There isn’t much selection when choosing antiflatulent products, since most gas remedies contain simethicone. Others may also have charcoal. Whether or not they are effective will depend on where in the digestive tract the gas is, and how easily it can be expelled. Once gas has made it far enough through the digestive tract, the only way to get rid of it is to release it. Flatulence can be prevented, however, through making dietary changes, exercising, and sometimes by taking probiotics.
Intestinal gas can be caused by various issues related to digestion. Swallowing too much air or drinking carbonated beverages are common causes. Bacteria also release gases during the digestive process as they work to break down food matter. This is a natural process, but some foods are harder to digest than others. Substances that take longer to break down, such as beans, will often result in more intestinal gas being released.
When gas is located in the stomach or upper small intestines, an antiflatulent product may help, although this has not been definitively proven. These medicines usually work by making gas bubbles smaller so they are more easily passed. Contrary to what many believe, many products do not actually prevent flatulence from occurring if gas is already present. They simply allow the gas to be expelled more quickly and efficiently in order to relieve pressure and discomfort.
Simenthicone is one common anti-gas remedy that is sold under various brand names. It is also the main ingredient in infants' gas relief drops. Since it is only effective for gas located in the upper portions of the digestive tract, other products are often needed for gas in the lower portions. Charcoal is one potential option, although hit is not as widely available. It can help to absorb the gas, but its effectiveness is not entirely known.
The best antiflatulent strategy is to avoid getting gas in the first place. Taking digestive enzymes before eating hard to digest foods, avoiding carbonated beverages, and chewing more slowly can all help. It’s also a good idea to pay close attention to the food being eaten, as some are greater gas triggers than others. Beans, broccoli, cabbage, and other high sulfur vegetables are the biggest culprits for many people. Taking a digestive probiotic may also work as an antiflatulent by helping the body digest foods more easily.