- The Causes of Excessive Gas
- Causes of Excessive Gas: Swallowing Too Much Air
- Causes of Excessive Gas: Medications and Health Conditions
- Why Does Gas Happen To Me, And How To Minimize It
- The Common Causes Of Gas Are:
- Steps To Control Gastric Problem
- How to prevent bloating after a meal
- How do you stop smelly farts?
- Here’s Why You Have So Much Gas at Night
The Causes of Excessive Gas
- Milk and dairy products
- Apricots, raw apples, and bananas
- Prunes and prune juice
- Cabbage and sauerkraut
- Carrots, celery, corn, and peas
- Foods with artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol
- Oat bran
In general, foods with natural sugars, high-fiber foods, and starchy foods are all likely to cause gas because of the way the body breaks them down, or has difficulty breaking them down. Pay attention to the foods you eat and how your body reacts. If you notice that you seem to suffer from bad gas after eating the foods listed above or any others for that matter, cut back on them to prevent gas.
Causes of Excessive Gas: Swallowing Too Much Air
You probably don’t sit and gulp mouthfuls of air, but whether or not you realize it, you’re ingesting a lot of air when you eat and drink. Fifty percent of gas is caused by swallowing too much air.
Here are a few common activities that can cause you to swallow too much air and may lead to problems with gas:
- Chewing gum
- Sucking on candies or food
- Eating or drinking very quickly
- Wearing dentures that are too loose
- Drinking from a straw
- Drinking carbonated beverages
- Swallowing often, which may happen when you’re nervous
Causes of Excessive Gas: Medications and Health Conditions
Excessive gas may be a side effect of certain medications, such as acarbose (Precose), a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, or those that contain the sugars sorbitol or lactulose. Fiber supplements may also cause flatulence.
Excessive gas may also be a result of many health conditions. These include:
- Lactose intolerance
- Celiac disease (intolerance to gluten)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Crohn’s disease
There are many things that can cause excessive gas. See if you can connect it to a particular food, and reduce activities like chewing gum that promote air in your belly. If your excessive gas doesn’t improve with those changes, check with your doctor to rule out another cause.
Why Does Gas Happen To Me, And How To Minimize It
The sensation of having gas accumulated in in the digestive system is a very
common one for many people.
People may experience gas and gas pains occasionally or even frequently in a
Bloating is the sensation of excess stomach gas that has not yet been released
and is stuck, causing discomfort. The bloating, burping and passing of gas are
natural functions of the body and are usually caused by swallowed air or in the
process of breakdown of food through digestion.
If you suffer from painful gas, bloating and the embarrassment of persistent
and foul smelling flatulence then you need to find a solution to minimize the
gas and discomfort.
The Common Causes Of Gas Are:
1. Eating too fast and too much – gulping too much food or drink makes us take
in a lot of air along with the food which could lead to gas. 6
2. Gas is often created by certain types of foods and aerated drinks. Rich, fat laden,
greasy foods and sodas increase the chances of gas.1
3. Research shows that certain food components in the normal diet, such as resistant
starch, oligosaccharides and plant fibers, are incompletely absorbed are believed to
cause gas and other stomach discomforts.4
4. Poor digestion is a major cause for gas as it produces a more unstable microbial
community2 in the gut.
Steps To Control Gastric Problem
1. Avoid foods that trigger gas. It is seen that diet influences flatulence and avoiding
certain foods as well as maintaining a healthy gut by including probiotic foods in
order to maintain a healthy microbiota in the gut could be helpful.4
2. Keep a food journal/diary. If you record your food intake it will be easier for you
to check on the items that lead to gas and you can easily limit or control their intake.
Limit rich and calorie-laden food. The yummy delicacies that whet your taste buds and
make you crave for more are also the reason that makes you bloat up with gas.
High fat content in food is one of the triggers of gas. Eat small portions.3
3. Drink lots water could help balance your system.
4. Eat and drink slowly as there is a direct correlation between chewing food and
digestive health.5 Certain traditional herbs have been known to help release the
gas. Over the counter medicines could also provide intermediate relief.
5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and try to eat healthy as well. Smaller meals with
shorter intervals will ensure you do not have gas due to an empty stomach or too
much tea or coffee intake.
These simple changes done slowly over a period of time will help you cope with
the problem of gas and indigestion. One may not be able to eliminate gas completely
but controlling the triggers for gas will lead to less discomfort and inconvenience.
Gas can be easily minimized to ensure a happy eating experience!
1 Frequency and risk factors of functional gastro-intestinal disorders in a rural Indian population: Read More “
2 Anal gas evacuation and colonic microbiota in patients with flatulence: effect of diet
Read More “
3 The role of diet in the management of non-ulcer dyspepsia:
Read More “
4 Anal gas evacuation and colonic microbiota in patients with flatulence: effect of diet
Read More “
5 Influence of impaired mastication on nutrition.
Read More “
6 Bloating and intestinal gas.
Read More “
How to prevent bloating after a meal
The following tips can help reduce or prevent bloating after eating:
1. Do not eat too much fiber
Fiber is a carbohydrate found in plant-based foods that the body cannot digest. It has some important functions within the body, such as helping to regulate blood sugar levels and sugar consumption.
However, high-fiber foods can cause some people to produce excessive amounts of gas. One study found that a reduced-fiber diet helped relieve bloating in people with idiopathic constipation.
Examples of high-fiber foods include:
- fruits, such as apples and oranges
- whole grain oats
- split peas
- Brussels sprouts
2. Be aware of food intolerance and allergies
Bloating is a typical symptom of a food intolerance or allergy. Intolerances and allergies can cause excessive gas production or gas to become trapped in the gastrointestinal tract. The foods most likely to cause this are wheat or gluten.
No reliable tests exist to identify a specific food intolerance or allergy, so the best way to identify them is through trial and error. It can help to keep a food diary to track which foods are causing symptoms, such as bloating.
3. Avoid high-fat foods
Fat is an essential part of any healthful diet and is an important source of energy. The body digests fats slowly because they take longer than most other foods to pass through the digestive tract, and can delay emptying of the stomach. In some people, this can cause bloating to occur.
For people who experience this, avoiding foods that are high in fat might help to reduce bloating. For example, a study in people with stomach-emptying problems found that high-fat solid meals caused an increase in symptoms, including bloating.
4. Drinking and eating slowly
Share on PinterestThe carbon dioxide contained in carbonated drinks can cause bloating.
Drinking or eating too quickly increases the amount of air a person swallows, which can lead to more gas building up in the gastrointestinal tract.
For people who eat or drink quickly, this may be a cause of bloating; slowing down the rate at which they eat might help to reduce the problem.
5. Avoid carbonated drinks
Carbonated drinks contain carbon dioxide, a gas that can build up in the gastrointestinal tract and cause bloating. This can also occur with diet versions of fizzy drinks.
Still water is the best alternative to carbonated drinks for lowering the risk of bloating.
Ginger is a traditional remedy for digestive issues. It contains carminative, which is helpful for reducing excessive gas in the gastrointestinal tract.
A 2013 review suggested that ginger has some health benefits, including alleviating gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating.
7. Avoid chewing gum
Chewing gum causes a person to swallow more air. This air can build up in the gastrointestinal tract and cause bloating in some people.
8. Light exercise after eating
Light exercise after eating, such as going for a walk, may help reduce bloating for some people.
One study found that light physical exercise helps remove gas from the gastrointestinal tract and relieves bloating.
9. Avoid talking while eating
Talking while eating increases the opportunity of swallowing air. This can cause a build-up of air in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to bloating.
10. Treating heartburn
Heartburn occurs when acid from the stomach travels back up the throat, which can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation. It is also a common cause of bloating.
Treating heartburn can be an effective way of reducing bloating for some people. A person can treat heartburn using over-the-counter medications such as antacids.
How do you stop smelly farts?
Share on PinterestSmelly flatulence may be caused by high fiber in food, constipation, and bacteria.
Causes of smelly flatulence can range from harmless to potentially severe. It may not always be easy to identify what is behind smelly flatulence due to the number of potential causes.
Many reasons for smelly flatulence revolve around food or medication. However, some causes may indicate an underlying health condition.
The following are some of the more common causes of smelly flatulence:
- intolerance to food
- high fiber in food
- bacteria or infections
- colon cancer
Intolerance to food
Food intolerance is a very common cause of bad odor flatulence.
Typical conditions that can cause smelly flatulence include lactose and gluten intolerances. In both of these conditions, the body’s inability to break down lactose or gluten causes smelly gas to build up and eventually be released.
Other people may have food intolerance due to a disease such as celiac disease.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes injuries to the digestive tract. People with celiac disease have difficulty digesting gluten, which is found in wheat products.
A person with celiac disease may also experience:
- weight loss
If a person suspects food allergies or intolerances, they should see a doctor to test for these conditions. This will help find the exact cause and allow the person to avoid foods that contain the offending ingredient.
Food high in fiber
Share on PinterestFoods high in fiber, such as broccoli, may cause flatulence to be smelly.
High-fiber foods are difficult to digest. Although very good for people’s overall health and well-being, these slow-digesting foods break down or ferment in the digestive tract. The fermentation process produces odorous gas.
In some cases, foods higher in fiber have a distinctive odor. The natural odor from these foods can also cause flatulence to be smelly.
Some foods that may cause odors include:
High-fiber foods often also contain more sulfur than other types. This can cause the makeup of a person’s fart to change to include more sulfur, which has a distinct odor and will cause the person to produce smellier gas.
Certain medications can cause someone to produce smelly gas as they are digested.
One of the more common culprits is antibiotics. Antibiotics may kill off some of the healthful or “good” bacteria in the digestive tract while they work to destroy an infection.
The removal of the good bacteria causes an imbalance in the digestive tract. The imbalance can cause a person to produce bad smelling gas. This excess gas can also lead to uncomfortable bloating and constipation.
Constipation occurs when stool builds up in the colon or large intestine and cannot exit. This may be due to taking certain medications, poor diet, or other biological causes.
The buildup of stool in the colon often causes a buildup of smelly gases to occur alongside. This extra gas may cause bloating and discomfort. When finally released, the gas is often smelly.
Bacteria and infections
The digestive tract is responsible for breaking down foods into usable nutrients, which are absorbed into the blood. It also produces waste, which is passed through the colon.
The digestive tract relies on several different components to do this, including its resident good bacteria.
At times, the levels of bacteria in the digestive tract may become imbalanced, potentially leading to an infection. The infection will often cause:
- smelly, excessive gas
- pain in the abdomen
When a person experiences any of these symptoms, they should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Though not as common, a person may experience excessive smelly gas due to the presence of cancer of the colon. Cancerous polyps or tumors can form blockages that cause gas to build up in the intestine.
One early warning sign is when changes in diet or medication do not stop foul-smelling gas from occurring.
After 50 years of age, a person at average risk for colon cancer should be tested to check for colon cancer.
Here’s Why You Have So Much Gas at Night
Photo: Burak Karademir/Getty Images
Let’s be real: Gas is always super embarrassing-and uncomfortable. And maybe you’ve noticed that it gets really bad when you finally lie down for bed at night, which can keep you from falling asleep (or you know, engaging in other sexy pre-bed activities).
Rest assured: It’s totally normal and more common to happen at the end of your day, according to gastroenterologists and dietitians.
Keep reading to find out why-and what you can do to keep your nighttime gas under control.
Your body is actually built to be super gassy at night.
First, you should understand how your body’s digestive tract works to digest food. “The healthy bacteria that live along our intestinal tract (to help us digest food) create gas all day and throughout the night, even during our sleep,” says Christine Lee, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Unsurprisingly, the largest volumes of gas are produced after meals. So if dinner is your largest meal of your day, it could also be the reason your gas is worse.
But even if you eat a super-light dinner, there’s another reason your gas may be worse at night. “At night, the bacteria in the gut has had all day to ferment what you’ve eaten,” says Libby Mills, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. From ingestion to gas formation, the digestion process may take approximately six hours in a normal gut. Thus, you’re likely to experience more gas later in the day because your lunch (and anything else you’ve eaten in the last six hours) is finishing being digested.
In other words, “It has more to do with the accumulation of gas rather than the actual rate of gas production,” says Dr. Lee.
There’s yet another reason that your gas might seem out of control at night, that doesn’t have to do with what you’ve eaten. “Our autonomic nervous system maintains closure of the anal sphincter, especially during the daytime, when we are very active and engulfed in daily activities,” Dr. Lee explains. “This causes more gas to accumulate and become ready for release at night when our autonomic nervous system is less active and we (along with our anal sphincter) become more relaxed,” says Dr. Lee. Plus, after your responsibilities for the day have concluded, you’re also simply more aware of your body, she adds.
Your gassiness also depends on your diet.
Of course, the foods you’re putting into your body at night and throughout the day also play a major role. There are tons of foods that can make your gas worse, especially foods high in fiber. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. While the insoluble kind stays close to its original form throughout digestion, it’s the soluble kind that’s more fermentable, and thus more likely to cause gas.
“Sources of soluble fiber include beans, lentils, and legumes, as well as fruits especially apples and blueberries, and grains such as oats and barley,” says Mills. And sources of insoluble fiber include whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, and vegetables like cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.
“Since the human body does not break down fiber, we rely on the bacteria in our gut to do the job. The amount of gas produced from fermentation (of food in the gut) will depend on how developed a colony of bacteria is, based on how often we eat fibery foods to feed them,” says Mills. So the more often you’re eating those foods high in fiber, the healthier your gut microbiome is and the easier it will be able to digest.
But it may not just be the fiber itself that’s making you gassier. “Foods high in soluble fiber are also high in fructans and galactooligosaccharides, sugars that can’t be digested by our guts (but rather rely on gut bacteria to do the digesting, making you more gassy and bloated),” says Melissa Majumdar, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Foods high in fructans include artichokes, onion, garlic, leeks, peas, soybeans, kidney beans, ripe banana, currants, dates, dried figs, grapefruit, plums, prunes, persimmons, white peaches, watermelon, rye, wheat, barley, cashews, pistachios, black beans, and fava beans.
In recent years, the low-FODMAP diet has gained popularity as a remedy to fight GI discomfort (like gas and bloating) from a diet low in foods containing FODMAPs. FODMAP is an acronym that stand for the poorly digested and fermentable sugars: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. This also includes the added fiber inulin, a fiber from chicory root, that is often added to processed foods like granola, cereals or meal replacement bars to give them an extra fiber boost.
You can also improve the bacteria in your gut by eating more probiotics regularly. Probiotics promote regularity in the gut when it comes to digestion and should leave you feeling less gassy, says Dr. Lee.
The timing of your eating plays a role, too.
Besides food choice, how gassy you are may also be a result of how much you ate at different times.
“I see people have trouble with evening digestion if they go long periods of time without eating and/or backload (if someone skips breakfast, eats a light lunch, and doesn’t have any balanced snacks, dinner is going to be the majority of calories) and makes digestion more difficult,” says Majumdar.
“If you don’t eat or drink consistently throughout the day, the stomach can end up crampy and angry when a load of food hits it”-so finding a consistent eating and drinking schedule is key, she says.
Even if you tend to eat your meals later or earlier than average (Dr. Lee suggests breakfast around 7 or 8 a.m., lunch around noon to 1 p.m., and dinner at 6 or 7 p.m.), being consistent is the most important part. When you’re irregular and inconsistent with your eating schedule, the body can’t set a circadian rhythm, she adds.
And, unsurprisingly, your gut will really hate you if you cram in a ton of fiber-filled foods at dinner. “If the body is not used to large amounts of raw fruits and vegetables (and other food sources of fiber), it will have a hard time adapting,” says Majumdar.
While women need a lot of fiber (25 grams per day, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, if you suddenly increase the amount of fiber you’re getting every day too quickly, your gut will be sure to let you know. (Related: These Benefits of Fiber Make It the Most Important Nutrient In Your Diet)
Working out and hydrating can help.
“Exercise, exercise, exercise,” says Dr. Lee. “Being physically active and physically fit is single-handedly the most effective way to keep your GI motility moving, as people with slower GI motility tend to suffer from constipation and or inefficient/incomplete defecation, which produces methane gas, resulting in excessive flatulence.” (And FYI, whether you’re a fan of morning workouts or an evening sweat sesh probably doesn’t make a difference when it comes to nighttime gas, says Dr. Lee.)
Drinking lots of water also helps. Why? “Water is a magnet to fiber,” says Majumdar. As fiber is digested, it absorbs water, which helps it pass through your digestive tract more easily. This also helps prevent constipation. (Related: What Happened When I Drank Twice As Much Water As I Usually Do for a Week)
Bottom line: While gas is a totally normal part of being human, if you’re concerned about the amount of gas you have, consider talking to a pro. “No one knows your body better than yourself. If the amount of gas is concerning to you (i.e., new, more than your baseline, or escalating over time), then you should see a physician for evaluation,” says Dr. Lee. “Once cleared by a physician, then seeing a dietitian for healthy diet options and choices is always a great idea.”
- By By Emily Shiffer