Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bubbling Up? What are your own gas triggers?

Everyone has gases in their digestive tract – yes, it’s a fact. However, it might surprise you to learn that the average person produces ½ to 2 liters of gases each day just to pass them out 12-25 times/ day. These gases come 90% of swallowed air and the remaining 10% are produced from bacteria in your intestines fermenting the foods you have already eaten. Many factors influence gas passage and these include the amount of swallowed air, the nature and frequency of meals, and the motility of the bowel, which can be affected by food, drugs and stress.

Now since most gases are caused by swallowed air, these following tips may help you cut down on the amount of air you swallow and therefore ease out any discomfort you have from belching or painfully bloating up that even your clothes become too tight to fit!
  • Eat your meals slowly and try to relax while you eat
  • Participate in mealtime conversations, but don’t talk a lot while eating
  • Drink fluids lukewarm, instead of hot. You can actually notice that when you sip hot drinks, you tend to gulp the whole sip not to burn your palate
  • Don’t use a straw or drink directly from a bottle or cup
  • Avoid chewing gum or eating hard candies
  • Avoid ‘fizzy’ drinks like soft drinks or beer
  • If you smoke or love your arguile, it’s about time to quit, no?
  • If you wear dentures, make sure they fit very well in place
In addition to these habits that would help you gulp less air while eating, you could identify specific foods in your diet that may be causing you these problems with gases. These foods can include:
  • Milk and dairy products IF you are lactose intolerant. Lactose is a sugar found naturally in milk, yogurt, labne and cheeses. Usually people have different degrees of lactose intolerance and this can not digest it well; therefore experimenting is best. Because some yogurt and some cheeses are fermented, they tend to be more agreeable to your body than milk itself. You can also try lactose-reduced milks and enzyme tablets that you take just before eating foods that contain lactose.
  • High fiber foods, especially if you’ve added large amounts of these foods to your diet suddenly. Fiber is healthy, Amen! However, be sure to add high fiber foods like bran, vegetables and fruits a little at a time. Just add them gradually into your diet and make sure to drink extra fluids such as water along with them.
  • Beans, peas and lentils. These foods are also very nutritious but contain carbohydrates that are hard to digest. You’ve probably heard many people complain after eating “fassolia & rice” and they try to avoid it as much as possible. Well it’s true. However, if you presoak the beans at least 4 hours in water, drain, and rinse them before cooking them in fresh water, this would definitely help. In some cases, you might also find that taking an over the counter enzyme such as Beano® helpful to digest the carbohydrates.
  • Foods sweetened with sorbitol, like sugar-free gum and candy. It’s easy just read the food label and try not to increase your intake of sorbitol contained foods.
  • Foods that contain high amounts of fructose. Fructose is used to sweeten many soft drinks and fruit drinks; it could be under the name of HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Fruit juice can also have high amounts of fructose, so limit the amount of juice you drink and eat 2-3 servings of fresh fruit instead.
  • Besides beans and lactose, several other vegetables and fruits are gas producers but not everyone reacts in the same manner to these foods. Some of those are: bell pepper, cabbage, broccoli, onions, garlic, asparagus, corn, potatoes, prune, peach, apple, pear and radish.
You can learn which foods affect you most by keeping a food diary of what and how much you eat for a few days and the number of times you pass gas. If you identify foods that are “your own gas triggers”, try eating less of those foods rather than not eating them at all, but now you know that it all depends on your tolerance. Nevertheless, if you try your best to fix your diet, decrease your gas trigger foods and stress less, and still you can’t get rid of your bubbles that are accompanied with discomfort and pain, it may be necessary to consult your doctor for you might need antispasmodics and motility regulators.


  1. yeS!!:( i always have this problem!

  2. I'm pretty much done with the whole gas thing ever since I went vegan (and mostly raw). I'd suggest to just cut out entire food groups for a week or so to see whats your trigger.

    Everyone should at least try to give up dairy for a couple of weeks or so and see what it does to you - your weight, your bloat, your skin etc. and NOT just if you are lactose intolerant. Everyone's just livin in this state of 'I'm not sick. so I am healthy'...not realizing that it could be so much better...

  3. yes it's true, it could be done through an elimination diet depending on how severe bloating is, you just have to know which food is triggering your body to generate more gases!