What causes gas & bloating?

What causes intestinal gas and abdominal bloating?

Abdominal bloating can be understood as a condition in which a person has a feeling of abdominal fullness without sufficient proof of any gastrointestinal disorder. Bloating is one of the top concerns for people all over the world. There can be several reasons for gas and bloating. Some of the common causes include: [1]

Low production of hydrochloric acid in the body

Food intolerance or sensitivity towards some food can also cause inflammation like gas and bloating.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth can be another reason for gas and bloating

● Many women face bloating as a part of Premenstrual Syndrome. It can be due to change in hormones in particular days of the month. [2]

The passing of intestinal gas is quite normal, but it can get unpleasant, uncomfortable, or embarrassing. Intestinal gas has two principal sources: bacteria in the intestines and air absorbed by mouth (aerophagia). Certain foods significantly increase the production of gas in the intestines by supplying nourishment to gas-producing bacteria. Common gas-increasing foods include cauliflower, fructose, onions, beer, broccoli, cabbage, beans, prunes, red wine, and sorbitol. Generally speaking, high-fiber foods cause more gas than low-fiber ones, and, because of this, people who change to a whole foods diet often experience more gas.

Some medical conditions can also increase gas-related symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, colon cancer, celiac sprue, Crohn's disease, fat malabsorption, and ulcerative colitis. Finally, some individuals may experience considerable gas distress without actually producing more gas than other men and women.

Treatment of surplus gas starts with treating the underlying disease if there's one. Beyond this, general measures include avoiding gas-producing foods and minimizing customs, which cause aerophagia (for instance, gulping of drinks ). 

See: Food allergy diet

Can home remedies help relieve gas and bloating?

Today, different medicines and pills are available in the market that claims to provide you with the best solution for gas and bloating. Some medicines have proved beneficial, but it can't be used as a long term solution as it can change the overall PH of your stomach and intestine. Thus, it is important to use natural remedies and tips that can help you in getting rid of bloating naturally. 

There are several natural home remedies that are effective against bloating and gas. So stop popping pills and use all these remedies for benefit without any side effects.

See: Anxiety, Vertigo, Bloating, and Edema with Acupuncture and Asian Herbs.

Home remedies for gas & bloating

Home remedies for Gas and Bloating discomfort & pain

Many home remedies can help manage the abdominal gas pain and discomfort of bloating. Some of these home remedies may help people to eliminate these quickly:

-  Probiotics: There are direct linkages between the alteration of Gastrointestinal Microbiota and an increase in the level of gas and bloating. Thus, many scientists believe that the alteration of Gastrointestinal bacterial overgrowth can be one of the best ways to treat the irritable bowel problem, gas, and bloating. Probiotics can be helpful in establishing good bacterias in the gut and also improve the flora of the gut. In some patients, probiotic strains like Bacillus Coagulans and Lactobacillus Plantarum have shown positive results in reducing gas and bloating. Thus, probiotics can be one of the best natural remedies for gas and bloating. [3, 4, 5]

- Apple Cider Vinegar: Today everyone is obsessed with Apple cider vinegar for different purposes. Many people claim that apple cider is helpful in weight loss, while some believe that it can help in providing you with shiny glowy skin. When it comes to home remedies for gas and bloating, apple cider vinegar can be used as a treatment, but only in certain conditions. For example, people who are facing the issue of gas and bloating due to low levels of stomach acid, apple cider vinegar can be helpful. When the bacteria builds up in your stomach because of lack of stomach acid, apple cider vinegar can be helpful in boosting the levels of stomach acid. Thus, apple cider vinegar can act as an antibacterial agent in this case. But if you are facing gas or bloating issues, due to some other reason, apple cider vinegar might not be too helpful. Thus, use apple cider vinegar when you have a low level of stomach acid. Keep in time to consult your doctor before going for any natural treatment for gas and bloating. [6]

- Fennel: Another major ingredient that has proved to be one of the best natural remedies for gas and bloating is fennel. Fennel is a perennial herb that is also known by the name sweet anise. Although the use of fennel seed as a spice and medicine has been in existence since long, recently, scientists have revealed the pharmacological properties of fennel seeds. This herb has several benefits as it acts as an antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to this, fennel seeds also act as a muscle relaxant and help in stimulating bowel movement. Thus, if you feel bloated or gaseous and you don't have any medicine at your place, fennel seed can be one of the best home remedies for gas and bloating. [7]

 - Turmeric: Turmeric consists of an active ingredient known by the name Curcumin. As per a study by Oregon State University, Curcumin present in turmeric helps in reducing inflammation, and thus, adding turmeric to your diet as spices can not only add flavor to your food, it will also aid the digestion process and thus, help you get rid of bloating and other stomach ailments. One added advantage of using turmeric is that Curcumin present in turmeric can easily be metabolized, and thus, you can get relief from gas and bloating after the immediate use of turmeric. [8]

 - Chamomile: This little flower is one of the best sources for different plant-based medicines. When used as home remedies for gas and bloating, it is not only the best carminative herb to use gas and bloating; it is also a mild bitter that stimulates the digestive function. In addition to all these, it also provides a relaxing impact on the body. Thus, chamomile tea can be one of the best choices for people who experience digestive discomfort when they are stressed or nervous. This herb can be used in the form of tea, and you can use it anytime you want when you want to get relaxation from pain and discomfort against gas and bloating. [9]

- Add fiber in diet: Increasing fiber intake slowly may help to take care of bloating. Eating more fiber helps to reduce constipation and bloating. Most people don't get enough fiber, with just 5% of individuals fulfilling their daily fiber. Eating too much fiber quickly can cause even more bloating and gas. Individuals may observe adverse effects from ingesting more than 70 grams of fiber each day. When increasing fiber consumption, it's better to start slowly and increase the intake over a few weeks to permit the body to adapt to the shift in the diet.

- Peppermint: Peppermint oil may be helpful for indigestion and relevant gas. Peppermint works by relaxing the intestinal muscles, allowing stool and gas to move along more efficiently. Individuals should always follow the directions on the packet. Anyone who's prone to heartburn might have to avoid peppermint. Peppermint capsules are available to purchase over the counter (OTC) at drug stores or online.

- Drink water, not soda: Fizzy, carbonated beverages contain gas that can develop in the stomach. The carbon dioxide, which makes soda and similar drinks fizzy may also cause bubbling and bloating in the stomach. Sugars or artificial sweeteners in the diet may also cause bloating and gas. Drinking water removes these problems and helps to deal with constipation also.

- Eat at regular intervals: Lots of individuals experience bloating right after a huge meal. It's possible to prevent it by eating several smaller meals every day, which can help keep the digestive system moving. Swallowing food fast can introduce air into the digestive tract. Drinking from a straw may also result in people swallowing more air, which then contributes to bloating and gas. Individuals that have bloating must avoid using straws if possible and try eating gradually to avoid swallowing air during meals.

- Keep a food journal: Food intolerances are responsible for several instances of bloating. They may result in excessive gas in the digestive tract. Bloating is common in those who have lactose intolerance and are not able to digest the lactose sugar in milk products. Autoimmune intolerance to gluten, called celiac disease, is another possible culprit. For people whose bloating occurs after meals, keeping an eye on food and beverage intake for many weeks should help to ascertain whether specific foods are accountable. The American Academy of Family Physicians offers hints for keeping a food journal and supply a template for people to begin.

- Minimize salt: Too much sodium results in the body, retaining water. This can lead to a swollen and bloated feeling in the gut, along with different areas of the body, like the feet and hands.

- No chewing gum: The sugar alcohols in the gum may cause bloating in some individuals. Swallowing air while chewing can also cause gas and bloating pain. People may use ginger mints or peppermints to freshen their breath instead.

- Low-FODMAP diet: FODMAPs are a sort of carbohydrate that happens in many diverse foods. A 2012 review article of numerous studies concluded that a low-FODMAP diet might improve symptoms in at least 74 percent of individuals with IBS. Normal symptoms include bloating, flatulence, and abdominal pain.

- Physical activity: Exercise helps your body go gas and feces from the colon and might make bowel movements more regular. Exercise also releases additional sodium in the body through perspiration, which can help relieve water retention. It's crucial to drink loads of water before and after exercising to stay hydrated, as dehydration can make constipation worse.

- Take a walk: Physical activity can find the bowels moving more frequently, which can help release excess gas and feces. Finding the guts to move is particularly important if a man is feeling constipated. A walk around the block can provide quick relief from gas pressure.

- Yoga asanas: Particular yoga poses can place the muscles in the gut in a manner that promotes the release of surplus gas in the GI tract. This may reduce bloating. Child's Pose and squats can help people to ease a buildup of gas fast. Try Pranayama and other yoga poses for flatulence.

-  Abdominal massage: Massaging the abdomen can help get the bowels moving. A massage along the path of the large intestine is particularly helpful. 

- Essential oils: A study from 2016 analyzed the efficacy of supplements containing a mix of fennel and curcumin essential oil and found an improvement in their IBS symptoms, such as bloating and abdominal pain. People shouldn't consume essential oils without talking to a physician first. This is because some formulations may be poisonous or can interfere with drugs, and there's absolutely not any regulation of dosages.

- Hot bath to relax: The warmth of the bath can provide relief for a sore stomach. Relaxation can decrease stress levels, which might permit the GI tract to operate more efficiently and decrease bloating.

- Supplements and medications. Some supplements, such as iron, can lead to constipation and other symptoms of indigestion. This can increase bloating. Potassium, on the other hand, may decrease bloating by helping to balance the body's sodium levels. Medications may also cause side effects that affect GI function or cause indigestion. Should this happen, a physician or pharmacist can suggest alternatives that are more gentle on the digestive tract.

- Medical conditions: Sometimes, bloating can result from a medical condition. To eliminate this bloating, someone might need support from a physician to diagnose and manage their illness. Gynecological conditions may also cause pain, swelling, and feelings of bloating in the gut region. Individuals with these symptoms should discuss them with a physician.

Quick fixes aren't always effective for several causes of bloating. However, those who have frequent bloating may realize that certain lifestyle changes may handle the causes and reduce bloating over time.

See: Turmeric Curcumin Health Benefits & Side Effects

Summary

Bloating and gas complaints and root causes may vary from person to person. It can range from chronic pain to normal discomfort in daily life. But, when left for too long, it can impact your overall health and well-being. Thus, it is important to treat this issue with care. When you are tired of popping pills to get relief against gas and bloating, you need to look at some other measures like home remedies for gas. Natural home remedies for gas and bloating are easy to use, and it can easily be included in your lifestyle as a part of the tea, spices, or as a normal health drink. [10] Always consult a doctor before trying any home remedies or if you have any medical condition.

See: Apple Cider Vinegar Diet Benefits & Side Effects

References

1. Di Stefano, M., et al. "Probiotics and functional abdominal bloating." Journal of clinical gastroenterology 38 (2004): S102-S103.

2. Steiner, Meir, et al. "The Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool revised for adolescents (PSST-A): prevalence of severe PMS and premenstrual dysphoric disorder in adolescents." Archives of women's mental health 14.1 (2011): 77-81.

3. Di Stefano, M., et al. "Probiotics and functional abdominal bloating." Journal of clinical gastroenterology 38 (2004): S102-S103.

4. Parkes, G. C., J. D. Sanderson, and K. Whelan. "Treating irritable bowel syndrome with probiotics: the evidence." Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 69.2 (2010): 187-194.

5. Di Stefano, M., et al. "Probiotics and functional abdominal bloating." Journal of clinical gastroenterology 38 (2004): S102-S103.

6. Yeh, Zoe. Is Apple Cider Vinegar Effective for Reducing Heartburn Symptoms Related to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?. Arizona State University, 2016.

7. Portincasa, Piero, et al. "Curcumin and Fennel Essential Oil Improve Symptoms and Quality of Life in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome." Journal of Gastrointestinal & Liver Diseases 25.2 (2016).

8. Jurenka, Julie S. "Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research." Alternative medicine review 14.2 (2009).

9. Agah, Shahram, et al. "Chamomile efficacy in patients of the irritable bowel syndrome." Der. Pharma. Chemica 7 (2015): 41-44.

10. Malagelada, Juan R., Anna Accarino, and Fernando Azpiroz. "Bloating and abdominal distension: old misconceptions and current knowledge." American Journal of Gastroenterology 112.8 (2017): 1221-1231.

See: Ayurvedic Cure for Indigestion and Bloating with Positive Outcome

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