Gas pain is medically called dyspepsia.
If your gas pains are caused by another health problem, treating the underlying condition may offer relief. Otherwise, bothersome gas is generally treated with dietary measures, lifestyle modifications or over-the-counter medications. Although the solution isn't the same for everyone, with a little trial and error, most people are able to find some relief.
Dietary changes may help reduce the amount of gas your body produces or help gas move more quickly through your system. Keeping a diary of your diet and gas symptoms will help your doctor and you determine the best options for changes in your diet. You may need to eliminate some items or eat smaller portions of others.
Reducing or eliminating the following dietary factors may improve gas symptoms:
- High-fiber foods. High-fiber foods that can cause gas include beans, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, artichokes, asparagus, pears, apples, peaches, prunes, whole wheat and bran. You can experiment with which foods affect you most. You may avoid high-fiber foods for a couple of weeks and gradually add them back. Talk to your doctor to ensure you maintain a healthy intake of dietary fiber.
- Dairy. Reducing dairy products from your diet can lessen symptoms. You also may try dairy products that are lactose-free or take milk products supplemented with lactase to help with digestion.
- Sugar substitutes. Eliminate or reduce sugar substitutes, or try a different substitute.
- Fried or fatty foods. Dietary fat delays the clearance of gas from the intestines. Cutting back on fried or fatty foods may reduce symptoms.
- Carbonated beverages. Avoid or reduce your intake of carbonated beverages.
- Fiber supplements. If you use a fiber supplement, talk to your doctor about the amount and type of supplement that is best for you.
- Water. To help prevent constipation, drink water with your meals, throughout the day and with fiber supplements.
Making lifestyle changes may help reduce or relieve excess gas and gas pain.
- Try smaller portions. Many of the foods that can cause gas are part of a healthy diet. Try eating smaller portions of problem foods to see if your body can handle a smaller portion without creating excess gas.
- Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and don't gulp. If you have a hard time slowing down, put down your fork between each bite.
- Avoid chewing gum, sucking on hard candies and drinking through a straw. These activities can cause you to swallow more air.
- Check your dentures. Poorly fitting dentures can cause you to swallow excess air when you eat and drink. See your dentist if they aren't fitting correctly.
- Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking can increase the amount of air you swallow. Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting.
- Exercise. Regular exercise reduces the risk of constipation, which can prevent the release of gas from your colon.
If the odor from passing gas concerns you, limiting foods high in sulfur-containing compounds — such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, beer and foods high in protein — may reduce distinctive odors. Pads, underwear and cushions containing charcoal also may help absorb unpleasant odors from passing gas.