Gas and bloating can be painful, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. Whether you overindulged in your favorite foods or have a digestive condition that produces excess gas, getting rid of that over-full sensation is something everyone desires. Your remedy for relieving excess gas may depend on what caused it in the first place, and luckily there are plenty of tips out there to relieve gas pain.
If you have gas or bloating, your best bet may be to simply let it out. In many situations, this might sound like the worst possible solution, but if you keep gas trapped inside, it can result in more pain and even lead to constipation. Gently massaging your lower abdomen with your fingers can help gas move along, or a quick trip to a restroom can provide relief.
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Taking the time to slowly eat your food, rather than gulping in large bites, can help reduce the amount of extra air trapped in your gastrointestinal tract or gut. Large bites and swallowing your food in chunks allows small pockets of air to be swallowed along with your food, and those turn into painful gas. If you're eating foods rich in fiber, such as leafy greens or starchy vegetables, chewing your food more slowly and thoroughly will help break down the fiber in your mouth and result in less gas.
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To help reduce gas and bloating when it's already present, include a bit of fresh ginger root in your meal. This aromatic root not only helps with gas and bloating, but it also reduces inflammation in the body. Studies show it stimulates muscular contractions in the intestinal tract, moving food and gas through the colon and out of the body faster. Therefore, it may help with constipation too. Simply peel the root, thinly slice it, and steep it in some water with honey. You can also add it to stir-frys or bake with it!
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When you drink carbonated beverages, you're increasing the amount of air trapped in your stomach. You'll also become full from the air, leaving your gut struggling to break down and digest the food properly. Sodas are often served with straws, another no-no if you're trying to prevent excess gas. Drinking through a straw allows small bubbles of air to be consumed along with your beverage.
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What you eat might be the cause of your painful gas and bloating. Some foods are well-known to cause painful gas, including fibrous vegetables like broccoli or bell peppers, and certain types of legumes such as larger beans. Many people are lactose-intolerant, and find dairy foods can produce gas. Fried foods may also increase gas and bloat in the gut. If you notice you're feeling painfully bloated after certain meals, look at the composition of your diet and reduce the likely culprits. When you increase the fiber content of your diet, do it gradually to reduce gas and bloating.
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If you're currently experiencing gas, there are a few beverages that may help. Ginger and lemon in hot water can help move the gas along, as can peppermint in the form of hot tea. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps reduce gas and bloating. Avoid peppermint if you get acid reflux, as it can worsen the symptoms. Chamomile tea is another tasty beverage that helps reduce gas. Finally, if you are trying to pass everything along, a glass of prune or apple juice can encourage a bowel movement and release trapped gas.
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Small brown fennel seeds can help reduce gas quickly. This old Chinese salve for trapped gas has recently reached popularity in North America. Chew a tablespoon of the seeds, swallowing the juices produced. Fennel can not only help reduce gas and bloating, but it can also soothe the inflammation that occurs as a result of a troubled gut.
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Adding apple cider vinegar to a cold glass of water may bring relief from gas pain and bloating. Drink the beverage, but make sure to wash your mouth out with water afterward, as the remaining vinegar can erode tooth enamel. Apple cider vinegar aids the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes that help your gut thoroughly break down food.
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Your gut is populated with bacteria that help break down the food you eat and keep your gut healthy. Overpopulation of certain bacteria can also produce digestive gas, which ends up trapped in your gut. Probiotic supplements increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut and are used to treat several digestive complaints, including diarrhea. These "good" bacteria may alleviate bloating, intestinal gas, abdominal pain, and symptoms of IBS.
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If you constantly have gas and bloating, you may have other, more serious gastrointestinal conditions. Your doctor may ask you about your bowel movements or if you have noticed any blood in your stool. Some stomach and intestinal disorders can result in excess gas. You might also have a food intolerance or allergy, in which case your physician may recommend an elimination diet to determine the cause.
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.