The gurgle of your stomach, an uneasy feeling, and then an embarrassing release is the unfortunate events associated with intestinal gas. While it is impossible to stop the gas that forms in your intestine, following a few home remedies are known to ease symptoms and lessen the chances of shame when the occurrence takes place without warning. “Passing gas” is common and everyone experiences it – and for some – at least 12 times or more on a daily basis. A select few out of every 100 people will also face excessive gas that becomes a frequent problem.
Unfortunately, in the worst cases, gas can cause powerful, irregular pains in the abdomen. It is suggested to become familiar with the assortment of helpful remedies on the homefront that can reduce the amount of gas formation, which will hopefully relieve discomfort and avoid humiliation.
Table of Contents
- What is Gas?
- Symptoms & Diagnosis
- Causes of Gas
- Home Remedies for Gas
What is Gas?
The mixture of gases that develops in the digestive tract is often referred to as flatulence, which is removed from the body by belching or passing through the rectum (“farting”). In popular culture, many different nicknames or funny phrases are given to the act, but it is no laughing matter when the occurrence creates humiliation in awkward situations, such as a crowded elevator. Every 24 hours, about 1 to 3 pints of intestinal gas is produced in the large intestine (colon), causing a person to eliminate excess gas .
The gas in the intestine is made up of hydrogen and carbon dioxide that has mixed with nitrogen and oxygen in the air. When the gases are inhaled or swallowed, they travel to the large intestine, where the components create bacteria. At first, this accumulation is odorless, but as the bacteria lingers – sulfur-containing gases are expelled – responsible for the foul smell associated with most cases of flatulence.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
When excess gas and intestinal pain strikes, common signs and symptoms are known to occur. It is quite hard to ignore the following symptoms of gas:
a) Belching or Flatus:
The passing of gas may voluntarily or involuntarily occur in the form of a “burp” or a “fart.”
b) Pains or Cramps:
The abdomen may undergo a series of sharp pains and/or cramps that have a habit of changing locations at a rapid pace. Some people complain of a “knotted” sensation in their stomach. Sometimes, the pain becomes so intense that individuals have feared the worse, mistaking the pain for other conditions, such as heart disease, appendicitis, and gallstones .
The abdomen may become bloated, which is called distension.
A visit to the doctor will help diagnose an issue with excess gas. After relaying your medical history, a physical exam is given. At this time, the abdomen is checked for distension and when the stomach is tapped, he or she will listen for a hollow sound. It is this sound that alerts a physician to the presence of excess gas. If other symptoms are present, the doctor may conduct additional tests, which are then used to dismiss the possibility of a more serious condition, such as the partial obstruction of the bowl.
Causes of Gas
The air that contributes to excess gas in the body is known to enter through both a deliberate and unknowing swallowing of air. People swallow air when they eat too fast, chew bubble gum, become nervous, or slurp through a straw. Some of this air reaches the lower digestive tract, causing intestinal gas to accumulate with bacteria that mixes with carbohydrates in the small intestine. The process of fermentation often takes place. In order to monitor the common causes of gas, consider the following possibilities:
a) Food Intolerance:
Gas and bloating may take place when a person experiences an intolerance to some of the foods they eat. This is commonly seen in people who are lactose intolerant (unable to break down the sugar in dairy foods).
b) Artificial Additives:
Sugar-free foods, candies, and gums are known for artificial additives that when consumed in excess can cause diarrhea and gas.
c) Cauliflower, Cabbage, and Broccoli:
Vegetables that belong to the Brassica family are associated with the increase in flatulence, as well as more offensive-smelling odors when released.
d) Soda and Beer:
The carbonation contained in a can of soda or beer is known to add to the formation of gas.
e) Fiber-Rich Foods:
Gas is known to develop in the intestine when an individual eats a diet rich in fibrous foods, which is common in people trying to regulate their blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
f) Fiber Supplements:
Using fiber supplements, such as Metamucil, increases the chances of suffering the formation of gas, which heightens when added to a diet too quickly.
g) Healthy Food Items:
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (such as beans and peas) are known to cause the accumulation of excess gas.
h) Medical Conditions:
Excess gas may occur when a more serious health concern is present. This may include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis.
When antibiotics interrupt the normal presence of bacteria in the bowel, some patients experience excess gas.
j) Use of Laxatives:
A person who uses too many laxatives or drugs to treat constipation will experience more issues with excess gas.
Home Remedies for Gas
While many products are found at the grocery store or local pharmacy for treating gas, more and more people are turning to home remedies to solve their issues with excess gas and flatulence. While it may take a bit of time to pinpoint the best household relief, plenty of suggestions are listed below:
a) Dietary Changes:
When making changes to your diet, you are able to reduce the amount of gas in the body or aid gas in traveling quicker throughout your system. Try cutting back on the amount of fried and fatty foods you consume (which causes bloating); cut back on high-fiber foods at a gradual pace over a couple of weeks; and reduce your use of dairy products. Also, eating more yogurt helps to create the “good” bacteria that encourages proper digestion.
b) Peppermint Tea:
Sipping a warm cup of peppermint tea provides gas and gas pain relief. It is the peppermint oil that contains the menthol that offers antispasmodic results on some of the muscles located in the digestive tract.
c) Identify Irritating Foods:
For each person, there are certain foods that affect the system and cause excess gas to develop. When pinpointing the foods that most influence your body, you can limit consumption. This may include artichokes, prunes, peaches, pears, whole-wheat bread, bran muffins, ice cream, and Brussels sprouts. Additionally, try starting a diary of the foods and beverages that cause you the most trouble, which is a good way to keep track of the foods to avoid when trying to combat excess gas, bloating, and flatulence.
Some individuals have decreased the production of intestinal gas by adding various spices to their diet, including cumin, coriander, and caraway.
e) Smaller Meals:
Throughout the day, try eating several smaller dishes instead of two or three larger meals. Additionally – chew food slowly and don’t gulp down your drinks. A good way to slow down eating is to place your utensils on your plate between each bite.
f) Relaxed Meals:
When eating, relaxed meals encourage desirable digestion, as stress and tension increases problems in the stomach.
g) Denture Check:
Dentures that are poorly fitted causes some people to swallow extra air when eating and drinking.
h) Quit Smoking:
An increase in the amount of air swallowed takes place when one smokes cigarettes and uses other tobacco products.
i) Chest-to-Knee Stretches:
While lying on your back, bring your right knee to your chest – holding for 10 seconds – and then repeat with the other knee.
j) Peppermint Candy or Breath Mints :
If you happen to have a box of Altoids Peppermints handy, they may relieve flatulence. It is the active ingredient in the mints (peppermint) that is known as one of the oldest remedies for gas. A York Peppermint Pattie is also known to relieve flatulence. Spearmint gum is also helpful. After eating a meal, pop a stick of spearmint gum into your mouth, which aims to settle the gases in your stomach that react to the oils in the spearmint.
k) Baking Soda:
When cooking beans, it is suggested to add one teaspoon of baking soda as a way to neutralize the gas.
Drinking ginger ale assists the body in releasing pockets of gas in the stomach, which takes place through burping and not flatulence. You may also add a can of cola to a pot of pinto beans to prevent flatulence and neutralize the gas in the food.
 Joey Green’s Amazing Kitchen Cures by Joey Green (pg. 146)