TUMS is a popular over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn medication used to treat acid reflux.
But if you’re wondering about how effective TUMS might be against gas, the answer is: only if you’re using the right kind.
There are eight TUMS varieties. Of these eight, only TUMS Chewy Bites with Gas Relief is effective for relieving flatulence. None of the others work against gas and bloating. For that reason, TUMS aren’t typically recommended for gas relief.
If you have excessive gas, bloating, or gas pain, there are OTC products, home remedies, and lifestyle changes that can provide relief. In this article, we’ll outline effective strategies for handling this common problem.
The active ingredient in TUMS is calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is a natural substance that neutralizes acid upon contact. It is not effective at reducing gas.
The active ingredients in TUMS Chewy Bites with Gas Relief are calcium carbonate and simethicone.
Simethicone alleviates gas by reducing the surface tension of gas bubbles, breaking them apart. This makes gas easier to pass, via belching or flatulence. Simethicone also has antibloating properties.
Since gas and heartburn can occur together and may have some of the same causes, TUMS Chewy Bites with Gas Relief also contains calcium carbonate.
Gas has multiple causes, including the foods and beverages you eat and drink. In some instances, the root cause of gas may determine the treatments that will be most beneficial.
For example, if you are lactose intolerant, treating the underlying cause with lactose restrictions and taking an OTC medication that contains lactase may help. Lactase is a natural enzyme that reduces gas and bloating by making milk sugars easier to digest.
If you have trouble digesting complex carbohydrates such as grains, nuts, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables, alpha-galactosidase may help.
Alpha-galactosidase is a digestiveenzyme commonly sold under the brand name Beano. It works by breaking down hard-to-digest carbohydrates into simple sugars.
Other products that may help alleviate gas and bloating include OTC products containing simethicone. These include Mylanta Gas and Gas-X.
You can also try activated charcoal supplements. Activated charcoal is a porous substance that traps and absorbs gas, eliminating it. You can buy activated charcoal in powder form or as a supplement in capsule form.
If you have chronic gas problems and you only have TUMS at home, don’t worry. There are a number of at-home remedies that can help stop gas production or reduce trapped gas and bloating. These include:
- Probiotics. Taking daily probiotic supplements may help reduce gas by altering and improving the bacterial environment of the digestive tract. It’s worth noting that there are many different
types of probiotics, and they can be found in fermented foods and yogurt, as well as dietary supplements.
- Exercise. If you have trapped gas and gas pain, physical movement can help move gas bubbles through your digestive system. Running, brisk walking, yoga, and jumping rope are all beneficial.
- Ginger. Drinking ginger tea, eating ginger root, or sucking on ginger candy can help alleviate multiple gastric symptoms, including flatulence.
- Acupressure. There are several acupressure points for gas and bloating relief that you can self-massage. These are located on the abdomen and near the ankles.
Gas can be uncomfortable, painful, and embarrassing. Lifestyle changes can help stop gas from getting trapped in your intestines in the first place. Things to try include:
- Eating slowly. Eating quickly while you eat and drink can result in swallowing air, causing gas and gas pain.
- Choosing foods wisely. Eliminate foods and drinks that can cause gas. These include carbonated beverages, spicy foods, and fried food. Keep a food diary so you can determine which foods upset your system, and which are easy for you to digest.
- Eating less. Overeating can cause bloating and gas, especially if you’re eating hard-to-digest foods. Reducing portion size may help.
- Reducing air intake. Increased air intake can also be caused by chewing gum, and drinking through straws.
- Not smoking. In addition to the many health hazards of smoking and vaping, these habits can cause air to enter the digestive tract, causing gas.
There are several TUMS varieties. Standard TUMS do not help with gas. TUMS Chewy Bites with Gas Relief is the only version that alleviates gas pain and bloating.
Calcium carbonate, one of the active ingredients in TUMS, may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor if you take TUMS regularly.
Many OTC medications can help relieve gas caused by certain foods. At-home treatments like probiotics, as well as lifestyle changes like eating smaller meals, can also help.