Get More Active Every Day
Exercise helps your body move stool and gas out of the colon and may make bowel movements more regular. Exercise also releases extra sodium from the body through sweating, which can help to relieve water retention.
It is vital to drink plenty of water before and after exercising to stay hydrated, as dehydration can make constipation worse.
How Is The Treatment Done
Chewing on a few fennel seeds after eating a big meal helps or adding one teaspoon of fennel seeds to 1 cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes and have this tea two or three times a day. You can chew on fresh peppermint leaves for relief.
Another option is to steep a peppermint tea bag in hot water for about 10 minutes and drink two to three cups of this tea a day. 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. Another option is to eat one teaspoon of fresh grated ginger before meals. You can also grate ginger root and sprinkle it on your food. Adults can opt to take 0.25 to 1 g of powdered ginger root daily.
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.
I Only Have A Poo Once A Week
Michelle Nixon, 37, of Morden, Surrey, works for a medical device firm and is a married mum of two.
Abdomen exam: Normal
Diagnosis: Chronic constipation
Michelle says: Ive suffered from constipation for as long as I can remember and only open my bowels once every seven days.
Ive tried several laxatives, which do help me go to the loo more often.
My diet is fairly healthy, although I probably dont drink enough fluids during the day and my exercise levels could be better. The problem does worry me.
Mr Wests assessment: Michelle has no red flag symptoms that could indicate cancer.
Her weight and appetite are normal and she has no family history of bowel conditions.
She simply has idiopathic chronic constipation, due to a sluggish digestive system.
It would be worth having a blood test to check her thyroid levels, as constipation is a classic sign of hypothyroidism when the body doesnt produce enough of the thyroid hormone.
The prescription laxative Dulcolax can help her. Exercise is also important, as is drinking plenty of fluids.
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Always Have A Bloated Stomach Here Are 10 Reasons Why
Stomach bloating is so common these days that its been called an epidemic. If you frequently deal with distention, digestive discomfort and a bloated stomach, you probably want to know: Why do I feel bloated all the time?
With most peoples poor diets, high levels of stress, need for daily medications and exposure to various pollutants, its no wonder they suffer some sort of bloating more days than not.
While a bloated stomach is certainly uncomfortable even embarrassing when it comes along with gas or the need to run to the bathroom it might be an even bigger deal than you think. Below well look closer at reasons you may deal with an inflated belly, plus discuss bloated stomach remedies, such as foods to focus on and those to avoid.
Causes Of Bloated Stomach
There are many different causes of bloated stomach, some of which occur simultaneously. The main causes of a bloated stomach to watch out for are:
- Cruciferous vegetables: Certain cruciferous vegetables contain a complex sugar called raffinose which causes excess gas during digestion and triggers a bloated stomach. Popular cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower. These foods are nutritious so dont avoid them completely, just cut down on portion sizes and make sure they are well cooked – the body has a harder time digesting raw or undercooked vegetables.
- Eating too much or too quickly: Overeating causes the stomach to expand quickly to allow for the increased volume of food. Eating too quickly or chewing gum can increase the amount of air that is swallowed which also triggers bloating.
- Too much or not enough fibre: The digestive system needs fibre to function properly and a lack of fibre can lead to constipation, which results in bloating and a rock solid belly. If you are suffering from constipation, increase your dietary fibre gradually. Its important to do this gradually as adding too much fibre to the diet too quickly can result in excess trapped gas and make bloating worse.
- PMS: In the days leading up to menstruation, many women experience uncomfortable bloating and abdominal pain. This is due to hormonal fluctuations that cause water retention.
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How Common Is Stomach Bloating
Between 10% and 25% of otherwise healthy people complain of occasional abdominal bloating. As many as 75% describe their symptoms as moderate to severe. About 10% say they experience it regularly. Among those diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome , it may be as much as 90%. Up to 75% of women experience bloating before and during their period. Only 50% of people who experience bloating also report a distended abdomen.
Ginger Helps The Body Expel Intestinal Gas
Ginger is recognized as a medicinal herb with multiple therapeutic virtues, including the ability to relieve excessive gas and bloating.
Ginger mainly targets the stomach, and its beneficial effects can be enhanced by consuming it with artichoke, which also acts on the small bowel. These two ingredients are present in the commercially available digestive product called Prodigest.
A study supported the efficacy of Prodigest in reducing the symptoms of functional dyspepsia, including bloating, abdominal pain, epigastric heaviness, and nausea, among other discomforts.
How to use:
Add ginger to various dishes as a flavor enhancer. Alternatively, chew on a few slices of ginger, or steep them in hot water to make ginger tea and consume it.
Note: The gastroprotective properties of ginger need to be substantiated by more studies. Moreover, further clinical trials are needed to address the correct dosage and preparation.
The pungent compounds gingerol and shogaol in ginger stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes, enabling smoother and easier digestion with lesser gas production.
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What Causes Bloating In The Stomach
Gas is a natural byproduct of digestion, but too much intestinal gas means your digestion is gone awry. While you can ingest gasses by swallowing air or drinking carbonated beverages, these gasses mostly escape through belching before they reach your intestines. Gasses in your intestines are mostly produced by gut bacteria digesting carbohydrates, in a process called fermentation.
If theres too much fermentation going on, its because too many carbohydrates werent naturally absorbed earlier in the digestive process, before reaching those gut bacteria. That could be for several reasons. Maybe you just ate too much too fast for proper digestion. Or you might have a specific food intolerance or gastrointestinal disease. Some possible causes include:
These can include solids, liquids, and gas. Digestive contents can build up in your digestive system when there is a backup or restriction in your digestive tract or when the muscles that move digestive contents along are somehow impaired. Any build-up of digestive contents along the digestive tract will leave less room for normal amounts of gas to process through. It also leaves less room for other things in your abdomen, including circulatory fluids and fat, making everything feel tighter. Causes of build-up can include:
How To Reduce Bloating
The best bloated stomach remedies depend on whats causing your bloating. Common causes include trapped wind, indigestion, food intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome , constipation and hormonal changes like the menopause. Read more about the causes of a bloated stomach.
Find below the many self-care measures you can try at home to relieve bloating.
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Check For Lactose Intolerance
Lactose is a sugar found in milk.
Your body needs an enzyme called lactase to break down lactose. However, most people dont produce enough of this enzyme to break down lactose once they reach adulthood. The resulting condition is called lactose intolerance (
- Increasing your fiber intake. Aim for 1830 grams per day of both soluble and insoluble fiber from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- Drinking adequate fluids. Drink 68.5 cups per day of water and other fluids.
- Exercising regularly. Walking, jogging, swimming, or bicycling for about 30 minutes each day may help keep your bowels moving regularly.
Keep in mind that you may need to increase your soluble fiber intake with caution, as this type of fiber is fermented in your colon and may contribute to bloated feelings .
Additionally, adding fiber to your diet too rapidly may worsen constipation, so its important to increase your intake slowly. Aim for an intake of 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men .
While constipation may be relieved with medication, certain types like bulk and osmotic laxatives may make bloating worse, so talk with your doctor about your symptoms to determine whats best for you .
Constipation may cause or exacerbate symptoms of bloating. Increased fiber and fluid intake, as well as physical activity, are effective natural treatments.
Here Are 10 Remedies For A Bloated Stomach:
1. Drink Lemon Water
Lemon juice is a natural diuretic, in that it increases the amount of water and salt that the body passes as urine. As such, lemon water is a good remedy for the discomfort that is caused by consumption of excess sodium. High sodium levels in the body trick the body system into retaining water since the system perceives that the person is dehydrated. You could squeeze half a lemon in warm water and drink it as a remedy. You may add a teaspoon of honey to make the concoction palatable.
Probiotics are an excellent source of the good bacteria that your regular doctor keeps talking about. Probiotics are naturally present in plants such as kimchi, sauerkraut, temper, and kefir. Dr. Robynne Chutkan, the founder of the Digestive Center for Women, reiterates that live bacteria address the imbalance problem in the gut flora. Such plant-based probiotics, as well as yogurt, also improve digestion and therefore, alleviate stomach swelling.
3. Drink Herbal Teas
Herbal teas including green tea, chamomile tea, and peppermint tea are full of antioxidants that aid to assuage inflammation in the body. You could take warm herbal tea at least twice a day to help with a bloated abdomen.
4. Baking Soda
5. Eat Bananas
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
7. Eat or Drink Ginger
8. Use Turmeric in Food
9. Reduce Coffee Consumption
10. Reduce Salt Intake
Probiotics Balance The Gut Flora
Digestive trouble arises when the balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria is disturbed, such that one type of bacteria overpowers the others.
Probiotics are essentially live cultures of friendly bacteria that are similar to the good bacteria found in the human gut. Hence, they can help restore the normal microbial equilibrium in the intestine and thereby improve its function.
Probiotics also aid in reducing the severity of IBS symptoms, which include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and altered bowel movements.
How to use:
Several foods contain a heavy dose of probiotics that can be added to your daily diet to restore well-balanced gut flora. You can take probiotic supplements, but preferably after consulting your doctor.
Probiotics help balance out the gut microflora, thus aiding in digestion and, consequentially, preventing indigestion and bloating.
Carom Seeds Reduce Gas
Ajwain water is a great natural remedy to curb gas. The seeds contain essential oils that stimulate the salivary glands, which helps in the better digestion of food and prevents the formation of excess gas.
How to use:
Add 1 teaspoon of carrom seeds to a cup of water and allow it to soak overnight. Strain the tea and consume it in the morning.
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Make Your Own Smoothies And Avoid Added Sugars
Shop-bought smoothies and juices contain lots of added sugars and are naturally high in sugar too so its worth always having them in moderation. According to nutritionist Rick Hay Xylitol, a type of added sugar, can be bad news for your tummy when consumed in excess. Too much of it can cause discomfort and diarrhoea.
Remedies And Treatments For Bloated Stomachs
While stomach bloating will often resolve on its own, the following measures may help reduce bloating or address its underlying causes:
Exercise and Posture
Physical exercise can help reduce bloating and clear gas from the body. Posture adjustment can also help. The body retains more gas when you are lying on your back, so try to stay active throughout the day.
Both simethicone and activated charcoal are marketed as gas-reducers. The two have proven ineffective and/or inconsistent when used on their own in clinical trials. However, there is some evidence to suggest that they may work when combined or when used with magnesium oxide or loperamide .
The use of probiotics to help with digestive issues is common but little studied. Still, there is some evidence that using probiotics can help reduce stomach bloating. The formula in VSL#3 proved to reduce bloating in both adults and children in clinical studies.
One common cause of stomach bloating is the inability to digest certain foods. Most digestive enzyme supplements are effective only for people who cannot produce enzymes for medical reasons. However, over-the-counter enzymes have proven to help with the digestion of two commonly problematic foods: dairy and legumes .
If you have a hard time digesting the sugars in these foods, you might benefit from lactase supplements for dairy or alpha-galactosidase supplements for legumes.
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Replace Sodas With Water
Fizzy, carbonated drinks contain gas that can build up in the stomach. The carbon dioxide that makes soda and similar beverages fizzy can also cause bubbling and bloating in the stomach.
Sugars or artificial sweeteners in the diet can also cause gas and bloating. Drinking water eliminates these issues and helps to treat constipation as well.
Rule Out Medical Conditions
In some cases, bloating may result from a medical condition. To get rid of this bloating, a person may need help from a doctor to diagnose and manage their condition.
Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, may cause people to experience bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome , can also cause this symptom.
People with these symptoms should discuss them with a doctor, who will also want to know about any relevant family medical history and other medical conditions. The doctor may order diagnostic tests to look for any problems. These may include an X-ray, ultrasound, colonoscopy, or blood tests.
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Remedies And Treatments For Bloating
Once a cause of bloating is established, the symptom can be treated. Depending on your doctorâs findings, he or she may suggest one of the following remedies for bloating:
Eating too quickly causes you to swallow more air, which can lead to gas and bloating. Eating slowly can help reduce bloating. Additionally, slowing your eating can make you feel full, faster, helping you avoid overeating, which can lead to bloating.
Changing Your Diet
If you notice a trend in certain foods causing you to bloat, try reducing or eliminating those foods from your diet. Foods that commonly cause bloating are wheat, beans, lentils, garlic, onions, and asparagus. Milk and dairy foods can also cause bloating, as some people have a hard time digesting a sugar they contain called lactose.
Researchers have found that certain antidepressants can affect the way your body reacts to gas, keeping it from overreacting to its presence.
Eating too much fiber is one of the most common reasons for bloating. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet, but it can cause a lot of gas in your digestive system because your body cannot digest it. The key with fiber is to eat it in moderation. Foods high in fiber include beans, lentils, broccoli, whole wheat, apples, berries, and quinoa.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
The stomach and intestines are home to a variety of bacteria, many of which help the body digest food. Disturbing the balance of these bacteria can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria present in the small intestine. This is known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.
SIBO can cause bloating, frequent diarrhea, and may lead to difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrients. For some people, SIBO can lead to osteoporosis or unintentional weight loss.
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How To Soar To Self
One of the herbs shown to have carminative effects is ginger, the subject of a review published in April 2015 in the journal European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Studies. It found that ginger helps speed digestion, which is important because if your stomach empties faster, gases can move more quickly into your small intestine to relieve discomfort and bloating.
Additionally, a study published in April 2015 in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that in people with functional dyspepsia, a condition of chronic or recurring pain in your upper abdomen, ginger combined with artichoke extract stimulated gastric emptying.
Other herbs and spices that may provide gas relief include:
A combination of caraway and peppermint oils is the active ingredient in FDgard, a nonprescription formulation designed to help manage functional dyspepsia some doctors recommend it for gas and bloating.
Lemond notes that you should always get approval from your doctor before taking an herbal supplement. She suggests trying to gain the benefit of carminatives from the food you eat rather than by taking supplements, which she says should be taken with caution. “Some people think of herbal supplements as natural or straight from the earth, so they may be taken at will, but a lot of them have pharmaceutical effects and could interact with medication.”