Tips and fact for belching, bloating, and flatulence

We've all experienced intestinal gas, some more than others.

While belching, bloating, and flatulence are considered normal, the urge to pass gas can cause social embarrassment, discomfort and pain. Although you can't stop gas from forming, you may be able to alleviate the symptoms through diet, lifestyle changes and medications. If you experience persistent gas pains, you should talk to your doctor.

Interesting Facts about Belching, Bloating, and Flatulence from the GI Health Experts at ACG

  • Passing gas (from above or below) 10 to 20 times a day is considered normal.
  • Flatulence is gas created through bacterial action in the bowel.
  • The unpleasant odor of gas is due to hydrogen sulfide, and other gases, which are produced by bacteria in the bowel.
  • Belching is primarily caused by swallowed air.
  • Excessive roughage or fiber may actually lead to bloating and increased flatulence.
  • Sometimes excess gas can signal a more serious condition such as irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal bacterial overgrowth or impaired intestinal motility.

Top 10 Tips from ACG Experts on Intestinal Gas

  1. Here are some tips to reduce gas symptoms:
    • Chew food thoroughly
    • Eat slowly
    • Avoid gulping and sipping liquids
    • Avoid carbonated beverages
    • Avoid chewing gum and sucking on hard candy
    • Check dentures for proper fit
    • Eliminate pipe, cigar, and cigarette smoking
    • Eliminate or minimize sugar and artificial sweetener consumption
  2. Cut back on vegetables that produce excess gas (navy beans, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, cucumbers, radishes, onions, melons, and excess raw fruit and vegetables)
  3. Avoid foods with air whipped into them—souffles, sponge cake, milk shakes
  4. Cut back on dairy products
  5. Do not overload the stomach at any one meal
  6. Avoid tight fitting garments, girdles, and belts
  7. Do not lie down or sit in a slumped position within 2-3 hours after eating
  8. Simethicone and activated charcoal may provide some benefit
  9. Take a leisurely stroll after meals
  10. Talk to your doctor if gas pains become severe and unbearable

For more information on intestinal gas, visit the ACG website at http://www.acg.gi.org

Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership of more than 10,000 individuals from 80 countries. The College is committed to serving the clinically oriented digestive disease specialist through its emphasis on scholarly practice, teaching and research. The mission of the College is to serve the evolving needs of physicians in the delivery of high quality, scientifically sound, humanistic, ethical, and cost-effective health care to gastroenterology patients.

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