Most of us pass gas up to 20 times a day, which is normal, especially if we eat certain fruits, vegetables or foods that are high in fiber. These foods are good for our digestion, but they can lead to gas. Carbonated soft drinks can also cause flatulence. Some foods, like beans, are notorious for causing problems. Sometimes, changes in your diet are the first step to eliminating gas, so give these dietary adjustments a try [sources: Mayo Clinic; NDDIC]:
- Try cutting down on foods that cause you to swallow a lot of air or that are known to cause gas: sugar-free candies, chewing gum, beer, prunes, vegetables like brussels sprouts and cauliflower, fruits like pears and peaches, and dairy products such as milk and ice cream.
- Fried or fatty foods can cause bloating and gas, so you'd want to eat them less frequently.
- High-fiber foods or fiber supplements might need to be introduced gradually, so your stomach gets used to them. Try drinking a glass of water with them and drink a lot of water throughout the day.
- Drink soothing teas. Peppermint tea not only warms your tummy, it can also relieve your gas pains. Peppermint oil has menthol, which can have an antispasmodic effect.
- Try eating less dairy. If you suspect you have lactose intolerance, try eating low-lactose or lactose-free dairy foods.
- Supplements such as Dairy Ease and Lactaid may provide relief if you're going to eat dairy foods. Beano can be used if you're eating vegetables, but it needs to be eaten with the first bite to be effective.
- Some over-the counter products containing simethicone may help by breaking up gas bubbles in your stomach. Activated charcoal may also help, since it has absorptive qualities.
- Lifestyle changes can help, too. Eating smaller meals and chewing slowly while you eat can reduce the gas you gulp down. Make meals relaxing so you can digest your food as you're enjoying your meal.
- Avoid drinking through straws, make sure your dentures fit well and try to stop smoking.
- Mild exercise can help reduce gas, too.