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What the Yuck: I get gassy on planes
November 25th, 2011
08:44 AM ET

What the Yuck: I get gassy on planes

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: Why do I get so gassy on plane rides?

For starters, as the plane ascends, air pressure decreases (that’s what can cause your ears to pop), so the gas in your intestines expands.

Adding to the problem, many of us avoid using the plane’s tiny (germy!) bathroom, but holding in a bowel movement can cause flatulence, as well as discomfort and pain.

To avoid this problem, use the facilities when nature calls and steer clear of carbonated drinks. It also helps to get up and walk around during your flight - which you should do anyway to prevent blood clots - to prevent your crunched abdomen from putting additional pressure on your intestines.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.