Bloating and Gas – How to Prevent & Relieve These Common Complaints
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has never dealt with bloating and gas at least once or twice in their lives. There are several reasons that these common digestive complaints occur, and luckily there are quite a few things you can to do prevent and relieve them.
5 Ways to Prevent Bloating and Gas
- Avoid beverages with and immediately before eating – One common cause of bloating and gas is an inadequate amount of stomach acid (HCL). Drinking water, or any other beverage, may dilute the HCL in your stomach, causing impaired digestion. Best practice is to avoid liquids 20 minutes before a meal, while you eat, and an hour after. If you absolutely must have a drink with your meals, it’s better to drink something warm than it is something cold, as cold will further slow your digestion, especially ice water.
- Digestive bitters – If you think you have an issue with low stomach acid even when you don’t drink with your meals, digestive bitters could be of help. When taken before meals, they trigger digestive secretions, priming your digestive system for the meal you’re about to eat.
- Apple cider vinegar – Combine the digestive bitters with a little apple cider vinegar for an even more effective pre-meal tonic that will increase your stomach acid. A half-ounce of ACV with a dropper-full of bitters is a great practice! Simply using APC on your food is helpful.
- Daily probiotics – If you have frequent digestive issues, your microflora may be out of balance. This can be caused by a number of things, and can be improved almost immediately with the use of a daily probiotic supplement.
- Digestive enzymes – Another supplemental option to improve frequent digestive issues is the use of digestive enzymes. If you are eating a lot of highly processed foods, don’t get a lot of raw foods in your diet, or are over forty, you many need the additional support of high-quality digestive enzymes.
5 Ways to Relieve Bloating and Gas
Prevention is of course preferred, but it’s not possible to prevent gas and boating 100% of the time. Fortunately, there are also ways you can get relief once they’ve occurred.
- Carminative herbal teas – Carminative herbs are a class of herbs that specifically relieve digestive gas. You have several options, and you can try one alone, or combine them as you like. Choose from peppermint, chamomile, ginger, catnip, and sage, to name a few.
- Chew some fennel seeds – Fennel is another carminative herb, and it’s one that you don’t need to use as a tea in order to feel relief. If you have frequent bloating and gas, carry fennel seeds with you, and chew a pinch for relief.
- Take a short walk after eating – A simple way to encourage digestion is to move your body. Simply take a 10 to 15-minute walk after a meal, especially if you’re prone to sluggish digestion.
- Water with baking soda & lemon juice – a quick remedy to quell bloating and gas is to add the juice of one lemon and 1 tsp of baking soda to a small glass of warm water. Let it fizz, give it a stir, and then drink it. Add a tsp of apple cider vinegar to improve this remedy’s effectiveness!
- Activated charcoal – If the gas and bloating is lingering long after the meal is over, give a few capsules of activated charcoal a try. The practice of taking AC an hour or more after a meal has been shown to provide relief. However, it’s meant for intermittent use, rather than regular use, as it can deplete your body of nutrients and minerals. Since AC absorbs anything it comes in contact with, you’ll want to take it at least 2 hours before or after taking any medications.
When Bloating and Gas Needs More Attention
If you’ve tried remedies such as the ones mentioned above and you still suffer from digestive complaints, you might want to seek the assistance of a nutritional counselor to look into potential food intolerances or allergies that could be causing the issues. If your symptoms are particularly severe, you may want to reach out to a health care professional who can help determine if there’s something such as IBS, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease that’s to blame.
The bottom line is that gas and bloating are not normal parts of healthy digestion, which is why it’s important to seek the cause and remedy it. One way to start the process of determining what’s causing your digestive issues is through a urine analysis. With Dr. Loomis’ 24-Hour Urinalysis Test Kit, you’ll determine what foods groups you are not digesting properly and which enzyme supplements will best support your digestion, and more.