Whether you'd like to admit or not, everyone has gas. It's what happens when your food breaks down in your colon—and most people experience it an average of 14 times a day! But when that bubbling rumble gets to be too much, it could be a sign your body is trying to tell you something. And you may want to listen.
1. You're eating too much fiber. Even though your digestive system needs healthy, high-fiber foods to work properly, eating more than usual can cause bloating. Instead, "add fiber slowly," when you're switching to a new diet recommends Kimberly Gomer, RD. Another fix: Try taking a short walk to get your bowels moving
2. You're allergic to milk. Gas is one way your body can signal a dairy (or gluten) intolerance. "Milk is the first thing that I go to," says Gomer, the Nutrition Director at Pritikin Longevity Center. She says 40 million Americans don't have the necessary enzyme to digest milk products and 90 percent of Asian-Americans have a dairy allergy. And even if it's not a problem now, that doesn't mean it won't crop up later: 75 percent of people have a decreased ability to process lactose as they age.
3. You're choosing the wrong foods. Beans are notorious for their gassy effects, but cruciferous vegetables—broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts—can also cause gas and bloating. Another prime suspect? Artificial sweeteners, specifically alcohol sugars like maltitol. At the end of the day, though, people are sensitive to different foods. "Keeping a log of what's happening and finding a pattern is really the thing to do," Gomer says. Pinpointing your body's specific triggers can help you determine what you may need to cut out
4. You could use more "good" bacteria. "Eat foods that are healthy for the microbiome," suggests gut expert Dr. Raphael Kellman. Both prebiotics (like jicama, radishes, and leeks) and probiotics (such as kefir, kimchi, or sauerkraut) keep your body's bacteria happy and healthy.
5. You're eating way too fast. It's not just certain foods that introduce air to the digestive tract. Eating quickly, chewing gum, drinking through straws, and smoking can also cause problems. Taking your time and chewing your food well can cut down on gas.
6. You may have a GI problem. Tummy troubles can also point to more severe conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease. Pay a visit to your gastroenterologist if you have other symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, differences in your stool, or unintended weight loss. "It's always a good idea to check it out with the doctor," says Dr. Kellman, author of The Microbiome Diet. "If you're having excessive bloating or gas, that's a definite sign to see a specialist."
From: Good Housekeeping
This article originally appeared on GoodHousekeeping.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.