At some certain point in their lives, most people experience bloating. Massages, supplements, and exercises can help reduce bloating quickly, and some simple life changes can also prevent a recurrence. However, while almost everyone experiences bloating, some people are more troubled by the condition than others. Sometimes, excessive bloating can be painful or uncomfortable. In addition to OTC relief remedies, some items you can find in the kitchen may double as home remedies for bloated stomach. Ten to twenty percent of adults have a digestive complaint of flatulence or belching, indicating bloating and gas. But bloating does not really mean that there is a problem with digestion.
Table of Contents
You will learn the following from this post:
- Meaning of bloating
- Symptoms of bloating
- Causes of bloating
- Home remedies for bloated stomach
What is Bloating?
Abdominal bloating is a situation where the abdomen feels tight and full. It often occurs due to a buildup of gas around the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Bloating makes the belly seem larger than usual and may also feel painful and tender to the touch. Retention of fluid in the body can also cause bloating.
When bloating occurs right after taking a meal, it usually goes away on its own, but you can speed up this process.
The most effective way of tackling bloating is to find out its cause. The following are common triggers for bloating:
- Digestive issues: Intolerance, food allergies, and constipation can cause bloating. When stool becomes retained in the large bowel, it can result in bloating and a feeling of discomfort. Excessive gas may also collect behind the stool, worsening bloating.
- Diet: Too much salt or sugar, fizzy drinks, and insufficient fiber in the diet can all lead to bloating.
- Hormonal changes: Several people experience bloating before or during their monthly menstrual flows because of hormonal changes and water retention.
Several home remedies can help manage the discomfort and pain of bloating. Although it is uncommon, bloating and swelling of the abdomen can indicate a severe medical condition. Kidney problems, heart failure, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, and some cancer types can trigger bloating.
Symptoms of Bloating
Bloating can endure for days or weeks and may signify a health condition that requires medical attention. It would be nice if you could speak to a doctor about ongoing bloating that does not heal up over time. People whose bloating arises alongside the following symptoms should consult their doctor for proper medical advice:
- blank or dark maroon stools
- bright red blood in the stool
- severe abdominal pain
- weight loss
- trouble eating or appetite changes
Other symptoms of bloating may include the following:
- The skin around your stomach may feel tight and stretched
- Feeling uncomfortable and/or full
- Your stomach may stick out
Depending on the cause, bloating may also come with other symptoms, such as cramping.
What Causes Bloating?
Bloating tends to be associated with certain beverages and foods, including eating habits that cause gas buildup in the digestive system. However, there are several other potential causes too, including:
1. How You Eat
Overeating: The tissue of the stomach is stretchy. But if you stuff more foods into the stomach than it can easily handle at a time, it may bloat.
Eating too fast: Eating food too quickly can make you swallow too much air, which can cause bloating.
2. What You Eat
Drinking carbonated beverages and chewing gum can have the same effect as eating too fast.
High-fiber foods: Foods with rich fiber can trigger bloating, especially if you are not used to eating them.
Alcohol: Spirits, beer, and wine may cause temporary bloating by affecting the stomach lining.
These health conditions can be the culprit:
Constipation: Feces or stool backed up in the bowels can result in gas and distention of the lower stomach.
Food sensitivity and intolerances: Food sensitivity arises when a person consumes something that triggers an immune reaction that causes symptoms but is not life-threatening. If you are dealing with food intolerance, your body cannot process certain products. For instance:
- Some people with intolerance or gluten sensitivity (gluten is a protein available in wheat and other grains) may experience bloating and gas after consuming foods that contain it.
- Lactose-intolerant people do not have lactase (the enzyme necessary for digesting the sugar in dairy products). Because of that, they may experience bloating and stomach aches after eating foods like cheese or milk.
Food allergies: These allergies occur when a person experiences an allergic reaction to a specific food. The most common factors are tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, milk, and eggs. Bloating can arise, including other symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening.
Celiac disease: This autoimmune disorder is caused by the protein gluten. After consuming foods with gluten, the immune system attacks the small intestine. This can cause diarrhea, fatigue, headache, and stomach pain.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): This gastrointestinal disorder can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, and bloating. Symptoms tend to arise after a person consumes a triggering beverage or food.
Bloating may result from the hormonal fluctuations that occur when a person is menstruating.
Abdominal bloating is a common condition. Several people experience the same type of bloating over and over. Normally, bloating that follows a specific and predictable pattern is not severe. When the pattern changes or bloating worsens more than expected, it may be as a result of the following conditions:
A buildup of gas in both the intestines and stomach is among the most common causes of bloating. Other symptoms may include:
- Feeling nauseous
- Feeling a sudden and constant urge to pass stool
- Passing too much gas
- Frequent burping
Bloating triggered by gas may trigger mild discomfort or even intense pain. Some people describe the condition as feeling like something is trapped inside their stomach.
Possible causes of gas include:
- Chronic illness, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or celiac disease
- A stomach infection
- Swallowing air while chewing gum or eating
- Certain foods, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, dairy, and carbonated beverages
Indigestion, in some cases referred to as dyspepsia, is pain or discomfort in the stomach, which can include bloating. Most people experience short-time episodes of indigestion occasionally.
Indigestion is often caused by:
- a minor stomach infection
- taking medications that irritate the stomach, such as ibuprofen
- drinking excessive alcohol
Constant indigestion with bloating that does not seem to be linked with food or other apparent causes could indicate something more severe. Potential serious causes of indigestion include stomach cancer or stomach ulcer.
Home Remedies for Bloated Stomach
There are several advertisements for remedies or medications that reduce bloating and gas. Some are effective in clinical studies; others have not yet been scientifically proven but are anecdotally helpful. You may want to inform your doctor before trying any remedy.
1. Go for a Walk
Physical activity can cause the bowel to move more regularly, which can help release excessive stool and gas. Getting the bowel to move is particularly important if a person feels constipated. A walk around the block can provide quick relief from gas pressure.
2. Try Yoga Poses
Specific yoga poses can position the abdomen muscle to encourage the release of excessive gas from the gastrointestinal tract. This can help decrease bloating.
Happy Baby Pose, Child’s Pose, and squats can help people quickly relieve a buildup of gas.
3. Use Peppermint Capsules
Peppermint oil capsules may also be excellent for indigestion and related gas. Manufacturers usually market peppermint capsules as a treatment for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but people with irritable bowel syndrome can also use them to relieve their bloating condition.
Peppermint works by relaxing the intestines’ muscles, allowing stool and gas to move along more effectively. You should always check and follow the instruction on the packet. Anyone who frequently suffers from heartburn should not use peppermint.
You can buy peppermint capsules at drug stores or online.
4. Try Gas-Relief Capsules
Simethicone liquid and pills are anti-gas medications that can help move excess air from the digestive tract. It is crucial to always take medication as instructed on the label. You can purchase gas relievers from drug stores or online.
5. Abdominal Massage
Massaging the abdomen can assist in moving the bowel. A massage that follows the large intestine path is particularly helpful. You can follow the steps below to do this:
- place the hands just above the right hip bone
- rub in a circular motion with light pressure toward the right side of the ribcage
- rub straight across the upper belly area toward the left ribcage
- move slowly down toward the left hip bone
- repeat as necessary
If you have any discomfort or pain from the massage, you should stop it immediately.
6. Essential Oils
A 2016 study tested the efficacy and effectiveness of supplements that contain a combination of curcumin and fennel essential in 116 people with mild-to-moderate irritable bowel syndrome. After a month, people reported improving their irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, including abdominal pain and bloating.
You should not consume essential oil without first consulting your doctor. This is because some formulations may be considered toxic and can affect the functions of medication, and there is no regulation for dosages.
7. Always Take a Warm Bath, Soaking and Relaxing
The heat from the bath can provide a sore abdomen with relief. Relaxation can decrease the levels of stress, which may make the GI tract function more efficiently and effectively and assist in reducing bloating.
8. Gradually Increase Fiber
Consuming more fiber helps prevent bloating and constipation. Most people in the United States do not get adequate fiber, with only about 5 percent meeting their recommended daily fiber intake of 25 grams for females and 38 grams for males.
However, it is critical to be aware that eating too much fiber or taking fiber too quickly can result in even more bloating and gas. You may experience adverse effects if you consume over 70 grams of fiber daily.
While increasing your intake of fiber, starting slowly is advisable. Also, increase the intake over several weeks to allow the body to adjust to this diet change.
9. Replace Sodas with Water
Carbonated drinks are made up of gas that can build up in the stomach. The carbon dioxide that makes soda and other beverages frizzy can also result in stomach bloating and bubbling. Sugars r artificial sweeteners in the carbonated drink can also cause bloating and gas. Drinking water gets rid of these issues and assists in treating constipation as well.
10. Avoid Chewing Gum
The sugar alcohols in gum can result in bloating in some people. Swallowing air as you chew may also cause bloating and gas pain. You can use peppermint or ginger mint to freshen your bread instead of chewing gum.
11. Get More Active Each Day
Exercise assists your body in moving stools and gas from the colon and may make bowel movements more regular. Exercise also lets off extra sodium from the body through sweating, which can assist in relieving water retention.
Drinking plenty of water before and after exercising is important to remain hydrated, as dehydration can worsen constipation.
12. Eat at Regular Intervals
Many people experience bloating directly after consuming a big meal. It is possible to avoid bloating by consuming several smaller meals each day, which can assist in keeping the digestive system moving.
Swallowing food quickly can also introduce air into the digestive tract. Drinking liquid from a straw can also cause people to swallow more air, which in turn results in gas and bloating. People with bloated stomachs should avoid using straws as much as they can. They should also try to eat more slowly to avoid swallowing air during meals.
You should let your doctor know if your bloating is ongoing or if it is assisted with other symptoms. Besides the home remedies for the bloated stomach, identifying the underlying cause of bloating and other digestive issues is an important step in getting treatment and feeling better.