Bloating: Causes and RemediesThere's nothing like bloating to make you feel sluggish and uncomfortable. However, as uncomfortable as the feeling is, it is a universally common problem, which affects almost everyone. Because bloating can have several causes, we often don’t know where to start to avoid discomfort.
The first step in figuring out the cause of abdominal bloating is determining whether it's associated with eating or drinking, or both.
Bloating can be caused by diet, particularly if someone has a high salt intake or eats a lot of gas-producing foods, such as dark leafy vegetables or beans. Calcium supplements can also cause gas in some people.
A simple reflex like inhaling can be the cause of bloating. Some people actually swallow more air in as a result of stress, or simply when they eat. Chewing on gum and smoking can also make you inhale more air, aggravating the discomfort. Avoid talking while you’re eating to prevent bloating.
However, one of the main causes of bloating and gas is food that doesn't get properly absorbed. The body does not absorb sorbitol for example, which is commonly contained in sugar-free gum.
Many desserts are prepared with very rich, creamy products that contain a high percentage of lactose. They're often irresistible, but try to avoid dairy altogether for a few days, and see if your symptoms improve.
Similarly, our body doesn't produce the right enzymes to completely digest certain fruits and vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, especially when eaten raw. This feeds bacteria and results in more gas and flatulence. Wheat and wheat products are famous for causing bloating in many people, and so is gluten.
The bottom line is, our digestive system simply cannot process everything, and you know best the limitation of yours. Not respecting this, and ingesting ingredients that are harmful to you, will inevitably result in undigested food fermenting in the intestines, where bacteria feeds on it, producing yet more gas.
Women are more prone the discomforts of bloating, because it can also be the result of gynecological troubles, or a combination of gastrointestinal and gynecological problems.
For pre-menopausal women, bloating is often related to the menstrual cycle and the level of hormones. When hormonal activity is high, stool and gas move more slowly through the intestines, often leading to constipation and bloating in the weeks before the period. Older women on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) also commonly suffer discomfort from bloating.
Persistent bloating can sometimes signal intestinal blockage. There are many possible causes for these blockages, including scar tissue from prior surgeries, certain medications, abdominal infections, accumulation of waste matter in the intestines, and hernias. Chronic bloating could also be caused by a mass such as an ovarian cyst or uterine fibroid, or signal a more serious underlying liver or pancreas disease.
Women over 50 need to be especially cautious and consult a doctor about any chronic bloating.
Whether of hormonal or gastrointestinal origin, avoiding gas-producing foods and being watchful of your diet will certainly help ease bloating.
Natural Remedies For Bloating
- Ginger tea
- Peppermint tea
- Clove oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Boiled water with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (sweetened with honey, if desired)
- Probiotics: Acidophilus and Bifidus
- Detox Bath: The daily routine of the Detox Bath activates bowel movement, easing blockages due to waste accumulation in the intestines. These accumulations are represent a breeding ground for bacteria causing gas and bloating etc. A 10-minute Detox Bath can instantly relieve bloating by naturally encouring the release of gas from the abdomen.
Exercise To Relieve Bloating
Lie flat on your back and bring your left knee to your chest while keeping your right leg as close to the floor as possible. Hug your left knee to the count of 20. Release and repeat with your right knee. Alternate knees for 5 times or more, depending on the severity of symptoms.
Bloating Dos and Don’ts
- Don't skip meals
- Drink plenty of water (non-carbonated)
- Chew your food thoroughly
- Experiment with proper food combining
- Don't talk and chew at the same time. This causes you to swallow air, which causes more gas
- Avoid carbonated beverages, chewing gum, highly spiced foods, and too many sweets
- Avoid dairy products, a majority of people are lactose intolerant
- Eat only peeled, cooked seedless fruits and vegetables. Strain the seeds out of tomatoes
- Avoid beans, corn (including popcorn), and nuts. Vegetables in the cabbage and onion families, including broccoli and garlic
As uncomfortable and unpleasant as bloating can be, it teaches us a crucial life lesson:
Good health and well-being start in the stomach
You simply cannot be healthy and energetic when your digestive system and elimination process are malfunctioning. Fortunately, bloating is not a symptom that needs to be permanent and following the simple tips above will help boost your digestive health and drastically reduce bloating in your daily life.
More tips on natural bloating and gas relief:
Bloating Causes and Remedies
Zen Secrets to a healthy and flat tummy
Natural Dietary Fibres
Foods That Cause Bloating
Food Combining for Better Digestive Health
Food Intolerance: A Major Trigger of Bloating
Stress, anxiety, anger and all negative emotions release toxins in the body. More
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