If you are a stoic or a recluse, you may simply be able to ignore that gaseous excess and its audible effects. If you're neither, there are some things you can do to prevent or relieve flatulence. Here are some home remedies to help you out:
Stay calm. Emotional stress can play a role in worsening a flatulence problem. The gastrointestinal tract is exquisitely sensitive to anxiety, anger, and depression. A network of nerves connects this area of the body to the brain, and when you are under stress, muscles in the abdomen tighten. The results are painful spasms. Eating while under stress can also contribute to flatulence because you tend to swallow air.
Get physical. Sometimes, flatulence is less a matter of a faulty diet than of a faulty digestive process; the smooth passage of foods down the digestive tract may be hindered. Exercise helps to regulate the process, so when things get uncomfortable, take a walk. You can also apply pressure to your abdomen or lie facedown on the floor with a pillow bunched up under your abdomen to help relieve discomfort from gassiness. Sitting on the floor -- with your knees drawn up to your chest and your arms wrapped around your legs -- and rocking back and forth may also help, as might a heating pad placed on your abdomen.
Loosen up. If you'll be taking a long airplane flight, wear loose clothing. Tight-fitting pants can compress the abdomen and cause pain.
Bust the belch. Habits that can lead to excessive belching, such as swallowing air and chewing gum, can also cause problems with flatulence.
Get activated. Activated charcoal tablets, available without a prescription at drugstores, may help to absorb some excess gas and calm your flatulence problem. If you are taking any prescription medications, however, first ask your pharmacist whether the activated charcoal will interfere with them.
Reach for relief. If you just couldn't resist the spicy bean dish at the restaurant but are dreading the car ride home with your friends, stop off at the nearest grocery store or pharmacy. You're likely to find a variety of nonprescription preparations containing simethicone (such as Mylanta, Maalox, and Phazyme), which may help ease gassiness and make that trip a little quieter.
Don't stuff yourself. The more food in the gut, the more gas buildup. Eat light meals. And eat more slowly -- you'll swallow less air.
Your last straw. Don't sip drinks through a straw. You'll suck in air, which causes gas.
Your diet also can play a big part in avoiding flatulence. In our next section, we'll talk about flatulogenic foods to avoid.
For more information about intestinal gas and other digestive ailments, try the following links:
- To cope with gas coming back up, read Home Remedies for Burping.
- If you think people are avoiding you when you say the letter H, try these Home Remedies for Bad Breath.
- When food doesn't sit well, learn how to lessen the symptoms by reading Home Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- Got milk? If dairy gives you grief, consult the Home Remedies for Lactose Intolerance.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.