Stomach Gas and Bloating

grains

Most people produce as many as one to four pints of gas a day, which they pass, on average, about 14 times a day. Bloating, burping and passing gas are natural and are usually caused by swallowed air or the breakdown of food through digestion. At times, excessive gas can become uncomfortable or even painful. However, some simple changes to your diet can help provide gas relief and also aid digestion. In addition to over-the-counter gas relief remedies, some items commonly found in the kitchen may double as natural gas relievers.

What is Bloating?

When gas doesn’t pass through belching or flatulence, it can build up in the stomach and intestines and lead to bloating. With bloating, you may also have abdominal pain that can vary from mild and dull to sharp and intense. Passing gas or having a bowel movement may relieve the pain.

Causes of Stomach Gas and Bloating

It is important to discover what is causing the production of the extra gas. Here are four common factors that can contribute to stomach bloat and excessive gas problems:

  • Incomplete protein digestion.
  • Inability to break down sugars
  • Gut bacteria imbalance
  • Bad gallbladder

Foods that Produce Gas and Bloating

Some foods are gas producing. Eating too much may cause increased gaseousness. This is especially true since irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be associated with retention of gas and bloating. Examples include…

  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Legumes (like peas, peanuts, soybeans)
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Lentils
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Bagels

Most people don’t suspect that fruits, sodas, and milk may also create gas and bloating. Fructose (a sugar found in fruits and sodas) and lactose (a sugar found in dairy products) are common causes of gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.

Treatment of Gas and Bloating.

In many cases, the symptoms of abdominal bloating can be diminished or even prevented by adopting a few simple lifestyle changes. For example:

  • Don’t chew gum. Chewing gum can cause you to swallow extra air, which in turn can lead to bloating.
  • Limit your intake of carbonated drinks.
  • Avoid “gassy” foods, such vegetables in the cabbage family, dried beans, and lentils.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Avoid drinking through a straw.
  • Lose weight if you’re overweight.
  • Use lactose-free dairy products (if you are lactose intolerant).

Herbs to Control Gas and Bloating

A number of herbs in the carminative family may help ease gas and prevent bloating, it found that ginger helps speed digestion, which is important because if your stomach empties faster, gases can move more quickly into your small intestine to relieve discomfort and bloating. Other examples of herbs in the carminative family that could help provide gas relief, include:

  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Basil
  • Caraway
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Wintergreen

 

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