ginger speeds the movement of food through the intestines, it may also relieve gas and bloating.

You can take ginger in tablet, crystal, or powder form. Or you can drink ginger tea.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on May 03, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Prebiotics and Probiotics: Creating a Healthier You."

Brigham and Women's Hospital: "Gas: Beat the Bloat."

Cleveland Clinic: "Probiotics."

Digestive Diseases and Sciences: "A Novel Delivery System of Peppermint Oil is an Effective Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms."

Gastroenterological Society of Australia: "Low FODMAP Diet."

Harvard Medical School: "Can gut bacteria improve your health?"

International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders: "Understanding Bloating and Distension."

Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal: "Prevention and Treatment of Flatulence From a Traditional Persian Medical Perspective."

Mayo Clinic: "Gas and Gas Pains."

Michigan Medicine: "Simethicone"

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Peppermint Oil."

Tufts: "Why Does Sugar-Free Gum Cause Gas and Bloating?"

UCLA: "Does Activated Charcoal Help with Gas and Bloating?"

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Ginger."

World Journal of Gastroenterology: "Bloating and functional gastro-intestinal disorders: Where are we and where are we going?" "Irritable bowel syndrome: The evolution of multi-dimensional looking and multidisciplinary treatments."

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