Gas is perfectly natural, but excessive gas, along with bloating or distension, can be painful, interfere with daily activities, or cause embarrassment. A few simple lifestyle measures will help you get rid of it.
Gas in the intestine: a fermentation problem
Gas in the small intestine or colon is usually caused by the digestion or fermentation of undigested foods, such as plant fibers or certain sugars (carbohydrates), by bacteria in the colon. Gas can also form when your digestive system doesn’t completely break down certain components of food, such as gluten or the sugar in dairy products and fruit.
Other sources of intestinal gas can include:
- – Food residues in your colon
- – A change in the bacteria in the small intestine
- – Poor carbohydrate absorption, which can upset the balance of helpful bacteria in your digestive system
- – Constipation, the more food remains in your colon, the more time it has to ferment
- – A digestive disorder, such as lactose or fructose intolerance or celiac disease
To prevent excess gas, here are 4 useful tips:
1) Eliminate certain foods.
The main foods that cause gas are: beans, peas, lentils, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, whole grain foods, mushrooms, some fruits, beer and others soft drinks. Try removing one food at a time to see if the situation improves.
2) Read labels.
If dairy seems like a problem, you may have some degree of lactose intolerance. Watch what you eat and try low-lactose or lactose-free varieties. Certain indigestible carbohydrates found in sugar-free foods (sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol) can also cause increased gas.
3) Eat less fatty foods.
Fat slows digestion, giving food more time to ferment.
4) Temporarily reduce high fiber foods.
Fiber has a lot of benefits, but many high fiber foods are also big gas producers. After a break, slowly add fiber to your diet.