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Home Remedies for Gas and Bloating
Everyone experiences gas, but some people may experience the discomfort of excessive gas quite often as compared to others. Producing and passing gas is a normal part of digestion, but if the gas gets stuck inside, you experience discomfort and want to relieve the pain as soon as possible. Gas trapped in your intestines can be incredibly uncomfortable and may cause pain, cramping, swelling, tightness or even bloating. The pain from the trapped gas can feel like a stabbing in the chest or abdomen and you may even think it's a heart attack or appendicitis.
Bloating is a sensation that can make your abdomen feel larger than normal. This is caused due to trapped intestinal gas. There are many factors that may lead to gas and bloating. This article highlights the causes of gas and bloating and offers some easy home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) remedies to relieve the uneasiness.
Causes of Gas and Bloating
Intestinal gas is made up of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane; however, the composition may vary depending on the type of intestinal gas. The most common causes of gas and bloating are eating behaviors, constipation and the bacterial fermentation of foods. Some eating habits can also contribute to producing gas.
Every person's sensitivity to gas production may vary, but avoid the following eating habits to prevent excessive trapped gas and bloating. You need to avoid −
Talking while eating food
Smoking and chewing tobacco frequently
Overloading your stomach even when you are not hungry
Drinking very hot or cold beverages and that too in large quantities
Drinking water from a water fountain
Wearing tight-fitting clothes
In addition to these habits, there are certain foods which may produce more gas in the body. These foods are −
Beans and lentils
Lactose (Generally, it is in dairy products)
Spicy, deep-fried or fatty foods
Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and onions
Apple or prune juice
Some low carbohydrates or sugar-free foods
You need to eat the above-mentioned foods in moderation if you have a tendency to excessive gas production. Some home remedies can help you get rid of intestinal gas and offer relief within no time.
Home Remedies for Gas and Bloating
There are certain home remedies for relieving trapped intestinal gas. These remedies may expel the trapped gas either by burping or passing gas and will help you to get relief.
Many herbs have carminative properties that may help ease gas and prevent bloating. Ginger can help speed digestion and help the stomach to empty faster. This enables gases to move more quickly to your small intestine and relieve bloating.
Some other useful herbs that may provide gas relief are −
You can mix one of these ground herbs or seeds into a glass of warm water and drink it to relieve gas and bloating. Drinking warm water or herbal teas may also help. You can try peppermint, ginger or chamomile tea.
There also exists a traditional Persian remedy for gas which advices mixing 10 grams of ground cumin and 10 grams of fennel with 5 grams of ground anise. Then, you have to steep them in a cup of boiling water for about 20 minutes and consume it later.
Probiotics are live microorganisms also known as good bacteria which can help aid digestion and reduce excessive gas. They are easily available in the foods like yoghurt, kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut and kimchi.
There are specific yoga poses that can help your body to relax and aid the passing of intestinal gas. You can do the following pose for relief −
Lie on the back and extend the legs straight up. Ensure that your feet are together.
Bend the knees and put the arms around them
Now, pull the knees down to your chest
At the same time, you need to pull your head up to the knees. If you are not comfortable with pulling your head up, you can keep your head flat on the ground.
Hold the pose with your knees close to your chest for 20 seconds or more. This pose will help you pass the excessive trapped gas and offer relief.
Move the Body or Try a Gentle Massage
After eating your meals, it is always advised to move around rather than sit in one place. Walk around if you are feeling bloated. Movement can help the gas to pass. You can also try massaging the painful spot gently to help relieve gas.
Drinking sufficient water per day can help to keep gastric pains at bay. Indians normally have cumin water or buttermilk which helps to prevent bloating and producing excessive gas.
Avoid Carbonated Beverages
Instead of carbonated beverages that have carbon dioxide, opt for fresh fruit juices or other healthy beverages. When we consume aerated drinks, the body gets a lot of carbon dioxide which passes into the stomach and gets trapped in the form of gas. Additionally, carbonated beverages can cause tooth erosion and irritate the oesophagus and stomach lining. This may result in gas and bloating. It is best to avoid these carbonated drinks to prevent abdominal discomfort.
Over-the-counter Remedies for Gas and Bloating
If the gas is trapped in the intestine for a long time, it may cause bloating. A change in your daily habits can bring relief from gas and bloating.
The following behaviors may help decrease bloating −
Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly − This helps in digestion and ensures that less air is swallowed while eating. Eating slowly and chewing your food properly may lead to lesser burps and decreased gas formation.
Eat smaller meals and more frequently − Eating a well-balanced meal in the right proportion and at the right time may cause less gas formation.
Sit up straight after a meal
Walk for sometime after the meal
Avoid certain foods − Avoid artificial sweeteners which have sorbitol or fructose as many people may not digest them. This can cause burping, bloating and in some people chest pain. Some people may also benefit from avoiding beans and legumes at night.
Check if you are lactose intolerant − Lactose is a sugar which is present in many dairy products. You can get tested for lactose intolerance and avoid lactose if you are tested lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance may cause burping, belching, flatulence, stomach pain and upset stomach.
Enzyme Products and Adsorbents
Some enzyme products which are available at pharmacies can help prevent gas. These include Lactaid, Digest Dairy Plus, Dairy Relief and Alpha-galactosidase.
Simethicone products may work by breaking up bubbles in gas and relieving gas. These adsorbents include Gas-X, Alka-Seltzer Anti-Gas and Mylanta Gas. Moreover, activated charcoal which is available in the form of tablets, capsules or powder is also an adsorbent which may help reduce gas. However, one of the unwanted side effects of activated charcoal is that it turns the tongue black.
Gas or bloating can be acutely painful if not relieved on time. It may not be a serious problem but may be a sign of food intolerance or an underlying digestive issue. Watching what you eat and taking preventive measures may help to get rapid relief from gas and bloating.
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