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why does chewing gum give you gas

Question: I get a lot of gas and someone told me it would help if I stopped chewing gum all the time (ex-smoker). That sounds like bunk to me. What do you think? It s not bunk. When you, you swallow more often and some of what you re swallowing is air. In addition, artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol that is found in some gums, can give you gas. But, what exactly, is gas? Most people produce between a pint and a half-gallon of gas each day. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen from swallowed air make up a large part of gas or flatus. Fermenting foods in the colon produce hydrogen and methane as well as carbon dioxide and oxygen. The unpleasant odor of some flatus is the result of trace gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, indole, and skatole, which are produced when foods decompose in the colon. We release gas upwardly by belching and downwardly by flatulence. When we swallow air and don t release it by , the air will work its way down and out the rectum. About half the gas passed from the rectum comes from swallowed air. For the record, normal people pass gas about 10 times each day. Twenty times daily is still considered normal. Some people suffer from bloating caused by gas. Most who suffer from bloating do not generate excessive gas, but they don t move swallowed air fast enough. Sometimes, gas in these people moves in the wrong direction, returning to the stomach.

The gas accumulates and produces discomfort. Some feel more discomfort than others because they don t tolerate intestinal stretching well. Another major cause of gas is partially digested food passing from the small intestines to the colon, where bacteria process the food further and. Discomfort from gas is usually nothing to worry about. However, you should go to a doctor if you have other symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract and sometimes heartburn. * Eat multiple small meals during the day instead of two or three large ones. * Chew food thoroughly and don t gulp. Eat slowly. * Don t eat when you re nervous or hurried. * ; it makes you swallow more air. * Avoid gassy foods. Some of the usual suspects are beans, onions, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, artichokes, asparagus, pears, apples, peaches, prunes, whole-wheat bread, bran, beer, soda, ice cream. * Cut down on fatty foods. Fat slows digestion, giving food more time to ferment. * If you take a fiber supplement, try cutting back and then build up your intake gradually. * Reduce consumption of dairy products. Or try using products that help digest milk sugar (lactose). * Use over-the-counter aids. Add products such as Beano to high-fiber foods to help reduce the amount of gas they produce. Try using simethicone, which helps break up the bubbles in gas.

Charcoal tablets also may help. What Makes Us Fart? The Healthy Geezer column publishes each Monday on LiveScience. If you would like to ask a question, please write
fred@healthygeezer. com. 2010 by Fred Cicetti. It may surprise you, but chewing gum can cause intestinal bloating and gas. Bloating is the result of trapped gas in your digestive system that can cause your waist line to increase up to three inches, according to ABCвs Good Morning America. If you notice that youвre bloated after chewing gum, stop chewing gum for a few days to see if the bloating subsides. Continual bloating may be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohnвs disease or bowel obstruction. Bloating is a natural and common result of swallowing air or increased gas created during digestion. Bloating commonly develops while food is being digested, which releases harmless gases. Bloating that occurs when you chew gum is the result of increased swallowing of air, which becomes trapped in your stomach and small intestines. Most gas is expelled from the body through belching or flatulence, which should cause your bloating to improve, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Avoid chewing gum if you are prone to bloating. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse states that when you chew gum youвre increasing your risk of inhaling extra air into your digestive system.

When you swallow air, the nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide enter your small intestines, placing pressure on the abdomen and surrounding areas. Digestive gases mix with the swallowed air, causing increased pressure. MedlinePlus. com advises that you implement lifestyle and dietary changes to avoid bloating. Stop chewing gum, avoid carbonated beverages, do not eat too fast, stop smoking and avoid foods that are considered gas-forming, such as beans, lentils, broccoli, turnips and cabbage. If bloating is related to constipation, discuss the use of a fiber supplement to alleviate your symptoms. Simethicone is an over-the-counter medication that causes smaller gas bubbles to form into a larger gas bubble, making it easier to pass gas. If you stop chewing gum and you continue to experience bloating, you may have irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is a digestive disorder that mainly affects your colon, resulting in excessive bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. Crohnвs disease is a digestive condition that results in chronic inflammation in the lining of your intestines. Eating or drinking can trigger symptoms of Crohnвs disease, such as abdominal cramping, bloating and pain. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a clinical diagnosis.

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