When my kids were little, they thought passing gas was hilarious.
As adults, if we’re lucky, gas just embarrasses us. If we’re unlucky, it can leave us doubled over in pain.
If you live with painful gas, you understand just how much it can disrupt your life. You have to change your plans, skip out on family time or even call in sick to work because your digestive processes have gone haywire again.
Luckily, there is an answer…
When you use these five simple tips, it’s much easier to “take a pass” on painful gas.
#1 — Hydrate
One factor that can lead to painful gas or make it worse is when your intestines cramp either too long, too hard or both.
You see, the job of your intestines is to move food along, absorbing all of the nutrients you need as it goes.
Unfortunately, for some of us, this process can be more intense than for others. And the pain can become just as intense.
But there is a simple solution.
Simply sipping water slowly throughout the day — and especially after eating foods that you know make you gassy — can help lessen or prevent that intense contraction and keep you from feeling the pain.
#2 — Learn to recognize your “gassy” triggers
Avoiding the foods that make your gas worse is another good move.
For many people, cutting out dairy makes a big difference. For others, it’s avoiding fake sweeteners, like the popularly used xylitol. And for some, like me, gluten is the culprit, leaving them bloated, hurting and miserable.
Cutting dairy out of your life is a lot easier than saying goodbye to gluten. Not because you’d miss it — but because it hides… everywhere.
But taking digestive enzymes before meals to help break down those gas-causing proteins whether they’re in plain site (a dinner roll) or stealthily hiding (in my salad dressing) is a sure and easy fix.
#3 — Watch out for air in your stomach
Swallowing too much air can also worsen your problems with painful gas. This can happen when you drink carbonated beverages, use a straw, chew gum or even talk when you’re eating.
#4 — When you move, your gut moves
Exercise is important for keeping your intestines moving, which in turn helps relieve the gas and bloating that can make your life miserable.
And it doesn’t take much.
Take a short walk, stand up and stretch while you would normally sit and watch TV or head out to work in your garden. Running a marathon isn’t necessary to help you feel better, but some movement is. I’ve heard great things about yoga in this respect.
#5 — Have a cup of tea
Peppermint calms the intestinal cramping that goes with painful gas. If you start to feel the pain, sitting down with a warm mug of peppermint tea could help you find relief.
No matter how funny it was when we were in elementary school, painful gas is no laughing matter. Embarrassing is more like it… and there aren’t many things that hurt worse. But with the tips above, you cannot only stop the pain once it starts, but also prevent the gas and bloating that’s ruining your day and be back to laughing in no time.