Common Causes And Natural Remedies For Gas and Bloating
Abdominal bloating refers to a sensation of fullness or a sense of abdominal enlargement. It is often due to disturbance in the normal function of the gastrointestinal tract, causing an increase in intestinal gas. Gas in the intestine is a mixture of numerous different components which can be increased by swallowing too much air, excess production, or impaired absorption due to obstruction. Excess gas causes bloating as well as other gas symptoms such as flatulence or burping.
If the abdomen is visibly distended in association with bloating, it is more likely that there is an organic, rather than functional, cause of the symptom. Bloating is frequently associated with abdominal pain that may be relieved by passing gas or bowel motions. Gas, bloating, and burping are usually harmless and go away without any treatment. If gas, bloating, or burping is making you uncomfortable, take the following steps to help manage your symptoms:
• Increase the amount of fluid you drink, especially water. Avoid carbonated drinks and alcoholic beverages.
• Take a medicine that you can buy without a prescription. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
• Activated charcoal tablets, such as CharcoCaps, may decrease odor from gas. Charcoal is usually taken after meals or at the first sign of gas discomfort.
• Antacids, such as Maalox Anti-Gas, and Mylanta Gas, allow gas to be belched away more easily. But these medicines often have no effect on gas that is already in the intestines.
• Food enzymes, such as Beano, which help break down the sugars found in vegetables and grains, can be added to foods that cause you to have gas.
Abdominal bloating is a common gastrointestinal problem characterized by a feeling of tightness or fullness of the stomach. Bloating causes the belly to swell. It is a symptom of an underlying gastrointestinal disorder. IT is usually accompanied by gas formation. Bloating and gas is a sign of improper digestion.
Causes of Bloating
Overeating is a common cause of bloating. It might develop after consuming gassy food. Bloating might be a sign of food allergy people with lactose intolerance might experience bloating after consuming milk and diary products. In people with gluten allergy bloating might occur after consuming wheat, barley and rye products. Constipation or frequent bowel movement is a common cause of bloating. Fat build up in the abdomen might cause bloating by slowing down transportation of food through the gut.
Bloating is a symptom of a number of ailments including irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, parasitic infestation in the intestines, ovarian cysts and poly-cystic ovary syndrome. Bloating caused by gastrointestinal problem could be treated by modifying the dietary habits. Certain foods might prevent bloating. People prone to bloating might include these foods in their daily diets.
The following dietary changes may help reduce the amount of gas your body produces or help gas move more quickly through your system:
• Try to identify and avoid the foods that affect you the most. Foods that cause gas problems for many people include beans, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, artichokes, asparagus, pears, apples, peaches, prunes, sugar-free candies and chewing gum, whole-wheat bread, bran cereals or muffins, milk, cream, ice cream, ice milk, and beer, sodas and other carbonated beverages.
• Try cutting back on fried and fatty foods. Often, bloating results from eating fatty foods. Fat delays stomach emptying and can increase the sensation of fullness.
• Temporarily cut back on high-fiber foods. Add them back gradually over weeks. If you take a fiber supplement, try cutting back on the amount you take and build up your intake gradually. If your symptoms persist, you might try a different fiber supplement. Be sure to take fiber supplements with at least 8 ounces of water and drink plenty of liquids throughout each day.
• Reduce your use of dairy products. Try using low-lactose dairy foods, such as yogurt, instead of milk. Or try using products that help digest lactose, such as Lactaid or Dairy Ease. Consuming small amounts of milk products at one time or consuming them with other foods also may make them easier to digest. In some cases, however, you may need to eliminate dairy foods completely.
How to get relief from Gas and Bloating?
In order to get relief from gas and bloating symptoms, it is important to understand the cause. Intestinal gas occurs as a natural byproduct from food digestion. Bloating can occur when gas builds up and causes your stomach to feel like it has been be enlarged. In most cases, the stomach is not actually enlarged, but simply feels very full. Distention of the abdomen differs from bloating in that there is an actual physical change to the size of the abdomen and it is larger than normal. This distention can be physically seen through the clothing or by looking down at the stomach. There are two types of distention either continuous or intermittent. Enlarged organs, tumors or a collection of fluid around the organs may cause continuous distension. Gas or fluid building normally causes intermittent distention in the stomach, small intestine or colon. A healthcare professional should be sought out for cases of continuous distention while intermittent distention/bloating can normally be handled through dietary changes.
Symptoms and Causes Bacteria can cause gas. They are natural byproducts of normal digestion but sometimes they produce too much gas, which can be caused by a few different things. First, the amount and type of bacteria in the stomach differs between everyone and some people just simply makes more gas than others do. Another potential cause is poor digestion and absorption of foods in the small intestine. This undigested food allows more bacteria to reach the colon and that can produce more gas. A third possibility is the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Normally bacteria growth is limited and contained within the colon. However, sometimes it can spread to the small intestines, especially when food has reached that area before proper digestion. The result is more gas.
Relieving gas and bloating can often be handled by making a few dietary changes. Drinking water and especially purified water can aid in this process. Polluted water may contain harmful chemicals or microbial toxins that can affect your digestive system and may be a leading factor in your gas and bloating. In order to positively affect your health and reduce your gas and bloating, you should increase your intake of water. Water is a natural way to help reduce toxins and flush out your intestines.
Other changes that you can make that may help reduce your gas and bloating includes avoiding the foods that affect you the most. These foods may include beans, peas, onions and carbonated drinks. You should also avoid fatty foods, eat slowly, and take short walks after eating. You do not have to live with gas and bloating if you watch what you eat, and include purified water as part of your diet. Making these simple changes should help relieve your symptoms quickly and effectively.
Gas and bloating can lead to severe cramping and abdominal pain that can persist for several minutes, hours or days depending on the severity of the condition and the reason for the symptoms. With natural remedies, over-the-counter medication and prescription medication, gas and bloating can be controlled and limited. As with any medical condition, always consult a physician before starting any new natural or medicinal treatment plan.
1. Change and/or modify your diet. Eliminate or limit the following foods from your diet: beans (particularly baked and dried beans), dairy products, root vegetables and cabbages, prunes, wheat and whey products, pan fried, deep fried, and oily foods, and finally, carbonated beverages. Eliminate dairy products if gas and bloating is associated with an intolerance to lactose (an ingredient found in dairy products).
2. Use a natural remedy to eliminate or reduce gas and bloating. Common natural remedies include Activated Charcoal, which should be taken orally before after eating to reduce gas and bloating; yogurt and lactase, which should be consumed daily at breakfast for persons who experience gas and bloating after eating cheese; and peppermint oil, which should be added to tea or warm water (several drops) and taken after a large meal.
3. Use an over-the-counter medication. Gas-X, Beano and Flatulex are the most commonly used bloating and gas relief medications available over the counter. Gas-X contains simethicone, which is the #1 doctor-recommended ingredient to treat gas" and should be consumed after meals, at bedtime, or as directed by a physician. Consumers should follow product directions as Gas-X offers various products (chewables, softgels or Thin Strips) as do Beano and Flatulex.
4. Use a prescription medication. Ask your physician to prescribe a medication that contains an enzyme like alpha-galactosidase. The enzyme assists in the digestion of the sugars found in beans and other carbohydrates (the No.1 contributor to indigestion and gas) and minimizes contractions that can be associated with gas and bloating.
5. Use a medication that contains an analgesic, antihistamine and mild diuretic combination for gas and bloating associated with menstruation. Medicines like Midol (an over-the-counter medication)and Premesyn PMS (a non-prescription medicine) should be used as directed to eliminate gas and bloating.
6. Ask your pharmacist about other prescription and over-the-counter medications that are right for your age, medical history and existing medical conditions.
Fortunately, some sensible dietary changes and natural remedies can prevent future bouts of gas and bloating. Top remedies for gas and bloating:
1. Fennel: You can chew on fennel seeds or else make a tea by crushing the seeds and pouring boiling water over them. The compounds in these seeds, as well as those in anise and dill seeds, relax muscles in your digestive tract and allow trapped gas to pass. As a bonus, you should also have fresher breath, similar to consuming parsley.
2. Ginger: Drinking ginger tea and eating fresh ginger root are two superior remedies for gas. Add small amounts of ginger (both dried and fresh) to your food, as desired. You can also take a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger before meals for gas relief.
3. Caraway Seeds: Try adding caraway seed spice to more of your meals, especially if the foods are known to cause gas. Caraway seeds ease gas, indigestion and cramping, as well as stimulate proper digestion.
4. Parsley: Adding more parsley to your diet is also a very good remedy for gas. Add parsley, either freshly minced or dried as a spice, to foods that may contribute to intestinal gas to help prevent them from causing gas and bloating problems.
5. Activated Charcoal: Charcoal absorbs excess air in the digestive track as well as adsorbs (attracts) toxins which may be contributing to gas problems. Try taking a charcoal supplement before eating to help relieve gas and bloating before they start.
6. Colon Cleansing: Performing a colon cleanse will help improve overall colon health as well as provide gas relief.
7. Probiotics: Taking a probiotic supplement or eating foods with probiotics, such as pineapples, help get rid of the most common symptoms of gas. Probiotics replenish beneficial intestinal bacteria and help keep your colon in optimal working order.
8. Garlic: The hot garlic bulb is another good home remedy for gas. Garlic helps stimulate digestion. For best results, use fresh garlic. You may also want to follow up with parsley or fennel seeds to freshen your breath.
9. Dandelion Tea: The common weed dandelion has numerous health benefits, one of which is relieving gas. Drink as a tea or add it to meals as a dried spice.
10. Hot Water: Sip water as hot as you can take it! According to an 86 year old grandma who submitted this remedy, half a cup usually works.
11. Dill Pickles: Eat one dill pickle or else take a teaspoonful of pickle juice. Pickle juice has the same effect that gripe water has on a baby.
12. Peppermint Oil: Mix two drops peppermint oil in 1/2 cup cool water and drink once or twice per day.
13. Exercise: When you are alone help eliminate trapped gas by lying on your back, putting your legs in the air, and moving them in a bicycle motion.
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