While bloating may generally be described as a common distention in any section of the body, it normally occurs in the abdominal region. In fact, bloating may result in an enlargement in the region of the abdomen. In such cases, either the abdomen's diameter may enhance somewhat or too much. In effect, the air that we swallow is known to be the major reason for bloating, in addition to distention of any body part, especially the abdominal area. Nevertheless, it needs to be underlined that bloating and distention are two different things. For instance, presence of too much gas in the stomach causes bloating, while the same gas inside the stomach, which is responsible for bloating, is exuded by the body in the form of flatulence, belching and burping.
One of the causes of bloating is likely to be the excessive amount of air gulped by an individual while eating, or may well be at the time when plenty of gases are produced inside the stomach owing to secretion of stomach acids and gastric juices. There is little doubt that stomach bloating is tremendously agonizing and may possibly even result in pain owing to the enlargement of the abdominal cavity. Pain caused by bloating following eating anything may occur occasionally, or even many times in a day. While bloating is generally an impermanent problem, it may even turn out to be a sign of a further grievous health problem. In case the bloating as well as the stomach gases keep on, it is advisable that you confer a physician.
The typical symptoms of bloating include pain in the abdominal region, a feeling of constriction of the chest, vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, people enduring bloating also experience considerable alterations in bowel movements. The stools turn dark and may also contain blood. Even the consistency of stool may undergo a change, either turning to be watery and loose or solidify and cause constipation. There may also be more burping as well as flatulence owing to the presence of too much gas in the stomach. In addition, when you have bloating, you may experience uneasiness in the abdominal region and, at the same time, your appetite too would decrease considerably. Because of the discomfort and reduced appetite caused by bloating, you are also likely to lose weight. Moreover, bloating may also make you continuously feel exhausted, cramping within the stomach as well as breathing difficulties. In specific cases, the cramps as well as the pain attributed to bloating are actually so acute that it might appear you are enduring pain in your heart. In case the pain is in the right side of your body, one may often oversight it to be pain due to gallbladder stones or appendicitis. Another symptom of bloating is hiccups.
When you are enduring bloating, it is normal to find it difficult to swallow any food and you may also experience sporadic chest pains. It is also likely that you will have a feeling as if your stomach is burning. In addition, you may also always experience a sense of fullness - a feeling akin to having consumed excessive foods. This is the primary reason for bloating and stomach pain always being related to one another. In the case of numerous people, who enduring belching continuously, the appetite is very badly affected. In such cases, the person might not like to eat anything and would experience significant weight loss owing to loss of appetite. Generally, indigested food that stays back in the stomach as well as the intestines is responsible for bloating. When this happens, it naturally reduces one's appetite. In such cases, the individual will feel exhausted and may even experience breathing troubles owing to the feeling of fullness. In addition to the above mentioned problems, the individual may even have a general feeling of depression or melancholy.
In fact, when the stomach pain is excruciating and becomes unbearable, you are likely to experience cramps in the stomach and this may be particularly agonizing. In such cases, the pain is spiky and it generally moves from one part of the stomach to another extremely rapidly. In such cases, several people have a feeling that they are actually enduring a heart pain since the pain has an effect on the upper left part of our torso. Such pains are usually so extreme that some people have a feeling that they would soon be experiencing an appendix rupture or any other gastrointestinal disorder.
As the possible causes of bloating are numerous, the medications also differ. If you want to treat bloating, it is essential to cure the basic issue responsible for this problem. For instance, provided constipation is responsible for bloating, consumption of fruits may facilitate in loosening the stool. In addition, undertaking work-outs, drinking lots of fluids, especially water, and consumption of fibrous foods may also assist in providing relief from constipation and, thereby, facilitate in treating bloating.
Supplements and herbs
Several specific herbs and supplements have been found to be effective in treating bloating. In case stomach or intestinal gas is responsible for bloating, taking one or two betaine hydrochloric acid tablets may prove to be beneficial. Moreover, drinking carbonated water may promote belching, which, in turn, facilitates in giving out the gas and provide relief from bloating. In addition, chewing seeds of celery as well as drinking a tea prepared from chamomile may also assist in relieving bloating. Other beneficial teas that help in easing bloating include ginger, fennel and peppermint.
Another remedy for bloating is taking activated charcoal pills, which also provides relief from stomach gas. In effect, charcoal pills are able to soak up substances, which are undesirable to our digestive system. It works excellently by absorbing the fat from greasy foods we consume. Activated charcoal is available in tablet and capsule forms that can be gulped down along with a full glass (8 oz) of water. Here is a word of caution: activated charcoal pills should never be taken by women who are on contraceptive pills or people taking other medications. Moreover, this medication should never be used for a prolonged period.
It may be noted that ginger possesses several health benefits, especially for the intestines. Ginger aids the digestive system ensuring smooth flow of bile from the gallbladder. Ginger also helps in taming upset stomach, cooling acid indigestion as well as easing bloating. Provided you take ginger a minimum of an hour prior to travelling, it will help in easing motion sickness. Ginger also provides relief from pains caused by excessive stomach gas and also the gas itself. You may take ginger in the form of a tea or as a supplement.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is probably the most well known remedy for indigestion. This kitchen item is considered to be a therapeutic staple that has the aptitude to help in different types of diseases, but is most well known for cooling acid indigestion. The normal dosage of this is mixing one teaspoonful of baking soda in a full glass (8 oz) of water, stirring it till the entire amount dissolves and drink the liquid. It may be noted that baking soda actually counteracts stomach acid, which has the potential to bring about bloating and indigestion.
An assortment of teas are available that may be beneficial in curing bloating and indigestion. For instance, chamomile tea has the aptitude to assist in treating indigestion, bloating as well as nausea. Even the bark of slippery elm is useful for curing heartburn and indigestion. When you sip slippery elm in the form of a tea, it helps to form a defensive covering that facilitates in soothing the stomach as well as esophagus.
In addition, a substance known as bromelain that is found in pineapple juice also helps in treating indigestion. This natural medicine has the ability to enhance digestion as well as end indigestion. In case you are enduring indigestion, you will benefit immensely if you take a small glass of pineapple juice prior to or following a meal. In case you have problems in drinking pineapple juice, you may try papaya juice as a substitute.
Besides taking prescription drugs and herbs and supplements, aromatherapy is excellent for treating bloating. In fact, aromatherapy oils come handy while curing bloating, wind, fluid retention and indigestion. However, women should not use aromatherapy oils during pregnancy. You may mix three drops of black pepper oil with three tablespoonful of sunflower oil and gently massage the abdominal region in a clockwise manner. This will facilitate in moving the unwarranted wind or fluid in your stomach. Alternately, you may add four drops of peppermint oil and two drops of black pepper oil and juniper berry oil each to half a teaspoon of odourless skin lotion. You need to apply this blend topically to the abdomen in a leisurely clockwise motion.
In addition, add three drops of fennel oil and three drops of black pepper oil each in your warm bath water and drench your body in it. This is actually a wonderful way to get relief from bloating. You may even massage your abdomen using a blend of two teaspoons of wheat germ oil or grape seed oil and two to three drops of ginger oil, cinnamon oil, peppermint oil or clove oil.
Specific homeopathic remedies are also effective in treating bloating and stomach gas. In fact, the most excellent means to use any homeopathic medication provided you are not able to confer with any professional homeopathic practitioners, are taking a solitary dose of the medication and observe the manner in which your body responds to it. In case you take another dose of the medication and discover that it does not yield the desired result, you may try a new homeopathic remedy and let a few hours to pass to see the results. Homeopathic remedies are not very expensive and do not have any adverse side effects. Occasionally, homeopathic medications are the most appropriate home remedies for bloating, stomach gas and flatulence.
Names of a few homeopathic remedies that help in curing bloating, stomach gas, flatulence and related problems are listed below.
Additional things you may do
In addition to trying prescription drugs, using homeopathic remedies, herbs and supplements as well as aromatherapy, you may also do a few additional things to cure bloating, stomach gases, flatulence and related problems. The best way to get relief from bloating is to let the stomach gas out. In fact, a number of people are capable of controlling their anal sphincter, which enables the release of stomach gases compared to others, in a better manner. They are capable of making flatulence partially furtive (provided it is accompanied by a foul smell). When you hold the stomach gas with a view to evade flatulence, it generally causes bloating, colic or even cramping. Hence, it is at all times better to find the first convenient location to allow it to break instead of trying hard to hold it in throughout the day and undergo wretchedness as well as face the risk of a totally unmanageable release afterwards.
Alternately, you may even mull over purchasing seat pads. When you are going on a long-distance trip by road, stinking gas (it may be noted that it is not the sort of gas you pump into your car) is an unavoidable trouble. In case any of your family member or a companion who travels often with you has any trouble with flatulence in any bounded space, you may also think about purchasing a seat pad that can absorb the emitted gas. Such seat pads are packed with charcoal and have the aptitude to absorb approximately 60 per cent smell of the gas. Although this will not help to solve the problem of flatulence inside the car completely, but it will certainly make the situation very much tolerable. In fact, wearing underwear that is lined with charcoal is much more effectual in such conditions.
In case you consume vegetables belonging to the cabbage and broccoli family, which promote production of stomach gases, you should begin your meal with Beano - a pill that provides a minute dose of alpha-galactosidase - a digestive enzyme produced by the human body. This particular enzyme has the potential to break down fibrous foods and prevents formation of stomach gas after consuming beans and other vegetables. It may be noted here that in extremely rare cases taking Beano for over a period of two to three years may result in allergic reactions, but this only occurs if this pill is taken in excessive dosages prior to almost all meals. However, if you use Beano just once or twice daily before meals, it does not cause allergic reactions or sensitivity. Here is a word of caution: be careful never to mistake Beano for Lactaid. Beano is meant for avoiding formation of stomach gas following consumption of fruits, vegetable and beans and it will not help in preventing gas formation following consumption of dairy products. On the other hand, use of Lactaid avoids disorders of the digestive system owing to consumption of dairy products, but is not helpful when you consume vegetables, fruits and beans.
You may also consume flatulence-free beans to avoid formation of stomach gasses and, thereby, bloating. While beans are not expensive, they can also be prepared in numerous ways. Moreover, beans are an excellent natural source of fiber and protein. However, it is unfortunate that majority of the people suffer from stomach gases when they consume beans. Nevertheless, the Manteca bean basically does not result in the formation of stomach gases and, hence, its consumption is encouraged in the developing nations as a means to supply young babies with protein with no risk of causing colic. Even the Anasazi bean (also called Appaloosa), which is a white-and-purple colored bean is almost free of gas. However, provided you consume a steady diet of beans in all your meals for three to four weeks, your colon will generate the enzyme that puts off formation of stomach gas. However, if you endure flatulence very often, it is possible that by this time your family folks and friends might have compelled you to subsist in a cabin in some wood.
In addition, you may reduce the amount of cheese in your diet, if you wish to prevent formation of stomach gases or flatulence. Consumption of cheese may result in formation of stomach gases even if you may not be lactose-intolerant. Similar to sauerkraut, salami, tomatoes, sausages, tuna and beer, cheese also contains elevated levels of amino acid histamine. This particular amino acid is concerned with allergic reactions and this is the primary reason why people often take anti-histamines. Although you may not be lactose intolerant, consumption of cheese, particularly simultaneously with drinking beer or eating sausages, salami or kraut may burden the gut with histamine and this may result in flatulence as well as dry mouth, dry eyes, itchiness as well as diarrhea. Generally, it is sufficient to simply keep away from consuming three or additional foods of this type at the same time. For instance, it is advisable not to take kraut with cheese, sausage, and chili cheese dog and tomato omelettes. This will go a long way in helping to avoid flatulence, bloating and other related disorders.
Here is another word of caution: never use drinking straws, particularly when consuming carbonated beverages. When you suck on the straw, you also suck in some amount of air and this usually comes out in the form of gas. Also never use gums that are sugar-free and if they have been sweetened using xylitol or sorbitol. It may be noted that these substances, which are used as substitutes for sugar, actually provide nourishments to the fermentative bacteria that subsist on the internal lining of the colon, particularly the Lactobacillus bacteria that you take in from Activia as well as other branded probiotic yogurt.
Provided you are troubled by belching, it is advisable that you begin your meals with any bitter food. It has been found that eating bitter foods avoids belching and eating them especially at the start of you meal, sets off a reaction that frees stomach acid. The additional stomach acid helps to digest the ingested food even more systematically, leaving behind smaller number of allergens as well as lessening fermentation of the food.
Other beneficial herbs