282013Jan

Tips to Avoid Embarrassing and Uncomfortable Bloating, Belching and Gas Pains

Many people suffer from bloating, belching and gas pains. This can be extremely embarrassing or at the very least uncomfortable. Bloating, belching and flatulence are all natural. There are steps that you can take to avoid them. These issues are caused by swallowed air or the breakdown of food through digestion. Bloating happens when gas does not pass through belching or flatulence and builds up in the stomach and intestines. Bloating often makes you experience abdominal pain. Bloating may be related to: eating fatty foods; stress or anxiety; smoking; a gastrointestinal infection, blockage, or disease; irritable bowel syndrome; conditions such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance. To reduce bloating try to avoid foods that cause gas. Common foods that cause gas and bloating are: baked beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carbonated drinks, cauliflower, chewing gum, fruits (such as apples, peaches, and pear), hard candy, and lettuce.

Belching is the body’s way of getting rid of excess air in the stomach. You can get excess air in your stomach if you eat or drink too fast, talk while eating, chew gum, suck on hard candies, drink carbonated beverages, or drink through a straw. Some people swallow air as a nervous habit. In some cases, prolonged belching can be related to acid reflux, gastritis or peptic ulcer disease. To can reduce belching by: eating and drinking slowly; avoid carbonated drinks and beer; avoid chewing gum and hard candies; stop smoking; treat heartburn.

Flatulence is caused by buildup of gas in the colon. Intestinal gas is usually caused by the fermentation of undigested food in the colon. Gas can also form when the digestive system does not completely break down certain parts of the foods. Some other common causes of gas are: food residue in the colon; changes in intestinal bacteria from the use of antibiotics; constipation; swallowed air that moves to the colon. As mentioned previously, gas can indicate a digestive order such as lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome. To cut down on excess gas try: eating slowly; take a walk after eating; temporarily cut back on high-fiber foods; eat fewer fatty foods. It may also be helpful to keep a food diary to see which foods affect you the most. Once you have narrowed down which foods effect you the most, try to limit those foods when you are experiencing increased gas. Common foods that cause gas are: beans, peas, lentils, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, bananas, raisins, whole-wheat bread, salads, carbonated drinks and dairy.

References:
1. “Bloating, belching, and intestinal gas: How to avoid them.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 23 Apr 2011. Web. 18 Jan 2013.