We all love to eat spicy and delicious food. Sometimes, we overeat, and this results in stomach pain and bloating. Does this mean that you will stop eating? Well, there is no need for that since there are many home remedies that can solve gas, heartburn, and bloating.
Everything You Need To Know About Gas Troubles
What Is Gas?
When you sense the accumulation of excessive gas in your body, it is an indication of a mild gastric problem that causes embarrassment more than discomfort. Usually, gas is odorless unless it contains methane. In other instances, the gas passes through the rectum, and the bacteria present there add sulfur to it, causing the odor to increase.
Gas may or may not be accompanied by pain. If you are suffering, you may have acute or chronic gas problems. While you can get rid of acute gas problems quickly, chronic gas problems are more permanent and can also lead to ulcers. Sometimes, gas pains may be so intense that you may feel like something is seriously wrong. Gas troubles can sometimes be mistaken for appendicitis, heart diseases, and gallstones. Read on to know the common causes and main symptoms of gas problems.
What Are The Basic Causes Of Gas?
Gas is usually formed when bacteria in the colon ferment the carbohydrates that have not been digested in the small intestine. Astonishingly, it is the healthy, high-fiber foods that are the worst offenders. Although fiber regulates the cholesterol and blood sugar levels and keep your digestive tract in good working condition, it can also lead to the formation of gas.
These are a few high fiber foods you must beware of – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, peas and beans. Fiber supplements that contain psyllium can also cause problems, especially if added too quickly to your diet. If you have carbonated beverages such as beer and soda, you could also suffer from gas.
Other causes of excess gas include:
1. Swallowing Of Air
Every time you consume something, you tend to swallow air too. You also swallow air when you eat too fast, chew gum, suck on candies, drink through a straw, or if you are simply nervous. Some of this air finds its way to the digestive tract, thereby causing gas.
2. Suffering From A Certain Health Condition
Sometimes, too much gas may be a symptom of a more serious, chronic condition. You might experience severe gas if you have diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Gas could also be a symptom of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines, owing to diabetes.
3. Food Intolerances
You could experience gas and bloating after you consume dairy products because your body isn’t capable enough of breaking down the lactose. You could also be gluten intolerant. Gluten is usually found in grains like wheat. This protein can cause excessive gas, weight loss, and diarrhea.
4. Artificial Additives
It is possible that your body is averse to artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol that are found in sugar-free gums and candies. Gas and diarrhea are the first symptoms if your body doesn’t agree with sweeteners.
When you are constipated, it becomes difficult to pass gas, and this leads to discomfort and bloating.
6. Consumption Of Certain Drugs
Some drugs like nicotine, erythromycin, corticosteroids, aspirin, and beta-blockers could also meddle with digestion and cause excessive gas for the period you consume them. You could safely say that gas is a possible side effect of these drugs.
You can reduce or relieve gas troubles by making these simple and easy lifestyle changes.
- Consume Your Food And Drinks Slowly – Drinking and eating too fast can cause swallowing of air, which in turn causes gas. Slow down and remember to chew your food thoroughly.
- Reduce The Portion Size – Many gas-causing foods are also part of a healthy diet. It might be a good idea to have smaller portions of the problem foods to see if your body can benefit from them without creating excess gas.
- Exercise – Physical activity always helps to move the gas around and out through the digestive tract. There are some effective yoga asanas, like Supta Matsyendrasana, which will help relieve gas instantly.
- Pass A Motion – Encouraging bowel movements will speed up movement in the lining of the muscles in the large intestine, which will allow the gas to find its way out. It will also push out stored stools to release the trapped intestinal gas.
- Apply Heat To Your Stomach – Using a hot bag to relieve gas is extremely helpful. It will relax the muscles, ease the pain, and release the gas. You could also sit in a hot tub.
- Breathe Long And Deep – Deep, diaphragmatic breathing helps to ease pain and relax the abdominal muscles. It also releases stress, thereby relieving gas.
- Drinking The Right Way – When you drink liquids with your meals, you tend to cool down the acids in the stomach. This slows down the food breakdown process. Remember to drink liquids 30 minutes before or after your meals to keep the process of digestion intact.
- Eat In The Right Order – Our bodies naturally produce hydrochloric acid. The HCl breaks down the proteins when you begin to eat. If you start your meal with carbohydrates, all the HCl will get used up before you eat the proteins.
- Lie Down – If you have a bout of gas, you must lie down with your head elevated. Rest in this position until you feel better. You can also turn to one side for relief.
What To Avoid When You Have Gas?
Avoiding the following few things will help you reduce the probability of accumulating gas in your abdomen:
1. Cut back on fatty foods. They tend to create bloating.
2. Temporarily avoid foods that are high in fiber. While you do that, go easy on fiber supplements too.
3. Reduce your consumption of dairy products.
4. Do not suppress or hold the gas inside. Go to a private area and release.
5. If you feel gassy, make sure you do not chew gum, suck on hard candy, or sip through a straw.
5. Do not smoke.
Home Remedies For Gas
Let’s have a look at the effective remedies on how to get rid of gas troubles.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- A glass of warm water
1. Mix the apple cider vinegar in the water and let it cool down to room temperature.
2. Drink this to soothe your stomach.
You can drink another glass of ACV water if the gas problem isn’t resolved.
Apple cider vinegar offers fast and effective respite from many ailments, especially indigestion and other digestive system-related problems. It restores the acid balance in the stomach and also inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, thus relieving you from gastric issues (1).
- A handful of peppermint leaves
- A cup of boiling water
- 1 teaspoon honey
1. Add the peppermint leaves to the hot water. Steep for a few minutes and strain.
2. To this, add a dash of honey, and your peppermint tea is ready.
3. Drink the tea while it’s still warm.
Sip on this tea a few times in the day.
Peppermint, the wonder herb, is known all over the world for its medicinal properties. It is rich in flavonoids and has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It soothes an irritated tummy and relieves digestive problems (2).
- Chamomile tea bag
- 1 cup hot water
1. Steep the tea bag in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes.
2. Sip on this hot herbal tea to keep gas troubles at bay.
Drink two to three cups in a day.
Chamomile tea has relaxing and sedative properties. It is the perfect home remedy for digestive problems that are triggered by stress. The herb helps to relieve intestinal gas, diarrhea, chronic heartburn, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and motion sickness (3).
- Green tea leaves or tea bag
- A cup of hot water
1. Steep the leaves or tea bag in water for a few minutes.
2. Strain the decoction and sip while it’s still hot.
3. You can add a few drops of lemon juice and some honey for taste.
Drink three to four cups of green tea daily for a healthy body and mind.
Drinking green tea on a regular basis is an excellent home remedy for gas relief as it ensures a healthy and properly functioning gastrointestinal system. It has antimicrobial properties, and the catechins present in it relieve all gastric issues (4).
3. Fennel Seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 cup boiling water
1. Steep the fennel seeds in hot water for around 10 minutes.
2. Strain the tea and drink while it is warm.
3. You can also simply chew on a handful of fennel seeds to instantly get relief from a bloated and heavy sensation.
Drink two to three cups a day.
In India, it is a popular custom to chew on fennel seeds after a meal as they not only stimulate digestion but also act as a breath freshener. Fennel seeds prevent the formation of gas when consumed in the form of tea (5).
4. Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- A glass of water
1. Mix the baking soda well in the water.
2. Drink this on an empty stomach, or one to two hours after meals.
Drink this regularly to get complete relief from gas problems.
Baking soda is a natural antacid. Drinking this water neutralizes the acids in the stomach and gives you relief from gas (7).
This universal fluid is a solution for many health problems. It is important to keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water. It makes digestion easy and faster (8). Drink 10-12 glasses of water every day.
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
- 1 cup water
1. Add the ginger to the water and boil it for a few minutes.
2. Strain the concoction and drink while it’s warm.
3. You can also chew on a small piece of fresh ginger after your meals. This prevents the formation of gas.
Sip on this two to three times a day.
Ginger is widely used as a remedy for a multitude of ailments, ranging from digestive problems and tiredness to common cold and pain relief. Due to its carminative effect, it provides quick and effective relief from gas troubles by breaking up and expelling the intestinal gas (9).
7. Coconut Water
Drink fresh coconut water twice daily.
Regular consumption of coconut water is recommended.
Coconut water improves digestion and also removes harmful toxins from the body. It relieves the gas present in the gastrointestinal tract (10).
Eat a cup of yogurt two to three times a day.
Do this for a few days.
Yogurt helps in establishing a balance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut. The friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics, help to 11).
- A few cloves of garlic
- Vegetable or chicken broth
1. Mince the garlic cloves and add them to the broth. Boil for a few minutes.
2. Drink this soup while it’s hot.
Drink garlic soup twice or thrice a day.
Garlic can stimulate the gastric system and help relieve gas and bloating (12). You can always have garlic supplements, but fresh garlic is more effective in curing bloating.
- 1 lemon
- A glass of hot water
1. Squeeze the lemon juice and add it to the hot water.
2. Drink this water while it is warm.
Drink two to three glasses of this juice in a day.
Lemon juice promotes the secretion of bile by the liver, thus aiding and improving digestion (13).
11. Cumin Seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
- Hot water
1. Steep the cumin seeds in hot water for a few minutes and strain the water.
2. Drink this cumin tea daily once it has cooled down.
3. You can also chew a handful of cumin seeds after a meal to aid digestion.
Have the cumin tea twice or thrice a day.
Cumin seeds are an excellent natural remedy for gas. They boost the secretion of saliva which, in turn, stimulates digestion. It has a soothing effect on the stomach nerves and heals ulcers formed due to the secretion of stomach acids (14).
Now that you are aware of the effective home remedies of gas relief, this is how you can identify if you need to use them or not.
Besides making itself obvious at the most inopportune moments, gas in the stomach can also be extremely painful. Symptoms of gas in the digestive tract include:
- Bad breath
- Abdominal bloating
- Lack of appetite
- Belching and coating on the tongue
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (15)
When To Consult A Doctor?
It is absolutely normal to pass gas between 10 and 20 times every day. However, you must call your doctor if the following problems accompany your usual bout of gas:
1. Prolonged abdominal pain
2. Bloody stools
3. A change in stool color or frequency
4. Weight loss
5. Chest pain
6. Persistent or recurrent nausea or vomiting
Make a note of all your symptoms before you visit the doctor. You could also make a list of questions you might want to ask your medical practitioner.
While this condition is more of a social faux pas than a major medical concern, it can be painful on occasions. Fortunately, gas trouble can easily be treated with home remedies. Use any of the natural remedies listed above and get relief from your gas problems. Here is a video with the top three remedies.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Why do diabetic patients suffer from gas problems?
In medical terms, gas is called APD or Acid Peptic Disease. When you are diabetic, you tend to have a whole lot of drugs, and you gain weight rapidly. Both can cause APD. The stress that diabetes brings with it can also induce gas troubles.
Can gas problems lead to heart attacks?
It is very unlikely that gas problems can lead to heart attacks. The gas and bloating in the belly will not block or affect the arteries and veins that go straight to the heart.
Is there a connection between gas troubles and hair fall?
While both are common, and could happen together, there is no major connection between them unless you have hypothyroidism.
While it is not common, if you have chronic gas troubles, you might experience frequent headaches. Gas contains carbon dioxide, which almost instantly triggers headaches.