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10 tips to prevent excess gas
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September 25, 2008

Passing gas can be uncomfortable, not to mention embarrassing.

It is however a fact of life.


Most people avoid discussing it though, and for as common as it is -- everyone passes gas either by belching (burping) or flatulence (farting) -- not too many people know what normal levels are and whether they truly suffer from excess gas.



Gas is created in the human digestive system through one of two ways.


First, during regular activity, there is a certain amount of air that is swallowed -- while speaking, eating. This collects in the stomach and is later released through burping or belching. A small amount of this gas may make its way to the intestines, and may be released through flatulence.


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The second cause of gas is the digestive mechanism. During digestion, foods are broken down in the stomach and intestines by harmless bacteria and enzymes. While food is being digested, certain gasses like hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane are produced. Usually, flatulence is odour-less. However, some people do produce gasses that contain sulphur � due to the presence of certain bacteria in the large intestine -- which can cause malodor. This again is harmless.   



There is no particular list of foods that cause gas. While some foods can cause gas in some people, others may not have a problem.


The usual culprits most people blame are beans, cabbage, onions, pears, apples, peaches, milk and milk products. Basically, foods that are high in carbohydrates rather than fats or proteins tend to cause gas. However, as mentioned earlier, not everyone reacts in the same way to a given food, so cutting out a particular food or food group would not be advised, since you may be denying yourself essential nutrients.


Often, as a person ages, certain enzymes stop being produced by the body resulting in the creation of excess gasses from certain foods.



The most common symptoms are belching, flatulence, abdominal bloating and pain. Most people experience the first two frequently and occasionally the latter, these are very rarely signs of a serious medical problem. According to, an average, passing gas 15-20 times a day is considered normal.


When it comes to bloating, often it is not that the body is producing excess gas but rather that the person is excessively sensitive to the presence of gases in the body. This can be relieved by over the counter medication or even ayurvedic and homeopathic medication that will help relieve the discomfort. Before resorting to medicines however, consult your doctor to find out if medication is required.


It is possible that you body is signaling a more serious medical condition such as lactose intolerance. In that case, you will probably also exhibit more symptoms like bloating, pain, loose stools, says health portal The best thing to do in case a change in diet or mild medication doesn't work, is to consult your doctor.


Prevention tips

1. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Gulping down your food leads to swallowing larger amounts of air, which may leave you feeling gassy later, according to


2. Smoking and excessive chewing of gum or sweets also cause you to swallow more air than you should be.


3. When you know you are heading for a social gathering or meeting, it is advised that you do not overeat. When the stomach is full, it tries to ease the pressure by releasing trapped gas.


4. An obvious tip -- avoid fizzy drinks


5. Exercise regularly. This is a solution to most minor physical ailments. A regular exercise regime conditions all the organs of the body, keeping them working as they should.


6. Yoga is also a great way to improve the functioning of your digestive system.


7. Changing your diet to reduce foods like beans, cabbage and onions might help. However, before you decide to quit or reduce certain foods, keep track of your diet for a week or two to make sure you've got the right culprit.


8. Avoid sweeteners or health products containing sorbitol, which is used in sugar-free sweets and some medicines.


9. Tea and even red wine is found to help prevent flatulence.


10. Wear clothes that are comfortable and not too tight. This will prevent you from feeling uncomfortable in case of bloating and also allow the free movement of gasses within the body.

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