A Look Into Bloating

A Look Into Bloating

Why is it that when we wake up in the morning, we are at our leanest and then as the day goes by, you look like you gained 20 pounds in one day? The reason for this is bloating.

What causes bloating?

When we eat food, the food travels down the esophagus and into the stomach where stomach acids begin the breakdown of these foods. During the breakdown process, the bacteria produces gas as a byproduct and that is why we look much bigger than we actually are after we eat food. Several foods will produce large amounts of gas which is then either expelled through flatulence or if the gas cannot escape, it will stay in your stomach. You will typically experience moderate discomfort and the symptoms can last from several minutes to hours. The most well known food that causes this condition is beans. Hence the association with being the ‘musical fruit’ that makes you toot. But there are other foods that we might not know cause significant bloating. Foods such as brussel sprouts and prunes can also cause gas build up in the stomach. If you experience severe pain or discomfort from bloating, you may have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is recommended at this point that you consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

 

What can we take?

There are several treatments for bloating ranging from over the counter medications to natural ingredients that can help with the discomfort. The most common treatment are antacids. Tums are a brand of chewable flavored over the counter antacids and also the most well known. Antacids simply are medications that reduce stomach acidity. If you were to break down the word antacid, you would get anti and acid. Each over the counter drugs contain different ingredients. Tums contains Calcium Carbonate.

Calcium Carbonate contains one part calcium, one part carbon, and 3 parts oxygen. It can be typically found in limestone and is safe to consume in small amounts. But excessive consumption can be dangerous to your health. Calcium Carbonate works by reacting to hydrogen molecules in your stomach acid and through a chemical reaction produces calcium, carbon dioxide, and water. Essentially by changing the pH of the acid. Other medications contain Simethicone which helps with bloating by causing bubbles produced from acids to combine into larger bubbles so it can be processed and exit the body easier.

If you do not want to put man made drugs in your body and you would like to find a more natural cure to bloating, there are also several natural remedies that you can also try. Ginger has been used for centuries and has a long reputation for being able to soothe the stomach. It can be used either in raw form or you could consume ginger in tea form. Ginger is a very powerful herb and is known for its spicy flavor. Because of its strong flavor, it improves circulation which could help speed up the bloating process. Another natural ingredient that can be used is peppermint. Peppermint acts as a relaxant and the menthol properties can help relieve spasms in the stomach and as a result calm the stomach. Ginger and Peppermint are best used diluted in water and drank as tea. Depending on taste, I would recommend 1-5 drops per 8 ounce glass of water.

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