Feeling bloated like a balloon close to bursting can truly take the joy out of your day. And if you’re afraid of letting a loud one rip at the most inopportune moments, it’s time you get these gas and bloating problems under control.
- Causes and Symptoms of Gas and Bloating
- How to Prevent Gas and Bloating
- How to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating
- Method 1: Use Baking Soda
- Method 2: Drink Peppermint Tea
- Method 3: Use Fennel Seeds
- Method 4: Consume Activated Charcoal
- Method 5: Drink Ginger Tea
- Method 6: Use Exercises to Release Gas
- Tips to keep in mind
Causes and Symptoms of Gas and Bloating
Bloating primarily refers to a sensation of fullness caused by an accumulation of intestinal gas in the abdominal area that the body has been unable to expel. (1) In severe cases, gas may cause abdominal distension that may be extremely painful.
- Bloating usually occurs when there is an overproduction of intestinal gas due to poor digestion. Undigested food ferments in the intestines, producing carbon dioxide. (1)
- Swallowing excessive air may also result in bloating. Chewing gum, sucking on hard candies, consuming aerated drinks, drinking through a straw and excessive gulping of air (usually as a nervous habit) are some activities that contribute to bloating.
- Consuming greasy and unhealthy food that’s difficult to digest or heavy meals also contribute to bloating.
- In most cases, bloating is a symptom of other medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and celiac disease. Hormonal changes may also be responsible for bloating in women. It is a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and pregnancy. (2)
How to Prevent Gas and Bloating
Diet and exercise are key to preventing gas and bloating. (1)
- Avoid gassy foods like beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, and cauliflower.
- Avoid dairy products if you’re lactose intolerant and gluten if you’re gluten intolerant.
- Sugar-free products should also be avoided, as they contain components that contribute to bloating.
- Regulate your digestion and include exercise in your routine.
- Avoid smoking, excessive gum chewing and sucking on hard candies, as these activities can make you swallow excess air.
How to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating
If bloating has become a common occurrence in your life, you’ll need more than quick fixes to get rid of it. A diet and lifestyle change may be in order. In the meantime, many natural remedies can help you expel that excess gas.
So get ready to burp or find a private corner to expel that gas the other way with these simple remedies.
Method 1: Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great quick fix when it comes to bloating. It reacts with stomach acids to produce carbon dioxide and initiate belching, which helps release the trapped intestinal gas and provide immediate relief.
It should not be consumed regularly and be taken with utmost care, as there are cases reported for baking soda intoxication as well. (3)
Although great for a quick fix, frequent and over-consumption of baking soda should be avoided, as it leads to increased production of stomach acid that can give rise to gastrointestinal problems over time.
You should also avoid this remedy if you’re on a low-sodium diet, as 1 teaspoon of baking soda contains almost one-third of the daily sodium requirement of an average person.
Things you’ll need:
- Water – 1 cup
- Baking soda (helps release the trapped intestinal gas) – 1 teaspoon
- Lemon, medium-sized – ½
Step 1. Combine baking soda with lemon juice and water
- Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a glass.
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to it.
- Pour in 1 cup of water. Stir to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Step 2. Stir and consume the baking soda drink
- Stir to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Consume this baking soda drink to initiate belching and release the abdominal gas in a few minutes.
Method 2: Drink Peppermint Tea
Anecdotal accounts render peppermint tea as an effective remedy for gas and bloating. (4)(1) The menthol oil present in the peppermint tea is responsible for its benefits. It relieves the spasms in the muscles to allow the body to pass the gas through flatulence, thus getting rid of bloating.
The components in peppermint help get the gas moving instead of letting it accumulate and cause pain and distension in the stomach.
Step 1. Make a cup of peppermint tea
- Put 1 peppermint tea bag into 1 cup of boiling water.
- Allow the tea to steep for 5 to 10 minutes, as per your taste preference.
- Remove and discard the tea bag after steeping.
Step 2. Drink the peppermint tea before bed
- Drinking this peppermint tea can help relieve gas and bloating within minutes.
- Drinking this tea before bed can ease digestion, prevent bloating and help you ease into sleep.
Method 3: Use Fennel Seeds
Chewing fennel seeds after meals is a tradition in India. Not only does it freshen your breath but it also aids digestion. Fennel seeds contain volatile oils that stimulate bile production, thus improving digestion.
The components present in fennel get undigested food moving through the gastrointestinal tract, preventing further production of gas.
You can chew fennel seeds directly or drink fennel tea. Chewing fennel seeds can be done on the go, and you can enjoy fennel tea whenever you get a chance to sit down.
Step 1. Make fennel tea
- Put 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds into 1 cup of boiling water.
- Cover the glass and allow the seeds to steep for about 5 minutes.
Step 2. Drink the tea with the seeds
- Consume the fennel tea along with the seeds for maximum benefits in order to treat gas and bloating. Most of the times fennel works to relieve bloating instantly, but if the condition persists, continue to drink the tea every day until you get relief.
Method 4: Consume Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal has long been shown to be effective in the reduction of gas production and bloating symptoms. (5) If particularly stinky toots plague you, charcoal is the way to go.
Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is an odorless and tasteless powder. Some brands also produce flavored varieties. Its high porosity helps absorb the toxins and intestinal gas along with its noxious odor.
- Activated charcoal can be consumed in capsule, tablet or powder form. The dosage for adults is between 500 mg and 1,000 mg (2 to 4 capsules).
- You can take it as a curative as well as a preventive measure. As a preventive measure, it should be taken before a meal that’s likely to cause flatulence.
- Always take activated charcoal on an empty stomach to prevent it from absorbing the nutrients in your food.
Method 5: Drink Ginger Tea
Ginger increases salivation and bile production, which greatly improves digestion. The gingerols and shogaols present in the ginger help relieve gas and associated bloating and cramps.
Substituting soda or coffee with a cup of ginger tea can greatly help with persistent bloating.
Step 1. Combine ginger and water in a pan
- Pour 1 cup of water into a pan placed over heat.
- Add slices of 1 to 2 inches of ginger.
Step 2. Boil and strain the tea
- Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour the tea through a strainer to remove the ginger.
Step 3. Drink the ginger tea twice a day
- Consume this ginger tea twice a day for quick relief and to get your digestion back on the track.
Method 6: Use Exercises to Release Gas
In cases of extreme discomfort, releasing trapped gas can bring immense relief. Here are some exercise poses that you can do to help let go of the gas.
# Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Releasing Pose)
As the name suggests, this yoga pose is specifically aimed toward releasing gas trapped in the body. You can get sure-shot instant relief from bloating with this yoga pose.
- Lay on your back with your feet together and your arms resting by your side.
- Take a deep breath and bring your left knee to your chest on the exhale. Clasp your hands over the knee, and your thigh should be flush against your abdomen.
- Inhale again and as you exhale, lift your head and touch your chin to the knee.
- Hold the position as long as you comfortably can, taking long and deep breaths.
- Release the pose slowly on inhale.
- Repeat the pose with the right knee, and again with both the knees together.
# Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
This is the fourth pose in the Sun Salutation. Including it in your routine can help you eliminate gastric troubles and the resulting bloating within minutes.
- Get down on your hands and knees.
- Keeping your hands in place, lift your knees and push your heels back toward the ground. Keep your limbs straight.
- Let your head and shoulders face your knees.
- Keep your body relaxed and push back your legs from the heel to the hips, stretching your spine.
- Hold the position as long as comfortable.
Tips to keep in mind
- Avoid peppermint tea if you suffer from acid reflux or GERD, as peppermint can worsen your condition.
- You can also add peppermint leaves to your lemonade for a refreshing drink that can help you relieve bloating.
- Chamomile tea can also be taken as a substitute for peppermint tea.
- Consult your doctor before consuming ACV if you’re on diuretics or insulin medication, as ACV can interfere with these medications.
- Caraway seeds can also be taken as a substitute for fennel seeds.
- Honey or stevia can be added to improve the taste of the teas.
- Never hold in gas, as it will cause more problems in the body. Excuse yourself from any company, get into a toilet or a private corner and let it loose.
- Iovino P, Bucci C, Tremolaterra F, Santonicola A, Chiarioni G. Bloating and functional gastrointestinal disorders: where are we and where are we going? World journal of gastroenterology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202369/. Published October 21, 2014.
- Agrawal A, Whorwell PJ. Review article: abdominal bloating and distension in functional gastrointestinal disorders--epidemiology and exploration of possible mechanisms. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17931344. Published January 1, 2008.
- Al-Abri SA, Olson KR. Baking soda can settle the stomach but upset the heart: case files of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Journal of medical toxicology: official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3770998/. Published September 2013.
- Ford AC, Talley NJ, Spiegel BMR, et al. Effect of fiber, antispasmodics, and peppermint oil in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis. The BMJ. https://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a2313. Published November 14, 2008.
- Seo AY, Kim N, Oh DH. Abdominal bloating: pathophysiology and treatment. Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3816178/. Published October 2013.
- Bode AM. The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/.
Summary of How to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating in Just a Few Minutes
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