While most of us don’t want to think about it, all of us have to deal with bloating and gas every once in awhile. It’s embarrassing, but it’s natural. These issues don’t necessarily mean there’s any sort of problem, but you still want to minimize it as effectively as possible. Here are some reasons why we can have excessive gas from time to time, and some herbal gas and bloating remedies to help you get rid of it. Just remember – if you have excessive gas all the time, or if it’s accompanied by frequent abdominal pain, nausea, or other digestive symptoms, it’s wise to consult with a medical professional.
It’s Got to Go Somewhere
Intestinal gas can build up to the point that we have to expel the excessive gas, known as “flatus” or, more commonly ‘farts.’ It’s not at all abnormal to do this as often as 25 times each day – typically more in the afternoon and evening than in the morning.1 There are a lot of “ingredients” in intestinal gas, such as hydrogen, methane, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen. There are several reasons why flatulence occurs. One of the most common is the fermentation of bacteria and other microbes in the colon. Fungi, yeasts, and bacteria break down food that moves through the small intestine. Bacteria, in particular, feed on undigested carbohydrates, leading to fermentation. This process results in the production of gas – and when it accumulates to a certain level, that leads to flatus.
What Causes it?
But certain behavioral habits can lead to excessive gas, as can the types of foods we choose to eat. If you tend to gulp your food or drink while you eat, you will swallow air. The same holds true for people who regularly chew gum. Not thoroughly chewing your food can lead you to swallow air. This, in turn, leads to bloating and belching. If you feel bloated, you might automatically assume that your stomach is getting larger as a result – but that’s not the case.
Making some tweaks to your eating routine can help reduce the chances you’ll have to deal with bloating and gas. For example, take your time when you eat, and consider eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Chew thoroughly – if you wear dentures, go to your dentist to make sure they fit correctly. Sit up straight after you eat, and consider taking a walk around the neighborhood after meals. It’s important to note that just because a certain type of food might make you a little gassy, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to scratch it from your diet completely. Some foods that are rich in fiber, for instance, can lead to bloating. But we need an ample supply of fiber in order to make sure our digestive system works properly.
If you frequently experience bloating after consuming high-fiber foods, you might want to eat them in smaller amounts. Additionally, drink plenty of water. And, if you’re looking to add more fiber to your diet, do so slowly. Give your body time to adjust.
Natural remedies for bloating and gas
You can find over-the-counter medications at any grocery store or pharmacy to get rid of bloating and excessive gas, but here at ActivatedYou, we prefer natural remedies. Here are just a few of the more effective ones available:
· Peppermint –
Peppermint oil, according to one study, can help relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as flatulence, pain in the abdomen, and diarrhea.2 Peppermint may also help to relax the muscles within the digestive system, making it easier for gas to move through the body.3 You can easily make peppermint tea by putting some peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water. You might want to crush the leaves a bit before you add them to the water. Allow the peppermint tea to steep for about 10 minutes before you drink it.
· Ginger –
Ginger can also help with a wide range of digestive issues, helping relieve the bloating that occurs due to an accumulation of excessive gas. Studies suggest that ginger not only helps reduce flatulence, but also pain in the abdomen and nausea.4 Chop up an inch or two of ginger root and pour it in a cup of boiling water to make a ginger tea. Drink the tea about 20 minutes before you have a meal. Or, could simply chew on some ginger – the natural juices may help alleviate any stomach distress.
· Turmeric –
You can also combine turmeric with ginger in order to find relief from bloating. Turmeric is high in a substance known as curcumin. Researchers looked at how curcumin can affect indigestion, and found that it relieved bloating and other symptoms in nearly 90 percent of patients participating in the study.5
Other Natural Remedies
The natural remedies mentioned above are by no means the only ones to help reduce digestive discomfort, gas, and bloating. You can also find relief by trying the following:
· Lemon balm –
You might not have heard of this herb, but it has been shown to help rid the body of excessive gas and relieve bloating. Like many other herbs, you can make it into a tea to get rid of your discomfort.6
· Cinnamon –
Not only does cinnamon taste great, it is also an effective way to help reduce the symptoms associated with digestive problems such as gas. Put a stick of cinnamon into some warm water and drink two or three times a day for relief.7
· Caraway seeds –
Research suggests that caraway seeds might be helpful with symptoms of digestive upset, including bloating and gas. Crush some caraway seeds into a cup of boiling water and cover it. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, strain, and drink. Try this four times each day to help get rid of your indigestion.8
· Anise –
This herb can potentially help eliminate gas and sooth the digestive tract.9 Take a teaspoon of the herb and add to a cup of boiled water. Drink after letting it sit for about 15 minutes. You should talk to your doctor first before using anise to make sure you don’t have an allergy to the herb.
Probiotics and Bloating
There are trillions of microbes in the “gut,” or gastrointestinal tract. While many of them are good for us, many others are harmful. An overgrowth of harmful microbes in the gut can lead to issues such as bloating, but also potentially debilitating problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Probiotics help boost the number of good microbes in the gut, so that you have less of a chance of developing digestive issues.
When to See a Doctor
In the vast majority of cases, bloating and excessive gas isn’t a cause for concern. But you should seriously think about seeing a doctor if your bloating increases in frequency, affects a different part of your body than normal, or if you are also experiencing heartburn, vomiting, diarrhea, or sudden weight loss. There are some instances where an excessive amount of bloating could be a sign that you’re developing appendicitis. If you have a lot more gas than normal and your abdomen is starting to become tender or stiff, get to a doctor right away.
For more helpful information, keep reading:
1.http://www.brighamandwomens.org/Patients_Visitors/pcs/nutrition/services/healtheweightforwomen/special_topics/intelihealth0504.aspx 2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18630390 3.http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/peppermint 4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3016669/ 5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2699615/ 6.http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lemon-balm 7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4488098/ 8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210012/ 9.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123756886101203