Making lifestyle changes may help reduce or relieve excess gas and gas pain:
- Try smaller portions. Many of the foods that can cause gas are part of a healthy diet. So, try eating smaller portions of problem foods to see if your body can handle a smaller portion without creating excess gas.
- Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and don't gulp. If you have a hard time slowing down, put down your fork between each bite.
- Avoid chewing gum, sucking on hard candies and drinking through a straw. These activities can cause you to swallow more air.
- Check your dentures. Poorly fitting dentures can cause you to swallow excess air when you eat and drink.
- Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking can increase the amount of air you swallow.
- Exercise. Physical activity may help move gas through the digestive tract.
If the odor from passing gas concerns you, limiting foods high in sulfur-containing compounds — such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts or other cruciferous vegetables, beer, and foods high in protein — may reduce distinctive odors. Pads, underwear and cushions containing charcoal also may help absorb unpleasant odors from passing gas.
May. 02, 2014
- Abraczinskas D, et al. Intestinal gas and bloating. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 17, 2013.
- Gas in the digestive tract. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gas. Accessed Dec. 17, 2013.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- Living with gas in the digestive tract. American Gastroenterological Association. http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/gas-in-the-digestive-tract. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- Gas-related complaints. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal_disorders/symptoms_of_gi_disorders/gas-related_complaints.html. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 9, 2014.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Jan. 20, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.