Gas and bloating are something most of us experience quite frequently. Most people are ashamed to talk about excessive gas and bloating, but this should not be the case. While excess gas and bloating are most often caused by swallowing air or eating unhealthy foods, it can sometimes be due to serious underlying issues like stomach and colon cancer, food poisoning and more.
Different types of gas
Gas and bloating can surface in a couple of ways. This includes belching, flatulence, or bloating.
Belching or burping – This takes place when excess gas is expelled through the mouth. Belching and burping are relatively common, and all of us burp almost on a daily basis. However, when you find yourself burping and belching too often and too much, then you’re probably suffering from excessive gas.
Flatulence – This refers to the passing of gas through the rectum. Sometimes, your body cannot digest all the food you eat, especially foods that have sugars, starch, and some fibers. This can cause flatulence. At other times, the bacteria that help digest food can go into overdrive, expelling too much gas. This contributes to gas and bloating too.
Bloating – Bloating is when there is an excess accumulation of gas, making you feel uncomfortable and full, especially around the abdomen and stomach.
Causes of excessive gas and bloating
A lot of factors contribute to gas and bloating. Some of the more common ones are:
- When you eat and swallow too fast, you end up overworking your digestive system, and the breaking of the food particles becomes harder, causing excessive gas and bloating.
- A few common triggers of gas are certain sugars, artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, starches and carbohydrates, junk food, oily foods, and processed foods.
- Swallowing too much air when drinking through a straw or constantly chewing gum can be another cause of excessive gas and belching.
- Sometimes, digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be factors of excessive gas, flatulence, burping, and bloating.
- Your colon has certain bacteria that help with the digestion of food. Sometimes, these bacteria have a greater ability to produce gas, which in turn results in excessive gas and bloating.
- An overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines can affect your system, gas and bloating is the most likely result.
- In some cases, stress and anxiety can cause excessive gas and bloating too.
Symptoms and signs of gas and bloating
The symptoms of excessive gas and bloating are:
- A feeling of fullness in the stomach and abdomen.
- The constant need to pass gas or flatulence.
- Burping is a normal occurrence, but excessive burping is a sign of too much gas in your system.
- Stomach pain and cramps and a feeling of your stomach being in knots.
- The urgent need for a bowel movement.
- Swelling of the abdomen and the stomach.
- In some cases, you might experience heartburn or acid reflux.
Gas and bloating relief tips and home remedies
Excessive gas and bloating can not only be uncomfortable but also embarrassing. Here are some gas and bloating tips and home remedies.
Ginger contains two chemicals, gingerols and shogaols, which are great in treating excessive gas and bloating. Both these chemicals help relax your intestinal tracts. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties that help ease inflammation. A carminative, ginger also prevents the excessive formation of gas and helps in expelling any excess gas as well.
Have a glass of ginger root tea, or simply boil some ginger in a glass of water and drink it slowly. This is one of the popular gas and bloating tips. Do this about twice a day for positive results.
Chamomile tea helps relax your abdomen. Since it has antispasmodic qualities, it can ease out your cramps too.
Drinking chamomile tea is one of the best gas and bloating tips. The anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties of chamomile tea help relieve gas, treat heartburn, and enable better digestion. Chamomile tea is also a great relaxant, so it soothes your nerves. This calms you down, bringing down your stress levels. Again, this works in your favor because stress can cause excessive gas and bloating. Bringing down stress levels is a must.
Great for soothing your stomach and easing any pain caused by excessive gas, peppermint tea has essential oils which contain menthol. Menthol has an antispasmodic effect, which means it will soothe and ease the muscles of your digestive tract.
This will bring you instant relief from abdominal and stomach cramps. Like chamomile tea, peppermint tea can also help calm you down and deal effectively with your stress levels. Have a cup of peppermint tea before your meals or when you feel bloated, or drink one cup of peppermint tea when you wake up in the mornings.
Lemons are acidic, and this means they help increase the production of hydrochloric acids or HCL in your stomach. Consuming lemon water is one of the effective gas and bloating tips. The HCL helps in the breaking down and digestion of your food. When you consume lemon water, the HCL in your stomach increases and food gets digested quickly.
If the working of your stomach and digestive tract is smooth, you won’t have to worry about excessive gas and bloating. The water will help flush your system clean. Lemon water is a great detoxifying agent, so this means your entire system gets cleaned.