Abdominal bloating is caused by a buildup of gas anywhere in the expansive gastrointestinal system. It is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition. However, you can easily treat it. Gaining relief from belly bloating is not as hard as you might think it is. If you need immediate relief, follow these tips:
- Walk around the block a couple of times – Physical activities such as walking or jogging can help you release any excess gas in your system. Take a short stroll and you will feel much better.
- Perform a couple of yoga positions – There are many different yoga poses that position the abdomen in such a way that it will be easier to release the pent-up gas in your system. Some of the poses that you can use include: happy baby pose and child’s pose.
- Take peppermint capsules – Peppermint oil is actually proven to provide relief from indigestion and the gas that come with it. It does so by relaxing the abdominal muscles that prevent the gas from moving and getting released.
- Use gas relief tablets – If the bloating is already quite serious, you can use certain medications like over-the-counter simethicone pills that will help you move the excess air out.
- Abdominal massage – By just gently massaging your abdominal area, you can get your bowels moving, thus, allowing gas buildup to escape. Try using a simple massage that follows the path of the intestines. It should be as if you are pushing the air out of your body.
- Use essential oils – Food supplements containing fennel and curcumin essential oils have been discovered to have very positive effects on people suffering from IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. Since bloating is one of the symptoms of IBS, you can also use this to treat just bloating.
- Take a long warm bath – The heat coming from the water will help relax your abdominal muscles, making it easier for you to pass the built-up gas. A warm bath will also help relieve stress, which can help the GI (gastrointestinal) tract function better and reduce bloating over time.
If you are suffering from chronic bloating, here are some tips to help you gain long-term relief:
- Increase your fiber intake – If you are not getting enough fiber in your daily diet, then it is time to do so right now. However, be careful not to go over the daily recommended amount (25g for females, 38g for males) too much, as people who eat more than 70g of fiber per day also suffer from bloating.
- Quit drinking soda/cola – Carbonated drinks obviously contain gas. This builds up in your stomach, causing you to feel bloated. Also, these drinks contain a massive amount of sugar, which can also cause bloating. Drink more water, instead of these unhealthy beverages.
- Quit chewing gum – Most chewing gums contain sugar alcohol, which is a substance that causes bloating in some people. Also, you are involuntarily swallowing air when you are chewing gum, leading to bloating and gas pain. Instead of chewing gum, use ginger lozenges or mints to freshen up your breath.
- Get enough exercise – Lack of physical activity makes your bowel movements more sluggish, thus resulting in bloating. With regular physical activity and exercise, your bowel movements will become more regular and you will be able to pass gas much more easily.
- Eat smaller meals, but more often – Instead of three big meals a day, why not spread it out to five or six smaller meals? Some people report that they would usually suffer from bloating after a heavy meal. Avoid this by eating smaller meals at regular intervals. It will make your digestive system perform more efficiently.
- Consume more probiotics – Probiotics are the good bacteria that reside within your intestines. If you are constantly suffering from a bloated stomach, you might not have enough probiotics in your digestive system. Take a probiotic supplement to regulate the number of bacteria in your intestines to keep it healthy.
- Rule out medical conditions first – There are many cases wherein stomach bloating was a symptom of a more serious underlying medical condition. For instance, inflammatory bowel diseases (including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) can cause bloating. It is also a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome. In women, endometriosis and ovarian cysts can also cause bloating and gas.
Before you waste a lot of time trying to treat the symptom, consult first with your doctor to find out if your bloating is a result of an underlying medical condition. Know that your doctor might require you to undergo the usual diagnostic tests before he/she can give you a straight answer.
- Try going on a low-FODMAP diet – FODMAPs are carbs that are in many different kinds of food. Medical professionals have found that people who suffer from IBS reported improved symptoms after they switched over to a low FODMAP diet. The typical symptoms that they used to have included bloating and mild to moderate abdominal pain.
- Start writing in a food diary – There are plenty of cases wherein bloating is one of the effects of food intolerances. If you think that you might have certain food intolerances, you should start keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks. This will allow you to keep track of the foods that you ate during the days when you suffered from stomach bloating.
Lactose-intolerant people will almost always suffer from bloating when they ingest even a bit of dairy that contains lactose. In a more serious note, intolerance to gluten, which is a sign of celiac disease, might also be a culprit. If that is the case, then you should consult with your doctor as soon as you can.
- Try using food supplements and medications – Some nutritional supplements, like iron, can cause constipation and indigestion, which can also increase the chances of bloating. On the other hand, ingesting potassium can help reduce bloating by balancing the sodium levels of the body.
However, you need to be careful when taking medications, as they might have dangerous side effects that might affect the GI tract and cause even more complications. To prevent that from happening, you should ask the pharmacist if a certain type of medication has side effects if you are buying over-the-counter meds. To be on the safe side, you should consult with your doctor.
Abdominal or belly bloating is one of the most painful and uncomfortable conditions you may experience. Fortunately, there are various ways to deal with it. Through the tips in this article, you can gain instant relief from belly bloating, thereby eliminating the discomfort and pain it often causes.