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Putting the Brakes on Gas

Clearing the air on this uncomfortable and odiferous condition.

It’s embarrassing. It’s painful. It’s loud, quiet, odorless and overpoweringly smelly. It’s also completely normal. In fact, the average Joe or Jo has the need to pass gas approximately 14 times every day – that’s about one time for every hour you’re awake.

Unfortunately, the normalcy of gas doesn’t make it any more pleasant to experience. Feel that you release more gas than is normal, or wish you could cut your 14 episodes of flatulence a day down a bit?

Drink Different

One of the reasons you may be experiencing more gas than you’d like is your choice of drink. If you get lots of soda or other fizzy drinks in your daily diet, the bubbles may feel good going down, but they can also contribute to bubbles in your belly, which translate to gas and bloating.

Want to fix your liquid-based gas problems? Then you’ll need to change your drinking ways. Instead of soda, go with good old-fashioned water. Or if you want to beef up your bones, grab a glass of milk. Just be careful, as being lactose intolerant can bring on the same gas, pains, and embarrassment you’re trying to overcome.

Eat Right

At the same time you change your drinking habits, you may need to do the same with your food. Because as wonderful as a big, juicy hamburger may look, the grease and fat in it can easily lead to gas and gas pains. Ditto with your favorite Mexican dishes and a number of other foods. But to make your diet gas-proof, you’ll need to pay attention to how your body responds to various foods. Once you determine what foods bring on gas, avoid them. Or get ready to gas it up afterward.

And in case you’re wondering, your choice of food isn’t the only factor determining whether your food will leave you breaking wind when dinner is finished. The speed at which you eat and how well you chew your food also factor into your level of gassiness. For minimum gas effect following a meal, eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. This prevents you from the bloating and gas that result from ingesting excessive air while eating.

Let ‘Er Rip

While holding in gas may prevent a little bit of temporary embarrassment, it can eventually lead to some painful bloating. The result of not letting gas pass and instead building up in your intestines and stomach, bloating doesn’t just make you feel fuller. It can also be painful. Depending on how long you keep the gas in, the pain can be a dull, manageable pain, or it can be sharp and severe.

Thankfully, all it normally takes to get rid of the pain is to relax and let the gas go its merry way. In the event you’ve been suffering gas pains that don’t go away when you pass gas, a good bowel movement should do the trick. Having problems on top of the toilet? Eat foods that are rich in fiber and get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to help your digestive tract empty out.

From the Top

Air bubbles that make their way inside your body don’t always result in passing gas. Quite often, they force you to belch. Though not necessarily as embarrassing as flatulence and easier to cover up, burping at the wrong time can be catastrophic.

To reduce your likelihood of burping at all the wrong moments, try the following tips:

  • use over-the-counter antacids if you suffer from occasional, mild heartburn
  • don’t chew bubblegum, suck on hard candy, or smoke cigarettes, as all of these activities result in you sucking down more belch-producing air
  • if you wear dentures, make sure they fit well so you don’t wind up drinking down excessive air with your drinks and foods

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