Bloating is one of the most common symptoms clients struggle with and why they come to see me. It can be the bane of people’s lives. In some cases clients have a “bloat wardrobe” for when their symptoms get unbearable. Once a client was so bloated that I actually had to ask if they were pregnant …it was a female client by the way!
What causes bloating?
Bloating is the build-up of gas that can’t escape and like a balloon it starts to inflate. The stuck gases also lead to an uncomfortable pressure in the tummy. A major benefit to colonics is being deflated!
Common causes of bloating are:
- Eating too many fatty foods
- Digestion conditions such as lactose intolerance, IBS, Coeliac Disease
- A blockage from severe constipation
- Fizzy drinks
How can you avoid bloating?
You may have eaten something you shouldn’t have. Or there was something a little off about that meal you just had at a restaurant. Now you’re stuck dealing with severe gas pains. Knowing what causes the pain isn’t going to help now, you need to find relief fast!
Luckily, there are some things that you can do to help to ease your bloating discomfort and get on with your day.
- Don’t hold it in!
Now is not the time to think about modesty. Go to a private place or a toilet and as they say, “let it fly.” As intestinal gas passes, there is less in your system to cause pain.
- If possible, do a poo!
If you can have a bowel movement, two things will happen simultaneously.
a) you will speed up the movement of the muscles lining your large intestine, which will encourage the gas to make its way out of your system;
b) you will empty the rectum of any stored stool, freeing up the passage of the trapped wind.
- Sip hot tea.
Peppermint, ginger and anise teas all have gas-reducing properties. If you are prone to diarrhoea, avoid anise tea as it can have a mild laxative effect. But on the same note, reach for it if you’re constipated! Keep these teas handy for use when needed.
- Move your body.
Gentle exercise is a practical option. Walking helps relax the muscles in your abdomen. The effect helps trapped gas to make its escape.
If you have the space and the privacy, yoga can ease the passage of intestinal gas (the Pawanmuktasana actually translates to Wind-Relieving Pose!)
- Use a hot water bottle.
Heat is very soothing psychologically. Heat helps to relax the muscles in your gut and inhibits pain sensations. Just be sure to protect your skin from a burn with a layer of clothing.
If you are prone to recurrent gas pain attacks, it might be wise to make sure that a heating pad is available to you even if you are at work. At home, a hot water bottle, or a warm soothing bath may provide similar relief.
- Chew some fennel seeds.
Fennel seeds have a reputation for reducing intestinal gas. A safe amount appears to be approximately one teaspoon. (**Note** There is mixed information regarding the safety of ingesting extra fennel when pregnant or breast-feeding. So if that applies to you it would be best to play it on the safe side and choose an alternative gas-relieving option.)
Some people get relief from over-the-counter products, such as simethicone and activated charcoal. Of the two, simethicone is a better option. Both can result in undesirable symptoms, for example constipation, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting. If you do try activated charcoal, you may find that it turns your stool black. But this isn’t something to worry about. Gripe water is another over the counter product to try – it might be for babies, but it doesn’t half shift that wind! It doesn’t contain alcohol anymore though…
Deep diaphragmatic breathing can ease the pain too, but only if this is something you practice on a regular basis. As this type of breathing is so effective for reducing stress, I highly recommend that you become an expert! You can then use this breathing technique as needed for future gas attacks.
Lastly, chewing your food properly can majorly benefit bloating. Breaking down food into smaller particles makes it easier to digest. Improperly digested food entering your stomach will remain like that as it enters your digestive system, leading to bloating, gas, abdominal pain and other problems.
So there you have my 6 ways to ease wind and bloating. I hope that in combination with this and previous blogs about helping IBS symptoms plus my other bloating advice , they should give you some useful remedies if you get into trouble.
As always, if you’re struggling with any symptoms and would like to discuss them in more detail with me, or to have a chat about how colonic hydrotherapy can help bloating , please get in contact here.