Stomach or intestinal gas is normal, but it can be embarrassing if released in public, whether it's at night or during the day. However, there can be an underlying problem if you have excessive gas. According to Everyday Health, excessive gas can be caused by certain health conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastro-oseophageal reflux disease (GERD). See a gastroenterologist if you feel there's any problems within your stomach, including an excess of gas.
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Avoid eating gas-producing foods, such as broccoli, potatoes and corn. These foods are among many others that create an uncomfortable feeling of bloating within the stomach. These foods are difficult for the body to digest because they lack the support of enzymes in the small intestine that break down the foods. However, some people can eat these types of foods and not produce any gas, due to bacteria found in the large intestine that break down the foods.
Reduce the amount of lactose-based dairy products you eat. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, the elderly, African Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans naturally have a lower level of lactase, which is an enzyme needed to break down lactose. This results in having gas after ingesting lactose-based foods.
Eat a high fibre breakfast. According to Fox News, eating a high fibre breakfast can help stimulate a bowel movement, which helps eliminate gas. Experiment with the amount of fibre you eat. Make a note of when you begin to experience gas, because excessive fibre intake too quickly can cause gas.
Avoid products with fructose or high amounts of sugar, common ingredients contained in fruit or soft drinks. Additionally, fructose can be found in foods such as artichokes, onions, pears and wheat. Sorbitol, another naturally occurring sugar, is also a common sugar found in apples, peaches and prunes. Artificial sorbitol is sometimes used in chewing gum and sugar-free candies. In addition, beans contain soluble fibre and sugar. This sugar and soluble fibre produce gas in the large intestine.
Take over-the-counter supplements that help digest foods that contain lactose or the sugar in beans and other vegetables.
Tips and warnings
- Thoroughly chewing your food can aid in reducing the amount of air you swallow.
- Avoid repetitively chewing gum, as this too will cause you to take in excessive amounts of air and thereby increase the amount of gas you produce.
- Decreasing some of these vitamin and mineral-rich foods in your diet can affect your health. Consult your doctor or dietitian to determine how you can cut down on stomach gas but still maintain a healthy diet.
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