Passing Facts on Passing Gas

Bon_Secours_Hampton_Roads_Health_SystemEveryone has gas. Burping and “passing gas” is normal. Oftentimes, because it can be embarrassing, people believe they pass gas too often or have too much gas, but it is actually quite rare for a person to have too much gas.

If you’ve been feeling a little too gassy lately changing what you eat and drink can help prevent or reduce gas. If you feel like you have too much gas, you might want to try these lifestyle changes before going to the doctor.

  1. Cut down on foods that cause gas.
    The amount of gas caused by certain foods varies from person to person. The only way to know your own limits is to keep track of what you eat and how much gas it causes later. Some foods that cause gas are:

    • Vegetables like beans,broccoli, cabbage, onions, and asparagus
    • Fruits like pears, apples, and peaches
    • Milk and milk products,
    • Dietic foods and sugar-free candies
    • Whole grains like whole wheat and bran
  2. Drink plenty of water and clear soup.
    Try not to drink liquids that cause gas like soda, beer, and milk.
  3. Reduce the amount of air you swallow.
    Here are some ways to avoid swallowing air:

    • Eat slower and chew more thoroughly.
    • Avoid chewing gum and eating hard candy.
    • If you smoke try to cut down or quite.
    • If you have false teeth, see your dentist to make sure they fit right.
  4. Keep a diary.
    Write down the foods (and amounts) that seem to cause you the most problems. Also, try to keep track of the number of times you pass gas each day.

If you try all of these changes and you are still troubled by gas, you may want to see your doctor. Take your diary with you to help you answer the doctor’s questions about eating habits and symptoms.

(Source: “What I need to know about Gas” NIDDK, National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse)

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