To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Fast for Health,” by Erin Zimniewicz Williams, in the July 2013 issue. Article summary: Fasting can be a good way to kick-start a healthy eating habit, or it can serve as an occasional tool for someone who eats nutritiously and wants to improve her health.

Got Gas? Get Informed to Avoid a Stinky Situation, MASSAGE MagazineWe’ve all been there—gassy situations, I mean. Excessive gas and bloating are linked to digestive issues, which nearly half of Americans suffer from, according to the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA).

The AGA reports these digestive issues impact sleep patterns, exercise and participation in recreational and social activities. Affecting more than 90 million Americans to some degree and accounting for more than 37 million physician office visits per year, digestive problems—ranging from gas to acid reflux—can be embarrassing and uncomfortable.

While the causes for a personal gas crisis are difficult to identify, safe and effective remedies are available for those who experience gas symptoms.

It is important to remember it is normal for a healthy individual to pass gas from six to 20 times a day. Gas is produced in the stomach and intestines as the body breaks down food into energy. The causes of gas can also be linked to swallowed air that passes through the digestive tract, gas in food and beverages, changes in hormone levels, medical conditions, among other causes. Gas may also be a sign of more serious conditions such as gluten intolerance, malabsorption, menopause or bowel obstruction.

While bloating, burping and flatulence are normal bodily functions, if they become embarrassing or interfere with peace of mind or daily activities, it is time to explore a remedy. Each person’s body and digestive system is unique, so finding a solution to alleviate gas can be very challenging.

Diet modification and changes in eating habits may ease stomach gas discomfort for some. Gas-producing foods to potentially avoid include fatty foods, cabbage, carbonated drinks, broccoli, baked beans and certain fruits. Eating and drinking slowly may also help you swallow less air. For those who have persistent gas problems, taking supplements that help promote healthy and regular digestion is an alternative solution—but don’t take just any type of supplements. Make sure the supplement is formulated with natural ingredients and have been shown to support gastrointestinal health.

While life can be tough, it is best to know the facts and understand how the body functions to be able to address health issues such as gas and indigestion. Clear the air today and talk with a health practitioner about gas and the ways to live with greater relief and ease.

Co-Founder and CEO of NaturaNectar,™ Jose Luiz “J.L.” Paes-Leme is a Brazilian-American with 22 years of senior executive experience in large multinational corporations. A Harvard alumnus, Paes-Leme has executed the strategy to make NaturaNectar ( the first and leading developer of all-natural, specialty supplements based in premium Brazilian bee propolis.