Treatments for Gas


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Treatment list for Gas: The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Gas includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

  • Low-raffinose diet
  • Low-lactose diet
  • Low-fructose diet
  • Low-sorbitol diet
  • Diet changes
  • Medications
  • Antacids with simethicone
    • Mylanta II
    • Maalox II
    • Di-Gel
  • Lactase supplements
    • Lactaid
    • Lactrase
    • Dairy Ease
  • Charcoal tablets (Charcocaps)
  • Beano - aids digestion of the sugar from beans and other vegetables.
  • Avoid swallowing air
    • Eat slowly
    • Avoid chewing gum
    • Avoid hard candy
    • Fit dentures properly

Treatment of Gas: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Gas:

Treatments of Gas discussion: Changing what you eat and drink can help prevent or relieve gas. If you feel like you have too much gas, you might want to try these things before going to the doctor.

  1. Cut down on foods that cause gas.

    The amount of gas caused by certain foods varies from person to person. The only way to know your own limits is through trial and error. These are some foods that cause gas:

    • Beans.
    • Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions, artichokes, and asparagus.
    • Fruits such as pears, apples, and peaches.
    • Whole grains such as whole wheat and bran.
    • Soft drinks and fruit drinks.
    • Milk and milk products, such as cheese and ice cream.
    • Packaged foods that have lactose in them, such as bread, cereal, and salad dressing.
    • Dietetic foods and sugarfree candies and gums.

  2. Drink plenty of water, non-"fizzy" liquids, and clear soup.

    • Try not to drink liquids that cause gas, like soda and beer. If you do drink these liquids, pour them into a glass first to let some of the "fizz" out.

  3. Reduce the amount of air you swallow. Here are some ways to avoid swallowing air:

    • Eat slower and chew more. This will cut down on the amount of air you swallow when you eat.
    • Avoid chewing gum and eating hard candy.
    • If you smoke, try to cut down or quit.
    • If you have false teeth, see your dentist to make sure they fit right.

  4. Keep a diary.

    Write down the foods (and the amounts) that seem to cause you the most problems. Also keep track of the number of times you pass gas. You may be surprised to find that it is within the 14 to 23 times a day that is considered normal.

    If you are troubled by gas, you may want to see your doctor. Take your diary with you to help you answer the doctor's questions about eating habits and symptoms.

1

Experience has shown that the most common ways to reduce the discomfort of gas are changing diet, taking medicines, and reducing the amount of air swallowed.

Diet

Doctors may tell people to eat fewer foods that cause gas. However, for some people this may mean cutting out healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and milk products.

Doctors may also suggest limiting high-fat foods to reduce bloating and discomfort. This helps the stomach empty faster, allowing gases to move into the small intestine.

Unfortunately, the amount of gas caused by certain foods varies from person to person. Effective dietary changes depend on learning through trial and error how much of the offending foods one can handle.

Nonprescription medicines

Many nonprescription, over-the-counter medicines are available to help reduce symptoms, including antacids with simethicone. Digestive enzymes, such as lactase supplements, actually help digest carbohydrates and may allow people to eat foods that normally cause gas.

Antacids, such as Mylanta II, Maalox II, and Di-Gel, contain simethicone, a foaming agent that joins gas bubbles in the stomach so that gas is more easily belched away. However, these medicines have no effect on intestinal gas. Dosage varies depending on the form of medication and the patient's age.

Activated charcoal tablets (Charcocaps) may provide relief from gas in the colon. Studies have shown that when these tablets are taken before and after a meal, intestinal gas is greatly reduced. The usual dose is 2 to 4 tablets taken just before eating and 1 hour after meals.

The enzyme lactase, which aids with lactose digestion, is available in liquid and tablet form without a prescription (Lactaid, Lactrase, and Dairy Ease). Adding a few drops of liquid lactase to milk before drinking it or chewing lactase tablets just before eating helps digest foods that contain lactose. Also, lactose-reduced milk and other products are available at many grocery stores (Lactaid and Dairy Ease).

Beano, a newer over-the-counter digestive aid, contains the sugar-digesting enzyme that the body lacks to digest the sugar in beans and many vegetables. The enzyme comes in liquid form. Three to 10 drops are added per serving just before eating to break down the gas-producing sugars. Beano has no effect on gas caused by lactose or fiber.

Prescription medicines

Doctors may prescribe medicines to help reduce symptoms, especially for people with a disorder such as IBS.

Reducing swallowed air

For those who have chronic belching, doctors may suggest ways to reduce the amount of air swallowed. Recommendations are to avoid chewing gum and to avoid eating hard candy. Eating at a slow pace and checking with a dentist to make sure dentures fit properly should also help.2

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Why Do I Have Gas: NIDDK
2. excerpt from Gas in the Digestive Tract: NIDDK

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