Occasional gas is normal. It’s your body’s way of removing trapped air. But, if you experience chronic belching, bloating, and flatulence, it may be from a health condition.
Whether you have a medical condition that causes excess gas, or you just want to avoid embarrassing moments during the holidays, Hardeep M. Singh, MD, can help you get things under control. Find out how with these eight useful tips.
1. Skip the eggnog
Eggnog ― a long-time holiday favorite ― may not be the best thing for you if you’re trying to avoid gas. It can contain two things that may make you gassy: milk and alcohol.
Milk is a direct source of sulfate. When you eat or drink high amounts of sulfate, the bacteria in your colon produce more gas, and it’s not odorless.
Alcohol can irritate your stomach, make you feel bloated, and cause discomfort. Adding it to eggnog can make these symptoms much worse, especially if you already have a gastrointestinal disorder.
So when you attend holiday parties, skip the eggnog, even if it’s nonalcoholic.
2. Try not to overeat
It can be tough trying not to overeat during the holidays. There’s always so much delicious food in front of you. But if you overeat, there’s a good chance you’ll get bloated and gassy.
Your body has to work harder to break down and digest more food. In order to do this, the acid levels in your stomach have to rise, which can also increase your chances of getting heartburn. If heartburn is a problem for you, set up an appointment with Dr. Singh, and he can help you find relief during the holidays.
3. Eat slowly
Eating your food slowly will help prevent you from overeating and will also help you not swallow too much air. Swallowing air can lead to flatulence and belching.
Remember: It takes your brain 20 minutes to recognize that you’re full. So make sure you take your time during holiday meals.
4. Limit foods that cause gas
Foods high in soluble fiber and sulfide create colon gas. So, controlling your intake of these foods can help prevent flatulence. Here are some foods you should eat in moderation:
- Animal proteins (meat, fish, and poultry)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts)
- Almonds and peanuts
- Fruits that produce gas (apples, prunes, and bananas)
- Fatty foods
While it’s important to eat a variety of foods for their nutritional value, the key is eating them in moderation. Another key is in how they’re prepared. For example, eating raw vegetables can cause gas, while eating cooked vegetables will lessen the problem.
Dr. Singh can provide you with a detailed list of foods that can help you control gas buildup.
5. Keep straws out of your holiday drinks
Straws make it easier to swallow excess air, and, as mentioned, more swallowed air can lead to bloating and belching.
6. Avoid carbonated beverages
Carbonated drinks have gasses in them, so they can increase pressure in your stomach. This added pressure can make you feel bloated, and your body will have to release the extra gas. That’s why beer and soda usually cause burping.
Patients with celiac sprue, a disease that causes digestive issues from gluten, should also avoid beer due to its contents.
7. Do not chew gum
You may love chewing gum, but it can actually give you gas, because you swallow a lot of air. If you plan on attending your office’s Christmas party this year, don’t chew any gum beforehand.
8. Track your diet
Your diet is the biggest factor when trying to control gas and bloating. While a banana may not give you any problems, it could trigger excessive flatulence in other people.
That’s why Dr. Singh recommends keeping track of what you eat with a food journal. It can help pinpoint problem foods, so you can avoid them before going to holiday events.
Knowing what’s causing your gas is the key to controlling it. To rule out serious medical conditions, book an appointment online or over the phone with Hardeep M. Singh, MD today.