Flatulence, caused by a buildup of gas, can cause anxiety, especially when it occurs in a public setting. If you are out with friends or at work, you likely want to make flatulence go away as soon as possible. You can often prevent or stop flatulence by taking remedies and changing your habits.
Watching the amount of and foods you eat can help you to prevent the problem of gas buildup. When you are eating our or at home, don’t stuff yourself with foods and beverages that cause excess flatulence, especially sugary beverages, meat, fish, poultry, apricots, prunes, beans, cauliflower, whole grains, cabbage, red wine and broccoli. You don’t have to avoid healthy foods, but maintaining a balanced diet can give you a better chance of avoiding or reducing flatulence. If you are lactose intolerant, try to find a substitute, such as soy milk. When you drink beverages, avoid drinking them through a straw because this often causes excess gas. When you eat or drink, also try to avoid swallowing air, which can also lead to gas and bloating.
If you are having a problem with flatulence, take something to try to reduce gas and bloating. Certain over-the-counter remedies with simethicone or activated charcoal have been shown to help. Enzyme supplements with alpha-galactosidase can sometimes help to break down certain enzymes found in foods such as broccoli, beans and cabbage. If you are eating spicy foods, eat fennel seeds, which are often used in Eastern medicine to prevent flatulence.
After you eat, walk around or do exercise, after a certain period of time has passed. Moving around may help to ease gas and bloating you experience after eating a bigger meal. If you are dealing with excess pressure in your abdomen, switch to more comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
If you continue to have problems with gas and bloating over time, seek medical help. When accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, flatulence can be a sign of a more serious condition. A physician may be able to prescribe you medications or give you advice for reducing flatulence. You may have a problem such as irritable bowel syndrome, a paralysis of the stomach called gastroparesis, Hirschsprung’s disease, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or gastroenteritis. Getting a diagnosis, x-ray, biopsy or CT scan at a doctor’s office can help you to better know if you have a serious health problem.