Foods that are known to cause gas include broccoli, beans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and onions. Other foods that can lead to gastrointestinal distress are milk and other dairy products, whole grains, carbonated drinks and certain fruits.
Eating food too quickly, sucking on candy, chewing gum and drinking through a straw can also cause gas, because these activities cause a person to swallow air. Some over-the-counter medications that may help relieve gas and abdominal discomfort include Mylanta and Gas-X. Products such as Beano claim to help prevent gas when consumed before eating potentially gas-inducing foods. Medicines such as Dairy Ease and Lactaid can help prevent gas caused by dairy foods. Avoiding cigarettes and staying away from fatty foods may also help in avoiding gas.
Gas usually clears up on its own, but is occasionally serious. People who experience intense abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, chest pains or blood in the stool should contact a doctor right away, since these symptoms could be indicative of a serious condition. Extreme or prolonged bloating can also be dangerous. Bloating occurs when gas is not released in the form of flatulence or belching. The gas builds up in the intestine, causing a bloated appearance and feeling.