3 years

There are a lot of ways to describe excessive gas, like Bloating, Flatulence or Burping. No matter what you call it, it helps by being able to identify where gas starts, as well as where it ends, can help you treat painful or embarrassing symptoms.

Gas in the digestive tract can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, and can be caused by a few things like swallowing air, as well as the breakdown of foods in the large intestine by bacteria. Burping and belching is gas that escapes from the mouth, while flatulence, or farting, is intestinal gas that escapes from the rectum. Bloating is used to describe the sensation of excess stomach gas that has not yet been released.

Although gas is normal, if you’re experiencing painful gas and the embarrassment of chronic and foul smelling flatulence, you can start to play detective and try to eliminate the cause. There’s a lot you can do to relieve it. Here are some helpful tips.

What Causes Excessive Gas

To avoid the uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms of excessive gas and bloat, it is important to understand what is causing this extra production of gas in the first place. There are many foods known to cause gas, and one way to manage flatulence and belching is to eat fewer of the well-known gassy foods.

Common culprits include: certain fruits, like apples and pears along with vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, whole grains like bran and dairy products like milk, cheese, and ice cream. These items contain fiber, sugars, and starches that don’t digest or absorb easily, eventually causing intestinal gas.Here are some common factors that can contribute to this problem.

Incomplete Protein Digestion

Excessive intestinal gas is most often due to inadequate protein digestion, as protein requires a lot of stomach acid to digest properly. Protein takes a lot of hydrochloric acid from the stomach to be broken down, so if your intestinal tract is too alkaline, protein won’t be broken down completely. This will cause it to ferment and putrefy, creating stomach bloat and excessive gas, along with fullness, heartburn, and sometimes vomiting.

Certain Carbs

Eating lots of carbohydrates can give you gas. The stomach and small intestine don’t fully digest some carbs. The undigested food goes on to the small intestine and large intestine, where bacteria break it down and release hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Other bacteria in the large intestine create methane gas or hydrogen sulfide, that creates the nasty odor when someone passes gas.

Sugars & Artificial Sweeteners

Another main reason particular foods cause gas is due to the body’s inability to digest certain complex sugar compounds. Humans don’t produce the alpha glactosidase enzymes necessary to digest the complex sugars called oligosaccharides.) When these undigested compounds reach the intestines, they begin to ferment and release gas.

Sorbitol and related sugar alcohols used in many sugar-free versions of foods can also aggravate gas. “Sorbitol is the first ingredient in most brands of sugar-free gum. Just one to two pieces is like eating a prune. However, the sugar substitutes that are found at a typical coffee stand or in popular soft drinks are not the kind that cause gas. The various packet sweeteners like sucralose, saccharine, and aspartame are not associated with gas or laxative effects, but you should avoid all those for other reasons.

A Bacterial Imbalance

The gastrointestinal tract is vulnerable to a massive number of bacteria that can enter your body through food and water. And if these bacteria are left to multiply unchecked, they can create a bacterial imbalance that can lead to belching, stomach bloat, and excessive gas. That’s why it is imperative to include certain foods in your diet that can help encourage the growth of “good” probiotic bacteria in the bowels and to help reduce gas and bloating problems.

A Bad Gallbladder

Your gallbladder is like a small sack that stores and regulates bile, which is a fluid made in the liver that is needed for the digestion of fat. When fat from food passes into the small intestine, the gallbladder pumps in the proper amount of bile to aid with digestion. But if the gallbladder becomes clogged with stones or the bile becomes thick and sluggish, you can experience extremely uncomfortable bloating about 5 to 20 minutes after eating.

Ways to Minimize Gas

Here are some of the best ways you can cut down on painful gas and bloating.

Eat Protein At The Beginning of Meals

Unlike Europeans, Americans usually eat their salad before a meal. You should always eat salads along with or after protein foods, but not before. The carbohydrates in salads require no hydrochloric acid, but the stomach dumps all the hydrochloric acid in when you begin to eat. Then, when the protein food (meat, fish, beans, cheese, etc.) needs acid, there is none left.

Balance Your Bacteria

When bad bacteria take over in the colon, they can produce foul smelling waste products and gas. If you want to help end gas and stomach bloat, as well as achieve optimal health, you must have “good” probiotic bacteria in your digestive tract. A great, all-natural way to improve friendly intestinal bacteria levels is to include more cultured and fermented foods in your meals.

These naturally fermented, “live” foods are items like, fermented vegetables, fermented milk products such as, sauerkraut, Greek yogurt, cheese, buttermilk, kefir, fermented soy products (natto, miso, tempeh, soy sauce, fermented tofu), and even naturally fermented, unpasteurized beers are some of the most complete probiotics available. They all provide wide varieties of probiotic bacteria that are known to protect against all kinds of digestive problems including excessive gas and stomach bloat.