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How Can I Have Less Gas and Bloating?

If Gas And Bloating Are Problems For You, Watching Your Diet Is A Good Start

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Updated December 29, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal bloating can be avoided, in many cases, by changing your diet.

Photo © Ohmega1982

Question: How Can I Have Less Gas and Bloating?

Gas is a fact of life -- everyone has gas! In fact, many of us think that we have more than we should. In reality, most people pas gas 14 times a day for a total of 1 to 3 pints of gas.

Answer: Although gas is normal, you can do some things to reduce your gas, including making changes in your diet and avoiding certain behaviors.

Gassy foods. Reducing the amount of "gassy" foods in the diet may help. Every person reacts to food differently, but some foods that commonly cause gas are:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Fructose (found in tree fruits, berries and melons)
  • Potatoes
  • Wheat

Dairy. Dairy may cause gas if you are lactose intolerant. Eating and drinking fewer dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) may help. Beware of hidden sources of dairy, and read food labels carefully to see if milk is an ingredient.

Sugar substitutes. Yes, those "low-fat" or "reduced-calorie" foods contain a hidden gassy danger in the form of a sugar substitute. These food additives are notoriously hard on the digestive tract and include:

  • Sorbitol
  • Mannitol
  • Xylitol

Carbonation. Carbonated beverages can be a real culprit for causing gas. Even bottled water may now contain carbonation. Reduce the amount of carbonated beverages you drink every day to eliminate this as a source of gas.

Chewing gum. Chewing gum can introduce gas into the digestive tract. If you're a gum chewer, cutting back on this habit may help reduce gas.

Sources:

Larson J. "Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners." Ask the Dietitian. 2012. 25 Sept 2013.

National Institutes of Health. "Gas in the Digestive Tract." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 02 Jan 2013. 25 Sept 2013.

 

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