How to Get Rid of Bloating
Gas is a normal part of the digestive process. However, when gas continues to build up in your system, and you cannot release it, it can cause bloating, followed by pain and discomfort. But in order to know how to get rid of bloating it is important to find out what causes this gas to build up in your digestive tract.
Causes of Gas and Bloating
There are a number of reasons why people experience gas pain and bloating. One of them could be a result of overeating, or swallowing excessive amounts of air while you are drinking or eating. The same came be said for accidentally swallowing air while chewing gum.
In addition, certain foods may be known to cause excess gas for some people, as can smoking cigarettes. If you notice that your gas and bloating appear to change suddenly, creates you unnecessary discomfort on a regular basis, or is accompanied by a sudden drop in your weight or constipation and diarrhea, you should make an appointment to have it evaluated, as there may be another underlying cause that needs to be addressed.
One way to prevent gas and bloating from occurring is to avoid these common causes, but once it is already there, it is important to find relief fast so that you can return to feeling comfortable.
Foods Known for Causing Gas and Bloating
As already mentioned, bloating can be caused by a number of different foods. When your food is broken down in your small intestine, the remaining portion passes on to the large colon where it ferments as part of the continued digestive process.
The result of fermentation is a release of methane and hydrogen in the colon. These gases are then passed from your body.Some of the most common foods that cause this type of gas and bloating are foods high in fiber, foods high in fat, foods that are fried, foods that are spicy, carbonated drinks, foods with artificial ingredients, foods labeled “sugar-free” and artificial sweeteners.
Other foods also include certain vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts, beans and lentils, prunes and its juice, food containing milk and dairy, fiber supplements, and certain types of fermented foods. If you determine one of these, or multiple foods on this list contribute to your gas and bloating, you can help to prevent it in the future by avoiding it entirely.
Illnesses that are Known to Cause Gas and Bloating
There are a number of different illnesses that are known to cause gas and bloating. Often times if it is not the condition itself, it is the side effects of medications used to treat these illnesses that can cause a person to have bloating. These illnesses include gastroenteritis, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS and diabetes.
If you have any of these illnesses and are experiencing gas and bloating, consult with your general physician or specialist to determine what the best course of action is to help prevent and treat the symptoms.
Home Remedies for Gas and Bloating
There are a number of different home remedies which can help to alleviate gas and bloating symptoms. One of these is the use of peppermint. You can either add a few drops of peppermint oil to your morning tea, take a peppermint supplement, or make a tea out of peppermint leaves. All of these help to alleviate gas pains. For the best results, drink one cup of tea before each meal.
However, some people find peppermint can cause heartburn, so proceed with caution until you know how your body will responds. Lastly, there are a number of times peppermint is contraindicated, lincluding some medications and when you have problems with iron absorption. Similar to drinking peppermint, chamomile can help to assist in the digestion process. It can help to reduce the symptoms of indigestion, gas, and bloating.
Drinking a combination of a chamomile and peppermint tea before meals and at bedtime is one way to help alleviate bloating. For after meals, you can place a couple drops of clove oil into a glass of water and drink it. This can also help to further reduce the symptoms of bloating.
Clove is a common spice used in cooking, and is often used in different types of eastern cooking, and is known for its ability to aid in the digestion of food. A final home remedy is the use of apple cider vinegar. It is commonly used by digesting a tablespoon up to three times a day to relieve the symptoms of gas and bloating.
Over the Counter Remedies
There are a number of over the counter remedies which are intended to help with problems with gas and bloating. One of the most common active ingredients in these medications is simethicone. It is found in Gas-X, Mylanta, and Phazyme, as well as many generic forms. It is designed to help consolidate the gas which forms in your stomach so that it is easier to pass from your body. This over the counter medication is generally very safe, and is even given to infants who suffer from gas pains and bloating.
If dairy products are known to cause you problems with gas and bloating, you can look for milk that is lactose free to help reduce the symptoms. Another option is to take a supplement that is meant to break up the lactose you eat, making it easier for you to digest it effectively. Look for an active ingredient called lactase, which is what your body produces to naturally break down lactose.
A final over the counter remedy is to take activated charcoal tablets to help reduce the amount of gas being trapped in your gut. They are usually taken right before you eat, and again an hour after eating. These tablets are usually available at most pharmacies.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help to ensure you stay hydrated. When you are hydrated, your body is able to digest food more efficiently and reduces bloating. Your body is also able to pass gas more easily, which can help to reduce gas pains and bloating that can occur when you are not hydrated enough.
Water is also important in helping your body to remove excess water from your system. If you are dehydrated, excess fluid begins to build up in your body and you will feel more bloated as a result of retaining water.
Bloating and PMS
It is not uncommon for women to experience gas and bloating as part of their symptoms of PMS. If you get bloated before your period or during it, there are a number of things that you can do to help counteract this. Start by making sure you get enough calcium in your diet. If you are avoiding dairy foods, this is even more important, and you should look for a supplement that contains 1,000 mg of calcium a day.
Also supplement with magnesium, which can help to alleviate the symptoms of PMS, including bloating. Look for a supplement between 200 and 400 mg to take daily. Lastly, look for pain relievers geared towards women’s menstrual periods, like Pamprin and Midol. These over the counter medications contain mild diuretics which can help to reduce bloating and help you to begin feeling comfortable again.
Get Things Moving with Exercise
If you are facing gas pains and bloating, you might be tempted to just crawl up into a ball and go to bed. However, this often times slows things down and can prolong the symptoms. Instead, consider engaging in exercise, which can help to get things moving.
You do not have to engage in aggressive physical activity for this to work. Even a ten to fifteen minute walk can help to get things moving. It can also be used as a way to avoid bloating after a meal, by taking a simple walk around the neighborhood.
Other types of exercise that may help to alleviate gas pains include jumping rope or jumping on a trampoline, or consider going for a short jog to help things move along. Obviously, look for an activity you enjoy, and that you are otherwise able to do safely when not dealing with gas and bloating.
Methods for Preventing Gas and Bloating
If you have no underlying medical conditions, which are known for causing gas or bloating, one of the best things you can do is to try different methods of prevention. One way is to slow down when drinking or eating your meals. As a result, you are more likely to digest less air while consuming your food and beverages. Also consider stopping chewing gum or smoking cigarettes as they can increase the likelihood of bloating and gas.
Avoid carbonated beverages, not just soda, and do not drink beverages through straws as they can increase the amount of air you take in when drinking. Stop eating foods which trigger excess gas and bloating in your diet. Lastly, consider working exercise into your routine after dinner time to help reduce the amount of bloating you experience after meals.