Treatment for Gas in the Digestive Tract
How can I reduce or prevent excess gas or gas symptoms?
To reduce or prevent excess gas or gas symptoms, your doctor may recommend swallowing less air, changing your eating and drinking habits or diet, or taking medicines or supplements.
Swallowing less air
Swallowing less air may help ease gas symptoms, especially if you belch a lot. Your doctor may recommend you
- avoid chewing gum and sucking on hard candy
- avoid drinking fizzy drinks and drinking with a straw
- avoid talking while eating or drinking
- eat more slowly and, when you can, sit down to eat instead of eating on the run
- if you smoke, talk with your doctor about strategies that can help you quit smoking
- if you wear dentures, check with your dentist to make sure they fit correctly
Changing your diet
To reduce gas, your doctor may suggest changes to your eating and drinking habits or diet. For example, your doctor may recommend eating smaller, more frequent meals or consuming less of the foods and drinks that increase your gas symptoms. For example, some people have more gas symptoms after they consume
- cruciferous vegetables—a group that includes broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and others—and legumes—a group that includes beans, peas, and lentils
- foods or drinks that contain a lot of fiber, fructose, or lactose
- sugar-free candies, gums, or other products that contain sweeteners with names that end in “-ol”
Your doctor may also recommend changing what you eat and drink to treat certain health conditions that may cause gas symptoms—such as celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or lactose intolerance.
Taking medicines or supplements
In some cases, doctors may recommend medicines or supplements to help reduce gas or gas symptoms. The medicines or supplements your doctor recommends will depend on which gas symptoms you have and whether a health condition is causing your gas symptoms.
Doctors may recommend
- over-the-counter medicines
- prescription medicines to treat certain health conditions you may have that cause gas symptoms, such as IBS or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
- supplements or other products to reduce gas symptoms, such as lactase products for lactose intolerance
For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using supplements, probiotics, or any complementary or alternative medicines or medical practices.
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.