Intestinal Gas

Excessive gastrointestinal gas is a common problem which may result in belching, bloating, abdominal discomfort and embarrassing symptoms can be prevented if you follow the regimen below:

  • Establish a daily routine of living with adequate exercise and rest.
  • Correct faulty habits such as:
    • Chew food thoroughly.
    • Eat slowly and leisurely in a quiet atmosphere.
  • Avoid washing solids down with a beverage.
  • Avoid gulping and sipping liquids.
  • Avoid drinking from small-mouthed bottles or through straws.
  • Avoid drinking from water fountains.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages—beer included.
  • Avoid excessively hot and cold beverages.
    • Eliminate pipe, cigar and cigarette smoking.
  • Avoid gum chewing and sucking on hard candy.
  • Attempt to be aware of and avoid deep sighing.
  • Do not induce belching.
  • Do not overload the stomach at any meal, divide daily food intake into equal amounts for each meal.
  • Avoid gaseous vegetables (navy beans, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, cucumbers, radishes, onions, melons and excesses of raw fruits and raw vegetables)
  • Avoid food with air whipped into them (souffles, sponge cakes, milk shakes)
  • Avoid long term or frequent intermittent use of medications intended for relief of cold symptoms—cough, nasal congestion and postnatal discharge.
  • Avoid tight fitting garments, girdles and belts.
  • Do not lie down or sit in a slumped position immediately after eating.
  • Take a leisurely stroll after meals.
  • Take only medication prescribed by your doctor.

The recommendations outlined above are intended to direct your attention to faulty eating and living habits, which contribute to excessive gas. You may find that you will be able to reduce your intestinal gas below the level, which is producing symptoms by following only a few of the above items. Persistent symptoms, however, will require more careful attention to the above suggestions and further adjustment of your daily habits.

Consider that some foods and drugs may make your diarrhea and/or gassiness (bloating or flatulence) worse. Their effect should stop when you stop taking the food or drug.

  • Lactose (milk sugar)
    • milk or whey containing liquid formulas (weight reduction or nutritional supplements)
    • ice cream, frozen yogurt, cottage cheese, soft cheeses
    • chocolate, cocoa, cordial liqueurs
  • Other “gassy” foods
    • cabbage, coleslaw, baked beans. It is important to keep track of the foods which irritate your system and avoid them when possible.
  • Fruit sugar (fructose)
    • fruit sugars in grapes, honey, dates, nuts, figs, raisins and fruity soft drinks, such as Fanta, may cause gas or loose stools in some patients.
  • Some sugar free gums
    • those which contain sorbital (Carefree, Extra or Velamints), may cause gassiness or diarrhea. Several patients on liquid weight reduction have begun to chew these gums and developed diarrhea.
  • Bean and wheat products
    • most high fiber breads (whole wheat breads) may temporarily increase gassiness in some patients.
  • Apple juice and pear juice
    • these juices contain fructose and sorbital and can cause gas.
  • Liquid diets
    • diets include Vivonex, Vital, Ensure, Susacal, Ultra Slim, etc. may cause diarrhea in some patients.

There are some medications which can cause your diarrhea to be watery. Their effects should stop when you stop taking the food or drug.

  • Caffeine
    • Caffeine can increase diarrhea in some patients. Common sources of caffeine include: coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, cocoa, and over the counter pills, such as Excedrin and Vanquish.
  • Fat
    • greasy or fried foods, in some patients with malabsorption or with irritable bowel syndrome, will increase diarrhea.
  • Iced beverages
    • iced beverages can worsen diarrhea in about 10% of patients.
  • Antacids
    • those antacids which contain milk of magnesia can act as a laxative. You should avoid those with milk of magnesia.
  • Other medications
    • some antibiotics
    • lactulose (in treatment of liver disease or as a laxative) and neomycin for liver disease.
    • any laxatives
    • some elixir medications
    • some heart (cardiac) pills
    • thyroid hormone
    • promotility drugs
    • gout medications

Low Gas Producing Foods

  • meat, fowl and fish
  • vegetables: lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, peppers, avocado, cauliflower, tomato, asparagus, zucchini, okra and olives
  • fruits: cantaloupe, grapes and berries
  • carbohydrates: rice, corn chips, popcorn, potato chips, graham crackers
  • all nuts
  • miscellaneous: eggs, non-milk chocolate, jello and fruit ice
  • water: probably the safest of all consumables

Moderate Gas Producing Foods

  • pastries and bread
  • potatoes and eggplant
  • citrus fruits and apples

Extreme Gas Producing Foods

  • milk and milk products
  • vegetables: onions, beans, celery, carrots and brussel sprouts
  • fruits: bananas, apricots, prunes and prune juice
  • breads: pretzels, bagels and wheat germ
Translate »