Excessive gas can result in mild to painful discomfort, flatulence, and bloating. Swallowing too much air when eating or drinking are some of the most common causes of excessive gas, but it could also be a sign of an underlying medical issues.
For many people, changing their habits can help to reduce the amount of excessive gas they experience. For others, adding digestive enzymes, probiotics, or consulting with a doctor may be required to address individual problems.
What Causes Excessive Gas?
Excessive gas from sugars in fruit, lactose, difficult to digest vegetables, carbonated beverages, overeating, and swallowing air when eating or drinking are common sources of excessive gas. There are potential causes of excessive gas that may be less obvious, such as the body producing too much gas, gas not moving through the GI tract, a mild allergy to food (such as wheat or diary), medication, resting or sleeping position, muscle tension, stress, and irritable bowel syndrome, or menstruation.
Potentially Serious Medical Condition
When people experience pain or high levels of discomfort with excessive gas, it could be a temporary side-effect or a sign of something more serious. The Mayo Clinic states that gas is sometimes mistaken for heart disease, gallstones, and appendicitis.
Gas accompanied by prolonged abdominal pain, bloody stools, a change in stool color or frequency, weight loss, chest pain, or persistent or recurrent nausea or vomiting, you should consult with a primary care physician as these could be signs of a serious digestive condition.
A doctor may recommend further examination, including an abdominal X-ray, a colonoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy, a barium swallow, or a food diary to evaluate eating habits. These diagnoses can be invasive but will give insight into the cause of the symptoms and treatment options.
Foods to Avoid
If you eat any of these foods, consider reducing how much you eat, or avoid them and see if that helps to reduce excessive gas in your gut.
- Beans (navy, pinto, black)
- Brussels sprouts
- Kidney beans
- Whole wheat
- High fiber cereal
- Cured meats
- Cream sauces
- Carbonated beverages
- Beer or wine
- Fruit drinks (apples and pears)
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Dairy milk
- Soy sauce
Many of the listed foods are a good source of nutrition or you may not want to cut them from your diet. If you want to continue eating the foods you enjoy and not feel embarrassed by excess gas, you can look to supplements to help provide abdominal comfort.
Supplements for a Healthy Gut
Digestive aids and supplements that support the body’s natural ability to absorb gas may be an option for you. After consulting with a doctor, if your excessive gas is determined not to be related to a more serious underlying medical condition, consider one of the following supplements and see if it is right for you.
Gas & Bloating Rapid Relief from Gaia Herbs is unique thanks to its vegetable charcoal formula. You may have heard about using activated charcoal for detoxification, and vegetable charcoal is similar. But instead of burning wood or bark, Gaia uses vegetables because they work naturally with the human gut. This formula may help to promote abdominal comfort, support digestive system function, and help to absorb and detoxify toxins in the gut.
NHC’s Other Choices
Digestive Stimulator from Blessed Herbs helps to stimulate a healthy digestive system, works to maintain regularity, detoxify the lining of the GI tract, and provide temporary relief from occasional gas and bloating. It’s our runner-up pick because of the proprietary blend of ancient and modern herbs that may provide feelings of comfort when you want it the most.
Bean Assist from Enzymedica is great for anyone that refuses to give up beans, cabbage, broccoli, and other foods that are difficult to digest or ferment and produce gas while moving through the GI tract. This targeted formula provides the enzyme alpha-galactosidase that helps to break down the carbohydrates in some of your favorite foods.
Super Enzymes from NOW Foods comes with 180 capsules so it’ll last for a long time and is easy to take when you eat. The digestive enzyme blend helps to break down fats, carbohydrates, and protein in the stomach to help provide temporary relief from occasional gas, indigestion, heartburn, bloating, and the non-absorption of vital nutrients.