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How Much Gas Is Too Much?

  • 4 min read

What is normal when it comes to passing gas? Yes, that question you google the answer to because you may not be comfortable asking your doctor. Well, read on fiber friends as we break down what's normal and what's not.

First, What Causes Gas?

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Formed in the digestive system, intestinal gas is a mixture of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, methane, and other odorless vapors. (What a mix going on inside of us!) All of these gasses are odorless. So when do things get stinky? It’s when these various gases mix with the bacteria in our intestines, then you get that really unpleasant sulfur odor gas. 

Okay, where do these gases come from? A few places actually.

One way gas gets into our bellies is when we swallow air when we eat or drink. You probably never think about it but we are taking in extra air when we enjoy our lunch or have a drink. 

Gas can also occur when certain foods are not fully broken down in the gut like gluten and sugar in dairy products, fruits, and beverages. Another interesting fact is that foods that cause gas in one person may not cause gas in another. 

There are other factors that may cause intestinal gas: if there is bacterial changes in the small intestine, if you have poor absorption of carbs, if there is food residue in the colon, and/or if you experience digestive system issues like constipation, lactose/fructose intolerance, or celiac disease.

So Where Does All This Internal Gas Go?

There are two main ways in which the body releases gas: through the mouth, called belching (burp!), and through our rectum, called flatulence (fart!). When gas gets trapped in the stomach, that’s bloating. 

How Common Is It to Pass Gas?

Woman saying he farts a lot

Mean Girls /Via

Turns out you may be tooting a lot more than you think. It is common, normal, and part of life to pass gas. On average a person passes gas 5 to 15 times a day. Whoa! You may be thinking, ok are you sure because I didn’t smell anything? Well, it turns out that 99% of our gas is odorless

Intestinal gas is a natural result of food digestion so everyone experiences that gassy feeling from time to time. However, sensitivity to being gassy varies from person to person, and for some, even a small amount of gas may feel very uncomfortable.

There is such a thing as excessive gas, which is where you pass gas more than 20 times a day. Oftentimes, excessive gas is a symptom of chronic intestinal conditions, like ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or Crohn's disease which is why you should consider speaking with your doctor.

How to Reduce Gas?

There are several ways to reduce gas naturally:

Adjust Your Diet  

You may want to adjust what's in your pantry to see what food you have that causes gas. Watch out for culprits like beans, carbonated drinks, dairy products, garlic, beer, and sugar alcohols like xylitol, lactitol, mannitol, sorbitol, maltitol, and isomalt. Again, beans may be fine for some and not fine for others. Pay attention to how your body is reacting to certain foods.

Up Your Fiber Intake

Fiber is essential to our dietary health and the USDA recommends that women have at least 25 grams a day and men 38 grams. If new to fiber, start off slowly as your body needs time to learn how to process the increase in fiber. Fiber is great for boosting your digestive health, it improves regularity, helps you feel fuller longer, regulates blood sugar, and boosts immunity (70% of our immune system is located in our gut). 

Getting Moving

Home on treadmill going very slowly

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Even though the last thing you may want to do is move after a big meal, moving helps. The goal is to get the stomach to empty faster so that gas can move readily into your small intestine and cause fewer issues. Even walking can help with the passage of gas through our body’s digestive tract and even relaxation exercises such as meditation and yoga. 

Reduce Stress

Yes, if only it were that easy to reduce stress. Binge-watching reality TV shows, putting on your fav Spotify playlist, taking a bubble bath, or doing some yoga, whatever helps you relax we support. Some people are more sensitive to the intestinal stretching that comes with gas relatives to others, and stress can increase this sensitivity and stimulate colon spasms. This is especially true for those dealing with a chronic condition such as irritable bowel syndrome that causes abdominal fullness, gas, and bloating. 

Can I Eliminate Gas Entirely?

If your issues with gas are not related to a medical condition, you can take these steps to be less gassy: 

Eat small meals throughout the day. Small meal consumption reduces the amount of stress on our digestive system, which reduces the amount of gas you may experience.

Consume foods that typically cause the least amount of gas. These are plain animal proteins like beef, chicken, fish, and turkey; vegetables like bell peppers, cucumber, green beans, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini; fruits like blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries; fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha, and grains like oats, rice, and quinoa. 

We know you're hungry (maybe even a little hangry) but try to slow down when eating and drinking. When we eat and drink too fast, it increases the amount of air we swallow. Slowing down can reduce air and possibly how much we fart.

Avoid fizzy drinks like soda and beer as this can cause gas bubbles to build up in your digestive tract. 

Reduce smoking and chewing gum. This behavior makes us swallow excess air that leads to digestive tract buildup. 

Bonny Fiber is Here to Help

Increasing fiber consumption is a great way to get healthier today and helps in addressing gas. We also know that it is hard to hit the daily recommended fiber goals, 95% of Americans do not. Bonny supplements can help. 

Bonny powder is a custom blend of psyllium husk powder and inulin that is good for the gut and can help naturally alleviate gas and bloating. Our supplements are all-natural, plant-based, and taste AMAZING.

Bonny is available in delicious flavors like Super Strawberry and Apple Pie. If you are new to the fiber supplements game, it is best to start slowly to allow your body time to adjust. Take Bonny with a large glass of cool water to help the fiber do its job. 

As always, we wish you pleasant poops!

Additional Source: Cleveland Clinic