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.
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:
- Beans and legumes (peas, lentils, soybeans)
- Ice cream
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 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.