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Gas, Bloating, and Burping (cont.)

Prevention

You may be able to prevent gas, bloating, burping, and hiccups.

  • Avoid foods that cause gas, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, and bran. The amount of gas that different foods cause varies from person to person.
  • Take steps to avoid swallowing air:
    • Eat slowly. Avoid gulping food or beverages. When you rush through meals or eat on the run, you are more likely to swallow air.
    • Chew your food thoroughly before you swallow.
    • Avoid talking while you chew.
    • Avoid drinking through a straw.
    • Avoid chewing gum or eating hard candy.
    • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
    • Do not drink alcohol.
    • Avoid sudden changes in stomach temperature, such as drinking a hot beverage and then a cold beverage.
    • If you wear dentures, check with a dentist to make sure they fit properly.
    • Keep calm. Tension and anxiety can cause you to swallow air.
  • Keep a food diary if you suspect that gas is caused by certain foods. Write down what you eat or drink and when symptoms occur to help you identify foods or drinks that may cause gas. After these problem foods are identified, avoid or limit them to reduce or prevent symptoms.
    • Talk with your doctor or a dietitian about ways to maintain a balanced diet if you want to permanently eliminate certain foods or drinks. For more information, see the topic Healthy Eating.
    • If you suspect that milk or other dairy products are causing your symptoms, try limiting or eliminating these foods. For more information, see the topic Lactose Intolerance.
    • If you cook with dry beans, soak them in water overnight, then pour off the water and cook the soaked beans in fresh water. This may reduce the amount of natural sugars in the beans after the cooling process and help prevent gas and bloating.
  • Do not overeat. Large meals can make you feel bloated. Try eating 6 small meals a day rather than 3 large ones.
  • Avoid constipation, which is a common cause of bloating. For more information, see the topic Constipation, Age 12 and Older or Constipation, Age 11 and Younger.
  • Avoid laxatives.
  • Use an antigas product that you can buy without a prescription.
    • Food enzymes, such as Beano, which help break down the sugars found in vegetables and grains, can be added to foods that cause you to have gas.
    • If you have lactose intolerance, lactase enzyme supplements, such as Dairy Ease and LactAid, can be taken with dairy products to help break down lactose in food.
    • Peppermint and other herbs (carminatives) that soothe the digestive tract may permit belching and decrease bloating after large meals.
  • Exercise regularly.

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