How Can I Have Less Gas and Bloating?

If Gas And Bloating Are Problems For You, Watching Your Diet Is A Good Start

Gas is a fact of life — everyone has gas! In fact, many people think that they have more than they actually should. In reality, most people pas gas 14 times a day for a total of 1 to 3 pints of gas. Although gas is a normal and healthy part of the digestive process for everyone, there are some things that can be done to reduce the amount of gas that is being passed each day. Some of the things that can be done to reduce gas include making changes to the diet and avoiding certain behaviors while eating.

Different types of chewing gum spread on a table

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The Cause of Gas

Gas is a normal part of the digestive process — no one can stop having gas entirely, nor would that be a good idea. When food breaks down in the digestive tract, it doesn't get digested entirely. There are byproducts created during digestion. One of those byproducts happens to be intestinal gas. The friendly bacteria living in the digestive tract do their job to break down food and create intestinal gas in the process. This is a good thing: having gas means that the digestive tract is doing what it is supposed to do, which is absorbing nutrients from food.

Avoiding Foods That Cause Gas

One cause of gas that's under everyone's control is food. Reducing the amount of "gassy" foods in the diet may help to have less gas. Every person reacts to food differently, but some foods that commonly cause gas are:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Fructose (found in tree fruits, berries, and melons)
  • Potatoes
  • Wheat

Lactose Intolerance

Dairy may cause gas for those who are lactose intolerant, which is most people. Eating and drinking fewer dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) may help. Some people are able to consume a certain amount of lactose (about 12 grams, which is the content of a glass of milk) without experiencing symptoms. It may be necessary to use trial and error to determine the amount of lactose that can be consumed without having bloating or gas. Beware of hidden sources of dairy, and read food labels carefully to see if milk is an ingredient.

Sugar Substitutes

Yes, those "low-fat" or "reduced-calorie" foods contain a hidden gassy danger in the form of a sugar substitute. These food additives are notoriously hard on the digestive tract, may cause gas and bloating, and include substances such as:

  • Sorbitol
  • Mannitol
  • Xylitol

Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated beverages can be a real culprit for causing gas. Even bottled water may now contain carbonation. Reducing the amount of carbonated beverages being consumed every day can help eliminate this as a source of gas.

Other Things That Cause Gas

Chewing gum. The act of chewing gum can introduce gas into the digestive tract. For gum chewers, cutting back on this habit may help reduce that gas.

Smoking. Everyone knows now that smoking cigarettes isn't the best choice for a healthy lifestyle. Smoking can also introduce gas into the digestive tract. Stopping smoking has a variety of health benefits, and it can also cut down on the amount of gas in the digestive tract.

Drinking with straws. Most people drink through a straw when eating out at a restaurant, because who wants to put their mouth on a glass? However, drinking draws can cause air to be taken in, which results in more gas, and in belching.

Sucking on candy. A mint after a meal, or a piece of candy as a treat or to keep the mouth busy while dieting or while stopping smoking can also cause gas. In the end: it might mean a trade-off between two choices: bad breath or some gas? At the very least, cutting back can help avoid gas, or at least help avoid introducing more gas during those times when gas is present for another reason.

A Note From Verywell

Bloating and gas are problems that many people have but there are several things that can be done to avoid causing extra gas in the digestive tract. It's important to remember that gas is a normal part of the digestive process, so it's always going to be there. However, there are several ways to change the diet and lifestyle factors that may help cut down on gas.

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