Normally, gas is nothing but a minor embarrassment. But if you have irritable bowel syndrome, any little pocket of gas can cause severe pain in your colon. You do not have to put up with the discomfort, though. You can help control your gas by making these simple diet and lifestyle changes:


Mine a different calcium. Calcium carbonate tablets, like carbonated beverages, can release carbon dioxide in your stomach. Switch to calcium citrate for a gentler – and quieter – way to get vital calcium.


Choose solid over airy. You may think beans are your worst enemy when it comes to gas. But here’s another culinary downfall – whipped foods. Stay away from foods with air whipped into them such as souffles, milkshakes, whipped cream, carbonated drinks, and whipped butter and yogurt. That extra air can cause big problems if you suffer from IBS.


Throw out the clock. Do not rush through your meal – eat slowly and chew carefully. Not only will you swallow less air, you will also curb stress, an underlying cause of IBS.


Add fiber slowly. Do not forget that adding too much fiber, too fast, can produce excessive gas. If you are beefing up on fiber, make sure you do it gradually, over the space of a few weeks. And to help fiber do its job, make sure you drink enough water – at least six glasses a day.


Pass on the meat. If you eat a diet rich in fat, you may want to cut back. Fat triggers contractions in your colon while it is being digested. You also digest it slowly, which can make you feel painfully bloated. Eat less meat and other high-fat foods and more fruits and vegetables to keep your digestive system running smoothly.


Downplay dairy. If you notice milk products bring on gas, you may be lactose intolerant. This means you do not have enough lactase, an enzyme normally found in the small intestine. It’s needed to digest lactose, the sugar in milk and other dairy products. Many health professionals suggest eating yogurt with live cultures to help you digest lactose.


Exercise, exercise, exercise. Moving your body speeds up digestion and helps gas pass quickly through your digestive system. It can also strengthen your abdominal muscles to ease bloating.