According to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), up to 11 percent of Americans say they frequently feel bloated. Another 7 percent of Americans complain of excessive belching, and others feel gassy and pass gas more than 20 time times a day.
Excessive gas is not only uncomfortable — it’s also embarrassing. If bloating, belching or excess gas is affecting your life, find out these common causes and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Swallowing Too Much Air
When too much air is swallowed, it will be passed as a belch or gas, or return to the stomach, where it can cause bloating. Normally, about half of passed gas comes from swallowed air, but when too much air is swallowed this amount increases.
The following habits can affect the amount of air you take in:
- Eating too fast
- Gulping beverages
- Using a straw to drink
- Chewing gum or sucking on candy
- Wearing loose-fitting dentures
- Feeling nervous
2. You’re Stressed
Stress hormones increase during times of stress which can cause your stomach and colon to go into spasms and create gas. Also during times of stress we tend eat for comfort and choose “junk foods” which usually include fatty, salty snacks and sweets and can lead to even more bloating.
3. You’re Eating Too Much Fruit
Some people are fructose-intolerant and their bodies cannot digest the sugar properly. If you find you have excess gas and bloating after eating fruit, this may apply to you.
People who are fructose-intolerant do not have to cut out fruit entirely, but rather can eat it in small servings, or choose lower-fructose fruits, like cantaloupe and apricots, instead of high-fructose fruits like apples and bananas.
4. You’re Not Exercising Enough
Exercising helps the body absorb gases in the colon. And aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes will help to prevent constipation by helping food to move through the digestive tract more quickly.
5. You’re Eating “Gassy” Foods
Certain foods do produce more gas than others, and everyone varies in their ability to absorb and tolerate the gas that’s produced. If you’re sensitive, you may want to reduce your intake of these foods:
- Lima beans, baked beans and lentils
- Broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts
- Grains and high fiber foods
- Fatty foods
6. You’re Lactose-Intolerant
Some people have trouble digesting the milk sugar lactose because they do not make enough of an enzyme (lactase) that’s needed to breakdown lactose. Lactose that is not completely digested will pass to the colon where it will be broken down and turned into gas.
How to Avoid or Reduce Gas and Bloating
- Exercise Daily
- Manage your stress
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly
- Don’t drink through a straw, and sip, rather than gulp, your beverages
- Quit smoking
- Pay attention to foods and drinks that cause you discomfort, then avoid or limit them
If you suffer from gas or bloating, there are also natural digestive aids that can provide relief. Healthy Choice Naturals Utra-Zymes is one of the most comprehensive natural digestive aids available on the market. It contains 18 enzymes that go to work fast to help you digest foods easily, and get relief from burning, bloating, gas and heartburn.