Dr. Oz Shares Foods That Banish Bloat
How to Get Rid of Bloating
Bloating can cause severe discomfort and, unfortunately for many, it often becomes a recurring problem. For immediate relief, the best treatments are mild to moderate walking and over-the-counter medication. If you have chronic bloating, however, you may need to seek other treatment options and change your diet. Potential causes of bloating include irritable bowel syndrome, Celiac disease, PMS, and lactose intolerance.
Treating your Body
Take a walk when you are bloated.Roughly 20 to 30 minutes of rapid walking can aid in the digestive process. Walking quickly will help relieve bloating better than a slow walk.Walking is gentle enough to prevent further stomach upset, but it also provides enough physical activity to keep food and trapped air moving through the digestive tract. The increased heart rate and breathing causes the digestive muscles to push air and food through the intestines.
Apply heat.Bloating can come with a host of other uncomfortable feelings. Heat can reduce the pain from bloating, and it can help relax you, which can relieve the gas or constipation causing the bloating.There are many ways you can apply heat:
- Place a heating pad on your stomach for direct heat.
- Take a hot bath or shower.
- Relax in a sauna.
Apply pressure to your stomach.For five minutes, gently apply pressure in a small circular motion to a spot roughly four finger-widths above your belly button. This technique is known as acupressure. Putting gentle pressure on your abdomen can ease physical stress on the stomach, reducing any present tension and bloating. If your bloating is caused by constipation, it can also help encourage going to the bathroom.
Relax your body.Lay down on your back in a dark room. Read a book. Meditate. Relaxation can help relieve the symptoms of chronic bloating. If you are frequently stressed and you suffer from bloating, try taking some time out of your day to peacefully rest.Your body will be relaxed enough to either pass the gas or constipation that is causing your bloating.
Finding Remedies for Immediate Relief
Take simethicone for general bloating.Pills and chewable tablets of simethicone can be found at your local drug store. It can help reduce bloating as well as the pain associated with gas. Consult a doctor before taking if you are pregnant.Some over-the-counter brands include:
- Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief
- Maalox Anti-Gas
- Alka-Seltzer Anti Gas
- Mylanta Gas
Get a prescription if you have IBS.If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you should ask your doctor for a prescription that will target the specific causes of your bloating. Your doctor may recommend a pill that contains either Lubiprostone (such as Amitiza) or Linaclotide.
- Dietary recommendation for people with IBS include avoiding food that causes gas, including cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, and eliminating gluten. Other medications include fiber, antidiarrheal medication, antispasmodics, antidepressants, and antibiotics.
Treat your PMS symptoms with spironolactone.If you have severe bloating caused by Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), you can ask your doctor if a medication containing spironolactone (such as Aldactone) will help. Your doctor may also recommend birth control.
- Other recommendations include skipping salt and eating a healthy diet. Further, avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help prevent PMS symptoms.
Take a probiotic supplement.If you want a more natural way to treat your bloating, you can try probiotics. Probiotics help balance out your natural gut bacteria. Look for tablets containingBifidobacterium Infantis(sometimes listed asB. Infantis), as this is the best probiotic for bloating and gastrointestinal issues.
- You can also eat some plain yogurt. Yogurt is a natural source of probiotics.Other food containing natural probiotics include the following: pickles, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, buttermilk, and miso.
- Lactobacillusandbifidobacteriumare the best for easing bloating symptoms.
Drink carmint tea.Carmint tea may be able to relieve the bloating and pain associated with bowel disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.Boil water, and remove it from heat for a minute before steeping the carmint.
- Carmint is also known as a catmint or catnip.
Avoid activated charcoal.While activated charcoal (also known as charcoal caps) is a popular home remedy, there is not enough evidence to show that it can help with bloating, gas, or flatulence. Furthermore, if you have obstructed intestines, you could make it worse.
Eating a Healthy Diet for Long-Term Relief
Chew your food more slowly.Quickly eating your food can cause you to swallow air. This may be the cause of your bloating. Carefully chew your food for a few seconds before swallowing to prevent extra air from going into your stomach.
Stop eating wheat and dairy for a week.The most common allergens that cause bloating are gluten and lactose.Gluten is found in wheat products while lactose is in dairy products. For a week, try avoiding all wheat products. If that stops the bloating, you may have a gluten intolerance. If you still have bloating, try avoiding all dairy the next week instead.
- Gluten products include bread, pasta, cake, cookies, and anything that contains flour. Some soups and sauces also use gluten as thickeners.
- If you think you have a gluten intolerance, get a test for Celiac Disease from your doctor. Celiac disease is an inability to digest gluten, causing stomach pains and bloating. You may also need to have an allergy test done, which may require that your doctor samples your bowel to observe its architecture.
- Lactose is found in milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cream. If you think you have a lactose allergy, get an allergy test from your doctor.
Introduce more fiber slowly.Bloating can be caused by having too little fiber in your diet, but if you start eating a high fiber diet immediately, you can cause more problems. Wait until the bloating has passed before you try increasing your fiber intake. Slowly add whole grains, raw vegetables, nuts, and fruits to your diet over the span of a few weeks. If this causes more bloating, cut back for a few days before trying again.
- Adult women and men should consume between 25 – 38 grams of fiber a day. Fiber can be found in grains such as oats, wheat, and unmilled rice.
Avoid eating certain foods while you are bloated.While your bloating is an issue, you should not eat certain foods, as these may worsen the issue. These foods, which are rich in short-chain carbohydrates called FODMAPs, may not be properly digested if you have other digestive or gastrointestinal problems. FODMAPs include carbohydrates such as fructose (sugar from fruit), lactose (sugar from dairy), and artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol and mannitol. While do you do not need to cut out these entirely, you should reduce your intake until your bloating is gone. These foods include:
- Dairy products
- Brussel sprouts
- Legumes like lentils, beans, and chickpeas
Avoid drinking carbonated drinks.Fizzy drinks like soda and beer can release carbon dioxide gas in your belly, causing it to bloat. Save these drinks for special occasions to prevent problems.
Eliminate gum and hard candies from your diet.Chewing and sucking these can make you to swallow extra air, which can cause bloating. Furthermore, they may contain artificial sweeteners that can also give you bloating.
Seeking Treatment for Chronic Bloating
Record when you have bloating.When you feel bloated, write down it. Be sure to also write down any foods you’ve eaten that day. This information will help your doctor diagnose you.
- If you consistently have bloating with no relief, you will want to see a doctor. Other underlying issues can cause bloating, and the bloating will not go away until you treat those issues. Bloating can be a symptom of lactose intolerance, Celiac disease, Crohn's Disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gallstones, and diverticulitis.
Ask for an allergy test.Your doctor may perform a skin or blood test to see if you have an allergy causing your bloating. He may also inject you with an allergen to see if it causes a reaction.
Try acupuncture.If you have no other symptoms, you may try a holistic approach. Acupuncture has been found to relieve the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems, including bloating.Find a licensed acupuncturist, and sign up for four weeks of sessions for the best results.
Seek immediate care if you have other symptoms.See a doctor if your bloating is accompanied by diarrhea, constipation, severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloody stools, dramatic weight loss, fever, or chest pain. These are signs that something is wrong.
- Nausea, vomiting, and extreme thirst accompanied by a pain in your abdomen can be signs of peritonitis. Seek immediate medical care.
- If you have constipation and a swollen pain in your abdomen, you could have an intestinal obstruction.
- If your abdominal pain lasts for over five hours and you have light, clay-colored stools, you may have gallstones.
- If you have vomit with blood or it looks like coffee grounds, seek medical attention immediately.
QuestionI've been having constant bloating and it really hurts. How can I stop this from happening?
Family Medicine PhysicianFamily Medicine PhysicianExpert AnswerI would first try a brisk walk after eating to get the digestive system moving. If this is not effective I would try to take a simethicone-containing product, such as Gas X. If bloating is chronic I would talk it over with your doctor to see if there is not an allergic process going on, such as Celiac disease or lactose intolerance.Thanks!
QuestionCan I take simethicone and amitriptyline together to treat severe bloating?
Family Medicine PhysicianFamily Medicine PhysicianExpert AnswerYes you can take both together. They have different actions — one is an antidepressant — and if your doctor prescribes them, they may act synergistically.Thanks!
QuestionI pooped today, and I am still bloated. Why?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could still be constipated, even if you have already gone. The bloating could also be caused by gas build-up that is leftover in your stomach.Thanks!
QuestionWhat would cause one side of your body to be swollen in addition to bloated?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf one side of your body is swollen, there are a number of things it could be. If it's on the right-hand part of the abdomen, it could be appendicitis. If it's on the left side, it could be pancreatitis. There could also be a tumor causing the swelling. The only way to know for certain is to visit your doctor.Thanks!
QuestionCan nicotine along with Crohn's disease cause constant stomach pains?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBoth smoking and Crohn's disease can cause bloating. The pain could also be from the Crohn's disease. If the pain is constant, you should consult your doctor for advice.Thanks!
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To get rid of bloating fast, take an over-the-counter medication that contains the ingredient simethicone. You can also apply a heating pad to your abdomen to ease the pain and relax your muscles, which can relieve the gas or constipation causing the bloating. If your bloating is a symptom of PMS, avoid caffeine and alcohol and consider talking to your doctor about getting a prescription for spironolactone. You can also talk to a doctor about options if you're dealing with chronic bloating caused by IBS or celiac disease.
- Everyone gets a little bloated now and then. Over the counter medicine and a hot bath may be all you need. But if you have frequent bloating, seek medical advice.
- Once you have gotten rid of your bloating, you can take steps to prevent bloating in the future.
- Do not stop drinking water just because you feel bloated; dehydration will only make things worse!
- It is important to know that taking laxatives or forcibly throwing up will not make bloating go away. Rather, it will make it worse with all the stomach acid and excess gas in your intestines.
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