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How to Treat Flatulence

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Excessive flatulence can often put you in a socially embarrassing situation. While it is quite normal to be passing gas about 10-15 times a day, it is important to note that if you are experiencing excessive, chronic and foul smell emitting flatulence, it is time you had a good look at what you eat.

Know the Foods That Produce Gas

There are certain foods that are known to produce gas. If you are eating them in excess, they can be the cause of your gas problem. Note that not every food acts the same way in everyone. Some people may find a particular food to be gas producing for them, while to others it may be fine. Food like dairy products, vegetables like beans, cabbage, etc., are known to cause gas in many people. These foods are actually rich in starches, fiber and sugar which typically do not get digested and absorbed easily, thereby causing intestinal gas.

The best way to check if a particular food causes the formation of excessive gas in you is by keeping a food diary. Some of the common gassy foods include fruits like apple, pears, veggies like broccoli, beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, and grains like whole bran to milk products like cheese, ice cream, etc. Some people also find carbonated drinks and fruits drinks to be causing gas in them. By keeping a food diary, you will be able to single out the foods that cause gas in you and hence, can eliminate them from your diet or eat them in moderation.

There are a few ways through which you can reduce the frequency of flatulence, apart from eliminating culprit foods from your diet. Some of them include:

Eat and drink slowly: If you have the habit of eating and drinking fast, you will actually swallow a lot of air which in turn can cause gas. The best thing to do is eat slowand chew your food properly before gulping it down. This way you will swallow less air and reduce the formation of gas inside the body.

Avoid swallowing air: Avoid having chewing gumbecause you may swallow air during this process. Smokingand drinking through a straw also causes the stomach to get filled with air, thereby causing flatulence.

Have drinks 30 minutes before a meal: When one drinks liquid along with a meal, the strength of the stomach acids diminishes and as a result the food we eat cannot be properly broken down. So, it always makes sense to have water or any other liquid substance at least 30 minutes before taking a solid meal. It will help in better digestion and will reduce the formation of gas. (Note: this is a popular belief which nay or may not be incorrect. Some believe that having warm or hot water during a meal aids in proper digestion. We all react differently, so it helps to do some trial and error.)

Over the counter medicines: There are a few types of digestive enzymes that are available over the counter at any health store. The most popular one is activated charcoal. It is quite safe to use and is helpful in treating excess gas. You should be able to feel the difference in a few weeks.

Another over-the counter digestive aid that is quite popular is Beano. It contains an enzyme that is known to help the body in digesting the sugar in beans and many other vegetables. However, if the excessive gas in your body is produced due to fiber or lactose, Beano will not be effective.

Steer Clear from Artificial Sweeteners: Many sugar-free foods contain sorbitol which is known to aggravate excessive gas. Artificial sweeteners are digested by the gut bacteria which are fermented. This  releases gas. However, sweeteners like sucralose, saccharine, aspartame are not known to cause gas.

Gas is a natural by-product of our body's digestive system. So, one cannot do away with entirely. If you do not feel any difference even after trying all the treatment options stated above, you should consult a doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.

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