What is Stomach Bloating? Abdominal or stomach bloating refers to a condition where the abdomen becomes swollen as a result of excessive gas or fluids. This condition may be characterized by a distended stomach, constipation, flatulence, abdominal rumbling, belching and burping. Bloating is fairly common and affects many people at one time or another and usually causes, pain, discomfort and embarrassment.
There are many things that could cause retention of excess gases or fluids in the digestive tract. The most common causes may include; eating too much, eating too fast, food intolerance, and swallowing too much air to name only a few.
While excessive or frequent, stomach bloating can sometimes be a sign of an underlying problem, it is usually just a common condition that can easily be treated using home remedies and over the counter drugs. Below are some simple remedies that are commonly used to treat and relieve stomach bloating.
Simple Ways to get rid of stomach bloating
Eat Smaller Meals and Drink More Water
Because bloating can sometimes be caused by constipation, drinking more water and eating smaller frequent meals can alleviate bloating. Constipation usually occurs as a result of overeating which can overwork the digestive system causing feces to remain longer in the system leading to production of excess gases.
Whereas eating smaller meals prevents the digestive system from being overworked, sipping water throughout the day eases digestion and breaks down feces so that it is easily excreted from the body.
Activated charcoal is sold over the counter in many drug stores. While activated charcoal is commonly used in cases of drug overdose, many people have confessed to using it as a remedy to combat bloating and flatulence.
Like any other over the counter drug however, it is always important to consult your doctor before using it.
Be More Active
Sometimes, bloating may be caused by a condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Increased physical activity and regular exercises may significantly improve bowel function and reduce the occurrence of bloating.
Try Some Common Herbs
There are many home remedies that can help alleviate or get rid of bloating. Taking ginger, chamomile tea, peppermint or cinnamon can be a simple solution to easing the symptoms of bloating. These herbs prevent constipation because they help prevent the formation of excessive gases in the digestive tract and also sooth stomach upsets.
Peppermint has soothing effects and can alleviate stomach upset while cinnamon is great for preventing formation of excess gases. Taking any of the herbs every day after dinner can help you avoid getting bloated.
Taking warm lemon water every morning can also help get rid of bloating.
Probiotics refer to dietary supplements that contain live bacteria similar to those that thrive in the digestive system. They are also known to improve digestion and reduce production of excess gases in the digestive tract.
Although probiotics are available in most local drug stores, they can also be found in some yoghurt varieties.
Avoid Swallowing Air
Swallowing excess air can occur as a result of eating too quickly or eating and talking at the same time, drinking fizzy drinks and chewing gum. You can avoid swallowing excess gas by chewing slowly with your mouth closed, using a straw when drinking and avoiding talking while eating. It may also be wise to stop chewing gum.
Avoid Gassy Foods and Drinks
Drinking carbonated drinks and eating gassy or high fiber foods can cause bloating. High fiber foods including; broccoli, beans, cabbages and oatmeal are certainly very healthy but too much of it can cause excessive gas production.
Many starches, carbohydrates and sugary foods produce nitrogen gas when consumed by bacteria in the digestive systems.
Avoiding such foods can help you get rid of bloating and flatulence.
Let the Gas Out
Sometimes, the best way to ease bloating is by releasing the pent-up gases in the digestive tract. While this may sound embarrassing, like burping and belching, breaking wind is a natural process that helps the body get rid of excess gases. Holding it in can cause severe discomfort and abdominal pains and cramping because lack of an outlet only causes the gases to fester and distend and upset the digestive tract further.
Instead of repressing it, you can find a restroom or an open space and try to break wind and belch as much as you can. This will most probably help you feel better.
Although bloating is rarely a serious condition, if it occurs too frequently or is characterized by a bloody stool or extended abdominal pains, you may need to visit your doctor in order to rule out any underlying problems.