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As vacation season gets underway and you explore not only new sights but new foods as well, it’s important to face the facts: burping, bloating and passing gas are gonna happen.
The American College of Gastroenterology feels your pain (or your embarrassment) and pointed to the causes in an article on its website called “10 Tips on Belching, Bloating, and Flatulence.”
The article tackled burping first and reminded readers to slow down when eating and drinking, to chew food properly and to cut down on carbonated beverages. Also, be aware that the act of chewing gum or sucking hard candies includes swallowing air, which leads to belching. And when you are nervous or have postnasal drip, you can also swallow too much, leading to burping.
Second in the article comes abdominal bloating or that balloon-like feeling in the tummy. The ACG suggested avoiding broccoli, baked beans, cabbage, cauliflower and -- again -- soda pop, gum and hard candies. Sometimes abdominal distention may really come from having weak abdominal muscles. That’s when it seems like your tummy is sticking out more than usual. The ACG suggested lying down may relieve abdominal distention if this is the cause. Recommended stomach exercises include sit-ups and consciously pulling in your abdominal muscles several times a day to tighten them. If exercise is difficult, try wearing an abdominal support garment, the ACG said.
Third, flatulence came up for analysis, and the ACG reminded folks that 10 to 18 passages per day are normal. Some releases of gas are odorless and some are related to what you ate. Dairy products and medications that contain lactose are likely to cause gas “if your body doesn’t produce the enzyme (lactase) to break it down,” the ACG emphasized. A doctor can determine if you are lactose intolerant.
It could be that the offenders are actually vegetables like baked beans, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower or starches like wheat, oats, corn and potatoes. It may take some trial and error to figure out which foods make you pass gas, but perhaps vacation time isn’t the best time to worry about it.