Feeling bloated like a balloon close to bursting can truly take the joy out of your day. And if you’re afraid of letting a loud one rip at the most inopportune moments, it’s time you get these gas and bloating problems under control.
Causes and Symptoms of Gas and Bloating
Bloating primarily refers to a sensation of fullness caused by an accumulation of intestinal gas in the abdominal area that the body has been unable to expel. In severe cases, gas may cause abdominal distension that may be extremely painful.
- Bloating usually occurs when there is an overproduction of intestinal gas due to poor digestion.
- Undigested food ferments in the intestines, producing carbon dioxide.
- Swallowing excessive air may also result in bloating.
- Chewing gum, sucking on hard candies, consuming aerated drinks, drinking through a straw and excessive gulping of air (usually as a nervous habit) are some activities that contribute to bloating.
- Consuming greasy and unhealthy food that’s difficult to digest or heavy meals also contribute to bloating.
- In most cases, bloating is a symptom of other medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and celiac disease.
- Hormonal changes may also be responsible for bloating in women. It is a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and pregnancy.
How to Prevent Gas and Bloating?
Diet and exercise are key to preventing gas and bloating:
- Avoid gassy foods like beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce and cauliflower.
- Avoid dairy products if you’re lactose intolerant and gluten if you’re gluten intolerant.
- Sugar-free products should also be avoided, as they contain components that contribute to bloating.
- Regulate your digestion and include exercise in your routine.
- Avoid smoking, excessive gum chewing and sucking on hard candies, as these activities can make you swallow excess air.
How to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating?
If bloating has become a common occurrence in your life, you’ll need more than quick fixes to get rid of it. A diet and lifestyle change may be in order. In the meantime, many natural remedies can help you expel that excess gas.
So get ready to burp or find a private corner to expel that gas the other way with these simple remedies.
Method 1: Use Mustard
A teaspoon of mustard is effective not just for heartburn, but also when you’re troubled with gas and bloating. Mustard increases salivation, which promotes digestion. Also, being antispasmodic and antibacterial, it helps expel the intestinal gas, thus relieving bloating.
If you’re suffering from persisting bloating, regular consumption of mustard can help relieve the symptoms.
Single-Step Treatment: Consume plain mustard
- Consume 1 tablespoon of plain yellow mustard and wash it down with a glass of warm water for instant relief. If you find the taste too repulsive to consume the given quantity, try 1 to 2 teaspoons of it.
- If you can’t take it straight, mix in a little honey to improve the taste.
- You can also take it with buttermilk or tea.
Method 2: Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great quick fix when it comes to bloating. It reacts with stomach acids to produce carbon dioxide and initiate belching, which helps release the trapped intestinal gas and provide immediate relief.
Although great for a quick fix, frequent and over-consumption of baking soda should be avoided, as it leads to increased production of stomach acid that can give rise to gastrointestinal problems over time. You should also avoid this remedy if you’re on a low-sodium diet, as 1 teaspoon of baking soda contains almost one-third of the daily sodium requirement of an average person.
Things you’ll need:
- Water – 1 cup
- Baking soda (helps release the trapped intestinal gas) – 1 teaspoon
- Lemon, medium-sized – ½
- Combine baking soda with lemon juice and water
- Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a glass.
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to it.
- Pour in 1 cup of water.
- Stir to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Stir and consume the baking soda drink
- Stir to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Consume this baking soda drink to initiate belching and release the abdominal gas in few minutes.
Method 3: Drink Peppermint Tea
Anecdotal accounts render peppermint tea as an effective remedy for gas and bloating. The menthol oil present in the peppermint tea is responsible for its benefits. It relieves the spasms in the muscles to allow the body to pass the gas through flatulence, thus getting rid of bloating.
The components in peppermint help get the gas moving instead of letting it accumulate and cause pain and distension in the stomach.
- Make a cup of peppermint tea
- Put 1 peppermint tea bag into 1 cup of boiling hot water.
- Allow the tea to steep for 5 to 10 minutes, as per your taste preference.
- Remove and discard the tea bag after steeping.
- Drink the peppermint tea before bed
- Drinking this peppermint tea can help relieve gas and bloating within minutes.
- Drinking this tea before bed can ease digestion, prevent bloating and help you ease into sleep.
Method 4: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
The multipurpose apple cider vinegar (ACV) can also help you deal with bloating by expelling trapped gas from the stomach. Intestinal gas is often the result of undigested food fermenting in the stomach. The probiotics present in apple cider vinegar kick-start the digestion, relieving bloating and preventing further gas buildup.
Be sure to get organic, raw apple cider vinegar with the “mother” present in it, as that is the source of the probiotics and digestive enzymes that provide these benefits.
- Add apple cider vinegar to water
- Add 2 tablespoons of raw, organic ACV to 1 cup of water.
- Mix and consume the drink once a day
- Mix the solution well.
Consuming this drink once a day can help you expel the gas immediately, providing temporary relief. In most cases, this remedy is a success, but if the situation persists, continue to consume the drink once a day until you get rid of bloating.
Method 5: Use Fennel Seeds
Chewing fennel seeds after meals is a tradition in India. Not only does it freshen your breath, it also aids digestion. Fennel seeds contain volatile oils that stimulate bile production, thus improving digestion. The components present in fennel get undigested food moving through the gastrointestinal tract, preventing further production of gas.
You can chew fennel seeds directly or drink fennel tea. Chewing fennel seeds can be done on the go, and you can enjoy fennel tea whenever you get a chance to sit down.
- Make fennel tea
- Put 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds into 1 cup of boiling hot water.
- Cover the glass and allow the seeds to steep for about 5 minutes.
- Drink the tea with the seeds
Consume the fennel tea along with the seeds for maximum benefits in order to treat gas and bloating.
Most of the times fennel works to relieve bloating instantly, but if the condition persists, continue to drink the tea everyday until you get relief.