1. AVOID GAS PRODUCING FOODS
There are certain foods that contain fiber, sugars and starches that are difficult to digest, and not easily absorbed by the digestive system.
This results in intestinal gas. According to Goldman, in his 2015 article, 10 Foods That Cause Gas, the following should be avoided:3
Due to an element found in fruits called sorbitol, which is stated by Goldman3 to be a natural sugar alcohol, is considered difficult to digest.
(Pears, peaches, apples and other contain it.)3
What Happens: At the time when sorbitol and soluble fiber make its way through the large intestines,
the gut bacteria in our intestines (responsible for breaking down food elements), produces elements such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane gas.
(Which is later discharged through the anal opening.) 3
The gas-producing vegetables include beans, onion, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus and cauliflower.
These vegetables produce excessive gas due to the presence of difficult-to-digest complex sugar called raffinose.
Among the vegetables, beans is the biggest culprit of them all, since it contains the maximum amount of raffinose.
Soaking the beans overnight and then consuming considerably reduces gas.3
In case of onion, the fructose, a natural sugar contained in it, produces excess gas, when broken down by bacteria.
However, it will be a folly to completely eliminate these healthy vegetables, so consult your doctor for alternatives or eat them in moderation.3
Within grains can be found raffinose and starch. All elements that is considered hard for the body to digest.
(Most grains, such as wheat produces gas after consumption.)3
Due to the appearance of the element, lactose, found in milk, some individuals who do not produce enough lactase to break down this sugar,
will find it hard to stomach diary or milk. Another embarrassing result of lactose intolerance is gas production.3
Sodas And Carbonated Drinks
Drinking sodas and other carbonated drinks ups the chances of swallowing large amounts of air. When this gets collected in the digestive track,
it comes out in the form of burping or flatulence. Replacing soda and carbonated drinks with non-carbonated drinks,
such as juices, tea or water helps in reducing gas.3
Confectionery items, such as hard candy and chewing gums can also become gas-producing sources. Both by sucking on candy
or chewing the gum can make one swallow extra air. In addition, many candies also contain sorbitol as a sweetener.
Many sugar-free gums are sweetened with sugar alcohols, like sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol, that
are difficult to digest and result in excessive gas. The solution is to stop taking these items.3
Processed foods, such as breads, cereals, salad dressings and some type of snacks, are chock-a-block with
preservatives containing fructose and lactose among others.
These sugars are difficult to digest and can lead to excessive gas.3
What The Doctors Recommend
Stephen Bickston, MD, professor of internal medicine and director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at the Center for Digestive Health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, as cited by Orenstein (2017), states:
“When it comes to foods to avoid, moderation is key. Cooking may help break down some of the offending ingredients, but the style of cooking can also decrease healthy chemicals found in vegetables. Boiling seems to break down chlorophyll and other desirable ingredients.”5
Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician in Poulsbo, Washington, as quoted by Orenstein (2017), explains:
“Certain foods don’t get along well in certain people. Some people find they are gassy if they eat fruits with proteins, or
if they eat starches and proteins together. It’s personal and requires a little experimentation to find out what the culprits are.
If you find you’re gassy after eating a certain food, eliminate it from your diet and see if it helps.”
Finding recipes that involve only steaming will help rid of those food items of foods.
2. AVOID ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
The sugar-free items available in the market are sweetened by artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol and related sugar alcohols.
These are difficult to digest and are broken down by the gut bacteria producing excessive gas or aggravating an already existing condition.
Stephen Bickston, MD, as cited by Orenstein (2017), states:
“Sorbitol is often the first ingredient in any brand of sugar-free gum I’ve found at local grocery stores. One to two sticks is akin to eating a prune.”5
However, not all such sweeteners are associated with gas or act as laxatives. Some of these are sucralose, saccharine and aspartame.
3. TAKING ACTIVATED CHARCOAL LIQUID OR PILLS
There is a difference between common charcoal (derived from peat, coal, wood, coconut shell or petroleum), and ‘activated charcoal,’
last mentioned derived from common charcoal by heating it to make it ‘active.’
Activated charcoal has for centuries been used for its medicinal properties. It is no wonder it is still used in our modern world today.
How It’s Made: According to specialists, activated charcoal is made via a chemical process where the charcoal is made porous, thus, getting ‘activated.’
The pores help ‘trap’ the chemicals (Web MD, 2005-2017).6
Health Benefits: When we use activated charcoal, what happens is we are actively binding the toxins to fatty deposits in our stomachs
or intestines so that it can be removed more easily.7 This helps in reducing intestinal gas and thereby flatulence and bloating.
The activated charcoal is available in the form of a liquid or pill, and is considered more than safe to consume.
4. ADJUST EATING HABITS
Eating or drinking fast, makes the person swallow a lot of air that ends up as excessive gas in the stomach. The simple way to curb this is to slow down.
Chewing well on food deliberately and consciously, helps.
A thumb rule suggested by Indian Yogi’s is to chew the food in the mouth a total of 32 times to make it into a paste that is easily swallowed and also avoids air intake.
Those who feel their dentures are making them swallow air, need to consult their dentists.
The dentures should be well fitted to ease breathing while eating. This way air will not get swallowed.
5. OVER-THE-COUNTER DIGESTIVE MEDICATION
6. Enzymes and probiotics– Over-the-counter digestive enzyme supplements and probiotics are available, and help to support your digestive system and make it work better. They can provide instant relief but usually work better over the long run
7. Antacids– Antacids are great when treating acid reflux or heartburn but may not be as effective in reducing excessive gas. They help to neutralize the acid but that may reduce the effectiveness of breaking down proteins in the stomach.
8. Pepticin+ A new digestive supplement made from Salmon is now available in the USA.
In a matter of days, you can fight off constipation, gas, diarrhea, bloating…plus protect yourself from allergies, colds and flus!
If the problem of excessive gas persists despite taking the above actions, it could indicate a more serious digestive condition, such as lactose intolerance,
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, upper gastrointestinal disorders and even colon cancer. In all such cases, it is important to consult a doctor.
With the kind of fast foods available, problems pertaining to uncomfortable gas and bloating will only increase. Before such conditions take a turn for the worst,
it is advisable to prevent them by taking the suggested steps. A step in time will certainly save nine!
SOURCES, CITATIONS & REFERENCES
1-National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2016) Symptoms & Causes of Gas in the Digestive Tract. NIH, US Department of Health and Human Services [Online] Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gas-digestive-tract/symptoms-causes [Accessed 9th October 2017].
2-Greenberger, Norton J., MD. (2013) Gas-Related Complaints. The Merck Manual [Online] Available from: www.merckmanuals.com [Accessed 9th October 2017].
3-Goldman, Rena. (20th January 2015) 10 Foods That Cause Gas. Healthline [Online] Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/foods-that-cause-gas# [Accessed 9th October 2017].
4-Ratini, Melinda, DO, MS. (2017) What is Lactose Intolerance? Web MD [Online] Available from: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-lactose-intolerance#1 [Accessed 9th October 2017].
5-Orenstein, Beth W. (2017) 7 Easy Ways to Tame Excessive Gas. Everyday Health [Online] Available from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/treatment-for-excessive-gas [Accessed 9th October 2017].
6- Web MD. (2005-2017) Activated Charcoal [Online] Available from: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-269-activated%20charcoal.aspx?activeingredientid=269 [Accessed 9th October 2017].
7- Best Health. (2017) Stomach Pain? Relieve Gas, Indigestion and Belly Bloat with Activated Charcoal [Online] Available from: https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/health/stomach-pain-relieve-gas-indigestion-and-belly-bloat-with-activated-charcoal [Accessed 9th October 2017].
8-Beano. (2017) How it works? [Online] Available from: https://www.beanogas.com/anti-gas-pills/beano-tablets [Accessed 9th October 2017].