Gas-X Versus Beano: Which Is Best For You?

Gas in the digestive tract is a normal occurrence that is not life-threatening, usually caused by swallowing air or the breaking down of food by intestinal bacteria. When there is too much gas in the digestive tract, it can lead to a number of issues, including chronic belching, cramping, bloating, and excessive flatulence. It can also be an indicator of a more serious condition, such as Meganblase syndrome or Crohn's disease. For this reason, it's important to talk to your doctor if your gas has been causing ongoing symptoms.

However, excessive gas is usually just a byproduct of your diet. It can be triggered by a number of different foods, including beans, cruciferous vegetables, and carbonated beverages. You can remedy the situation by changing your diet, or by trying an over-the-counter medication. That being said, there are a few different medications to choose from, and the differences are worth considering when trying to determine what is best for your condition.

Medications target gas differently

Simethicone, the active ingredient in Gas-X (also present in other gas-relieving medications, such as Alka-Seltzer and Mylanta) is a common over-the-counter treatment for gas pain. According to a 2011 report in Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, simethicone can break up mucus and foam in the intestinal tract, thereby allowing the gas bubbles to disperse and be expelled from the body. Breaking up this foam and allowing the gas to pass through the system can naturally help reduce abdominal pain and bloating.

Another treatment for gas is the enzyme alpha-galactosidase, which is sold over the counter under the brand name, Beano. It's commonly advised to be taken before a meal to help the body break down food, such as beans, and cruciferous vegetables like lettuce and broccoli. A 2007 study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences suggested that alpha-galactosidase was effective in reducing gas in adults who consumed carbohydrate-rich meals.

How you eat can keep gas at bay

There is no correct treatment for gas pain, as people often respond differently to certain treatments. As such, you may want to try some trial and error when it comes to treating your gas symptoms — just talk to your doctor before you begin the process. Since Beano and Gas-X attack gas in different ways, you may be advised to give both a try to see which one works best.

In addition to medication, you can also try and manage gas pain by making a few changes to your lifestyle. These include eating smaller portions, exercising more regularly, and avoiding gulping or swallowing too much air when you eat. You can also keep a food diary, tracking the times that you have excessive gas. This may allow you to trace it back to the foods that may be giving you the most trouble (via the Government of Alberta). Taking care of gas before it starts to build up in your body can save you time when you begin to weigh your treatment options.