Gas is of two general types--air you swallow and gases that are produced inside you. Having gas is completely normal. The most common types of gas are belching and flatus. Belching is a normal reflex that allows the stomach to expel gas back up the esophagus, but most people don’t belch very often. Flatus is the passage of gas from the lower bowel, and occurs typically 12-15 times daily when people are eating average diets. If you are a patient who feels their gas is excessive or disrupts one’s daily life, follow the prevention and treatment methods below.
Prevention and Treatment of Gas
By changing one’s eating and drinking patterns one may be able to reduce gas. ALWAYS test out your tolerance to a group of foods and don’t give up anything forever unless you’re sure that repeatedly you are poorly tolerant of it. Slow increase in diet fiber is the best way to adjust to healthier ways of eating. Lactaid or Dairy Ease products can help many people take milk products in their diet. And remember, almost none of the medicines available will change intestinal gas volume--it is a “natural” event from food digestion. In some cases, medication may be causing gas, therefore seek medical attention if cause of ongoing gas problem is not clear.
Some high gas producers are:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Bell Peppers
- Wheat Products
Some low gas producers are:
- Citrus Fruit
- Hard Cheese
- Peanut Butter
- Refined grains
- Non-carbonated sugar beverages
We have other information about FODMAPS and diets that help people with IBS bothered by FODMAP foods.