Abdominal bloating is a condition in which the stomach feels full and tight due to buildup of gas in the small intestine. This can make the stomach area visibly swollen. A number of factors can cause bloating. The main reason is the buildup of intestinal gas. Other causes include constipation, peptic ulcers, anorexia, anxiety, smoking, water retention, trapped air, overeating, indigestion, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Here are the top ways to eliminate bloating:
AVOID SWALLOWING AIR AND GAS
There are two sources of gas in the digestive system- One is gas produced by the bacteria in the gut (which we’ll get to in a bit) and the other is air or gas that is swallowed when you eat or drink. The biggest offender here is carbonated beverages (soda, or fizzy drinks). They contain bubbles with carbon dioxide, a gas that can be released from the liquid after it reaches your stomach. Chewing gum, drinking through a straw, and eating while talking or while in a hurry, can also lead to increased amounts of swallowed air.
Ginger is a well-known herb that can be used to reduce gas and bloating. It contains several active ingredients, including the pungent compounds gingerols and shogaols that help reduce inflammation in the intestines and relax the intestinal muscles.
How to use: Place five to six thin slices of ginger in a cup and pour boiling water into the cup. Cover the cup and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Add a little honey and lemon juice to it and then drink it up to three times a day.
Gas produced by the bacteria in the intestine is a major contributor to bloating. Several clinical trials have shown that certain probiotic supplements can help reduce both gas production, as well as bloating, in people with digestive problems. Probiotic supplements can have numerous other benefits, so they are definitely worth trying out.
Chamomile tea is another effective option to get relief from bloating. This herbal tea has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties that can help soothe the stomach and help with heartburn as well.
How to use: Bring one cup of water to a boil. Pour it into a cup containing one chamomile tea bag. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the tea bag and add some lemon juice or honey as desired. Sip the tea slowly. Have this tea two or three times a day between meals.
Eating pumpkin is an excellent way to prevent unwanted flatulence as well as bloating. Pumpkin contains a good amount of vitamin A, potassium and fibre that help in digestion. Adding just one cup of pumpkin to your meals can help create a smooth digestive flow and reduce gas. You can steam, bake or broil it, or include it as an ingredient in your recipes.
Activated charcoal has porous properties, which means it has holes that allow the passing of air and water. These spaces can trap excess gas in the intestines caused by stomach bacteria. Activated charcoal is available in tablet, capsule and powder form. Seek medical advice to learn the exact dosage that is right for you.
A great way to deal with bloating issue is to exercise daily, be it a walk for about 10 to 15 minutes after dinner or walk the dog as this will help you alleviate some of the annoying gas you are experiencing. If you are sitting all day, it will not allow the gas to move around and may cause bloating. Regular and mild exercise, even a brisk walk around your house or garden, can help your sluggish digestive tract.