How to Prevent Gas and What Happens When You Retain It

Retaining gas in your body can negatively affect your health. Find out what can happen if you don't expel it as normal.
How to Prevent Gas and What Happens When You Retain It

Last update: 04 January, 2019

Most of the time, expelling gases is quite embarrassing, especially when you are around other people. In such moments, you’ll usually try to hold it in, instead of having to go through potential embarrassment. In this article we’ll be looking at how to prevent gas, and also what happens when you retain it.

Urinating, defecating, vomiting, and pretty much everything related to the expulsion of waste is unpleasant to us, and does nothing to improve our image. However, it’s something completely natural.

Few people truly know how damaging it is for your body to retain gas. By doing this, the consequences for your health vary depending on how often you hold in the gas. The more you do it, the more damaging it becomes. 

Why is it bad to retain gas?

A woman with abdominal pain.

Flatulence can be caused by the food you eat, the air you inhale, or even by the bacteria produced during digestion. It’s necessary to expel gas in order to prevent health issues. Below you can find the consequences of struggling with gas:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Stomach pain
  • Peritonitis (in serious cases)
  • Abdominal inflammation

Passing gas is natural, and everybody should do it around 14 to 18 times per day. Most likely you are going to be more gassy if you’ve eaten something high in fiber or gas, like soft drinks.

Health problems

Doctors say we can tell the state of someone’s body through their flatulence. They call tell the state of your digestive system just by the stench, the components that cause it, and the amount expelled each day.

If you already are having issues, holding it in can make it even worse.

Retaining gas could prevent you from recognizing symptoms correctly. For example, colic or abdominal swelling could be caused by thousands of illnesses. However, if you have the bad habit of holding in your gas, you won’t be able to figure out what the cause really is. You may also have other gas related symptoms such as:

  • Temperature changes
  • Skin rashes
  • Blood in your feces
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

It’s important to go immediately to the doctor in order to evaluate the symptoms and run necessary assessments to pinpoint any illness. Otherwise the most recommended thing to do, instead of holding it in, is to stop it from happening by following a few rules.

How to prevent gas

1. Pay attention to your diet

A cutting board and salad items.

All food produces gas when digested in the body. However, some foods increase gas and makes the large intestines work even harder.

Rather than removing them from your diet, it’s better to consume them in small quantities if you suffer from constant flatulence.

First of all, you should reduce your dairy consumption, such as milk, cheese, butter, and ice cream, among others. You should also avoid certain vegetables, fruits, and legumes:

  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Onion
  • Radish
  • Cauliflower
  • Raisins
  • Prunes
  • Beans, peas, lentils

Aside from your diet, there are other ways to help your digestion and prevent excessive flatulence.

2. Don’t eat too much

Overeating increases the production of gas. Especially fatty foods, junk food, foods with high wheat content, milk, beans, or lentils.

3. Avoid soft drinks

A glass of coca cola.

Refreshments, soft drinks, and beers contain a lot of gas. This gas goes straight to your stomach and causes swelling, which then causes flatulence. Drink them moderately and don’t use a straw because you take in more gas that way.

4. Chew thoroughly

It’s best not to talk while eating. Talking a lot or drinking while eating causes you to gulp in more air. Make sure you chew your food thoroughly.

5. Don’t drink cold drinks at night

A glass of cold drink.

This will “cool” your stomach down. It’s better to spend the evening drinking warm or room temperature drinks.

It’s always important to listen to your body. We’re all humans and it’s natural to pass gas. Yes, it’s good to be decent and considerate, but, on the other hand, don’t allow it to interfere with your body’s natural processes.

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