Harvard Health Letter

How you can limit your gas production

12 tips for dealing with flatulence.

Chaucer, Mel Brooks (of course!), even Ingmar Bergman (in the opening scene of Fanny and Alexander) have all used flatulence to get some laughs. But in excess, which often involves a painful bloated feeling, flatulence isn't much fun for the person having it — or those nearby.

In 2007, the American College of Gastroenterology put out a helpful list of 10 tips for dealing with intestinal gas. We did some of our own research, made some additions, and ended up with an even dozen.

1. It's normal — and maybe a good sign. Most adults release intestinal gas 10 to 20 times a day. Some of the most healthful foods — beans, broccoli, some whole grains — tend to cause gas. A little bit of extra flatulence could be an indication that you're eating the way you should!

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »