Best Supplements for Relieving Gas, Says Dietitian
Gas pains are truly underrated—gas can cause bloating, pressure, and sharp pains in the abdomen. Did you know about 5% of emergency room visits are due to abdominal pain? Sometimes, people are sent home with the diagnosis of trapped gas.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, most people produce about 1 to 4 pints of gas a day and pass gas about 14 times a day. Some people may even pass gas up to 21 times a day. However, if you find that you're constantly relieving gas or not passing enough gas, there could be a few other factors at play.
What causes gas?
Gas can be caused by swallowing too much air, which is called aerophagia. This can occur if you're eating or drinking too fast, drinking carbonated beverages, chewing gum, smoking, or wearing loose dentures.
Another cause for gas is the breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria that are present in the large intestine. For context, some carbohydrates, such as sugars, fibers, and starches, don't fully digest in the stomach or small intestine. As a result, they enter the large intestine undigested where bacteria break the carbs down and create gas.
As Chelsea McCallum, RD, and IBS nutritionist explained in a previous article, "some high-fiber foods can produce large amounts of gas in the stomach which will also cause bloating." Of course, if you have IBS there are certain foods (particularly ones that are considered high in FODMAPs) such as onions, cow's milk, and mango that may cause you to have gas buildup and uncomfortable bloating.
Are there any supplements that can help alleviate gas?
Gas-X and Beano may help reduce gas pains immediately for some people, however, these types of "fast-acting" supplements aren't an effective remedy for all. Sydney Greene, RD, MS, and member of our medical review board, says that digestive enzymes and IBgard might be your two best options for alleviating gas symptoms.
There are three main types of digestive enzymes, proteases, lipases, and amylases, that either break down protein, fats, and carbs (respectively). Some supplements that help alleviate bloating such as HUM Flatter Me contain protease, lipase, and amylase, which can help facilitate digestion and reduce bloating.
IBgard helps manage symptoms of IBS as it contains 180 milligrams of ultra-purified peppermint oil. When taken 30 to 90 minutes before meals on a daily basis or as needed, it can help relieve symptoms of gas, bloating, abdominal cramping, and other symptoms that accompany IBS.
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