Belching, passing gas, or bloating is not just uncomfortable, it’s embarrassing. However, these common experiences can be easily avoided by simply adjusting your diet. Many of the foods you consume on a daily basis cause you to burp at inappropriate times, pass gas in an unfortunate place, or feel bloated way too often. Discover which stomach-irritating culprits are hiding in your diet, expose them, and trade embarrassment for confidence.

What Is Belching?

Belching is your body’s response to excess air in the upper digestive tract. When you belch or burp, you release excess air that has built up in the esophagus. When you eat or drink too fast, you swallow more air than you need and your body needs to get rid of it somehow. When you eat, be sure to take your time, chew your food thoroughly, and swallow completely before taking another bite. Eating while you’re stressed or “on the run” may cause you eat too quickly.

If you experience chronic belching, there may be something more serious going on such as gastritis which is an inflammation of the stomach lining. If you are are diagnosed with acid reflux or GERD, you may belch often due to excessive swallowing. However, heartburn or abdominal pain will accompany extreme belching if you are susceptible to any of these more serious cases.

The Culprits of Belching

The following list indicates reasons you may belch, and if eliminated or monitored, your desire to belch should diminish.

  • Carbonated drinks 
  • Beer
  • Chewing gum
  • Sucking on hard candies
  • Smoking

What is Flatulence?

A buildup of gas in the lower intestine and colon is known as flatulence. This is typically caused when your digestive system does not break down foods properly. Undigested foods such as gluten, carbohydrates, and sugars ferment in the intestine. Constipation also plays a key role in gas that distinctly smells like sulfur. The longer the stool sits in the colon, the more time it has to ferment. Bacteria in the colon begins breaking down the intestinal content and releasing it as a fume. In order to regulate bowel movements, drink plenty of water and consume non-gaseous, yet fibrous, fruits and vegetables.

The Culprits of Flatulence 

Minimize your intake of these seemingly harmless foods and you will not only minimize the number of times you pass gas, but perhaps more importantly, the foul odor.

  • Beans and lentils
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Onions and cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts and mushrooms
  • Greasy and fatty foods
  • Foods high in fiber

Try eating smaller servings of some these items, rather than cutting them out of your diet completely. Many of these vegetables have high nutritional value, but your intake may need to be adjusted.

What is Bloating?

Having a sensation of abdominal fullness is considered bloating. You may even see a visible change of your abdomen expanding through distention. Many of the same foods that cause gas are also the culprits of bloating, but bloating and gas don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. The link is inconclusive, but usually gas and belching are necessary agents to eliminate bloating. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory that may help reduce bloating. Adding ginger to tea or water can help bring relief. Even though exercise may be last on your list if you are bloated, it is known to help the muscles contract, sending contents through the digestive tract, and ridding you of that uncomfortable bloated feeling.

When Should I See My Doctor?

If you continue to experience gas, constipation, and bloating even after adjusting your diet, it’s time to make an appointment. At Carolina Digestive Health Associates, we are committed to solving your GI mysteries and helping you live a healthier and happier life.