Bloating is an embarrassing feeling experienced by everyone, and the main cause is the gas formation or air filling in your GI tract that makes your stomach feel full.
Gas forms due to many reasons ranging from mild to severe, like food intolerances, gut sensitivity, medical problems (irritable bowel syndrome), or some serious health conditions leading to gas or bloating.
No matter what the reason is, we have got you covered. Most issues of bloating can be fixed quickly by following some self-caring measures.
This article will discuss eleven easy methods on how to get rid of bloating, including some lifestyle changes to help prevent bloating in the future.
What Does Bloating Mean?
Bloating is a natural process caused by the gastrointestinal tract filling with air, making your stomach tight when eating too fast. Not only this, but bloating makes your stomach look larger than usual and feel full.
The abdomens may become swollen, stiff, and painful because of air, making the person uncomfortable and affecting their quality of life.
What Causes Bloating?
Some of the important causes of Bloating are discussed below:
i). Gas and Air
Gas occurs when air fills the GI or the food does not break down and becomes undigested. The common causes of gas formation are:
- Eating or drinking too fast.
- Chewing gum.
- Wearing loose false teeth.
ii). Medical Causes
Medical causes can also lead to bloating. These medical causes include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs).
- Heart Disease.
- Food intolerance.
- Weight gain.
- Giardiasis (intestinal parasite infection)
- Eating disorders
- Stress, anxiety, depression, and more.
- Some medications.
iii). Hormonal Changes
Bloating can be caused by abdominal pain or changes in hormones during periods caused by water retention.
iv). Serious Causes
The causes of severe bloating are:
- Accumulation of pathologic fluid in the abdominal cavity can lead to ovarian cancer, liver problems, heart failure, or kidney failure.
- Celiac digestive condition where your intestine cannot absorb gluten.
- Pancreatic insufficiency or impaired digestion.
- GI tract bacteria and other chemicals go into the abdominal cavity.
Check the medicines you are taking. Medications like metformin (for diabetes) and lactulose (a laxative) cause gas formation or bloating.
Although drugs like antacids like magnesium trisilicate help cure integration, they also increase carbon dioxide produced in the stomach and cause trouble belching.
vi). Stomach Infection
Stomach infections can be caused by bacteria called Escherichia coli or Helicobacter pylori, which can lead to bloating with symptoms like:
- Stomach pain
However, the stomach infections are self-treated and go away within a few days. But if you also experience symptoms like fever, bloody stool, or frequent vomiting, it is recommended to visit your doctor.
What Relieves Bloating Fast?
Now, if you wonder what relieves bloating fast, here we will discuss 11 science-baked methods to relieve bloating symptoms. Follow the tips:
Method 1: Go for a walk
A few minutes of walking can work magic for bloating. It helps regulate bowel movements, strengthen muscles in the gut, release excess gas, and soften stools by moving waste through the colon.
A quick walk of 20-30 minutes can help the body keep everything moving, allowing it to perform the digestion process easily.
Method 2: Avoid foods that trigger bloating
One common cause of bloating is gas, which occurs due to food indigestion. So, it's essential to eliminate those foods or vegetables that cause gas formation. If you find any of the fares listed below are causing bloating, try to stop eating them.
- Certain grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Artificial sweeteners.
- Carbonated drinks.
- Drinking through a straw.
- Chewing gum.
- Eating a large meal.
- Drinking beverages while eating.
Certain foods and beverages can be avoided to prevent excess air from accumulating in the stomach and intestines.
Chewing gum and drinking soda can cause air to enter the gastrointestinal system, as can drinking through a straw. As air travels through the body, it can cause bloating and gas to form.
Method 3: Do gentle exercise
Doing a little exercise every day can relieve the gas-related symptoms. Due to regular changes of positions in moving around or stretching, trapped gas quickly starts to pass from the GI tract and out of the body.
It helps to improve constipation and digestion and prevent water retention by releasing extra sodium from the body through sweating and making bowel movements perfect. One can include the following forms of exercise:
Method 4: Massage your abdomen
Massaging or putting gentle pressure on the belly or abdomen may help to stimulate bowel movements. Follow the below steps to rub your waist just above the hip bone in a circular motion with light pressure:
- Put your fingertips in massage oil and place just above your hip bone.
- Rub that area in a circular motion 3-4 times, applying firm pressure in a counter-clockwise circle or to the right ribcage.
- Then, massage straight on the upper belly area towards the left rib cage.
- Continue massaging in a circular motion horizontally across the stomach to the left side.
- Then, massage towards the bottom of your stomach.
- Repeat these steps of going up, over, and down 3 to 5 times.
Method 5: Increase fiber intake
The following method is to increase your fiber intake, which helps your body digest food, reducing bloating. However, remember that consuming too much fiber may lead to even more bloating.
Method 6: Over-the-counter medicines
The following method is to try over-the-counter (OTC) medications to get relief from bloating. You can try below OTC medicines below:
- Simethicone: Over-the-counter drugs like Gas-X, Alka-Seltzer Heartburn + Gas-Relief Chews, Mylicon, and Maalox Antigas may help reduce bloating.
- Antacids: They may relieve inflammation by neutralizing the acid and help pass air out of the digestive tract, reducing symptoms of pain and discomfort. They also include simethicone.
- Laxatives: They are short-term drugs that help relieve constipation, which may reduce bloating by assisting gastrointestinal symptoms after eating.
- Bismuth subsalicylate: It helps gastrointestinal symptoms after overeating and bloating caused by dairy intolerance.
Method 7: Try a low-FODMAP diet
The type of food you eat has a large impact on your body. Bloating's most common cause is food intolerance and low mobility. Try considering a low-FODMAP diet.
This diet eliminates foods that produce gas in the gut and are more challenging to digest, along with the amount of fermentable foods.
It also reduces the high FODMAP levels of oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols you eat, resulting in reduced bloating and IBS symptoms. Foods high in FODMAPs include:
- Fermentable foods: Pickles, kombucha, miso, kefir, sourdough bread, natto, and cheese.
- Oligosaccharides foods: Wheat, legumes, garlic, and onions.
- Disaccharides foods: Yogurt, milk, and ice cream.
- Polyols foods: Cauliflower, plums, nectarines, apricots, and most sugar-free candies.
- Add veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and lentils and fruits like apples and blackberries to your diet. You can also include cow's cottage cheese and honey.
Method 8: Try Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria that help to reduce the symptoms of bloating. They live in the intestine and boost the healthy bacteria in your, reducing the symptoms of IBS. You can try the various probiotics that include the following:
Method 9: Try digestive enzymes
Digestive enzyme supplements may help relieve bloating quickly. They contain components like amylase, lipase, protease, or HCL that help the digestive process and reduce gas formation.
Taking digestive enzyme capsules helps break down the food you consume and prevent gas production.
Method 10: Chew your food slowly
Another cause of bloating is swallowing too much air while eating, which swells your stomach because of gas formation. To avoid air intake, eat smaller bites and chew slowly.
Remember to refrain from talking while eating. In addition, it also helps to speed up your metabolism.
Method 11: Check for lactose intolerance.
People who have lactose intolerance suffer more from bloating. Lactose is a sugar present in dairy products. Lactose intolerance is when one is unable to digest this dairy product sugar.
Your gut tries to push more water to make the lactose pass through it until it reaches the colon. Then, it is fermented by bacteria and may lead to gas or bloating.
Although lactose products also offer many beneficial nutrients like calcium, A and B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and protein, if one has lactose intolerance, it is recommended to consult a doctor to determine what lactose product one can include. Some alternatives of lactose are:
- Aged cheeses.
- Lactose-free dairy products.
- Almond milk.
Natural Remedies That Relieve Bloating
There are also some natural ingredients that you can use to get bloating relief. Below are some natural remedies to reduce the signs of bloating:
Peppermint quickly relieves gas and soothes bloating by relaxing the digestive tract muscles. Try drinking hot peppermint tea or essential oil supplements to calm abdominal muscles.
Ginger is full of antioxidants and a natural remedy for reducing bloating. It helps move food through the gastrointestinal tract.
Try drinking ginger tea or taking supplements to decrease the time food stays in the gut and the likelihood of fermentation, which causes gas and bloating.
Staying hydrated is essential to avoid many health issues. Dehydration can cause bloating, so drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Water helps to increase mucus secretions in your bowels and improve overall bowel motility.
Some Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Bloating
Not only does adding certain foods prevent gas, but adopting some lifestyle changes can help prevent bloating from recurring. Here are some lifestyle changes that you can start to follow:
- Eliminate fizzy drinks.
- Stop chewing gum.
- Stop eating fast.
- Do not eat foods that cause gas, like lentils, beans, cabbage, broccoli, and sprouts.
- Eliminate artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, erythritol, mannitol, maltitol, and xylitol.
- Bypass dairy products.
- Cut sodium consumption.
How To Get Rid of Bloating In 5 Minutes?
According to research, In 2023, 18% of people used to deal with bloating at least once weekly. If you are looking for how to get unbloated in 5 minutes, you can try some yoga poses:
a). Knee to Chest Yoga
This yoga pose gently applies pressure on the stomach to relax the abdomen muscles and ease stress. Here is how to do it:
- Lie on your back and make the knee 90 degrees.
- Now, exhale, pull your knees to your chest, and press your chin onto your knees.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds before another repetition.
b). Torso Twist Yoga
This yoga also relaxes your belly muscles by reducing gas. Here is how to do it:
- Sit on the mat with extended legs and place your arms on the sides.
- Bend your knees and pull towards your chest while balancing your tailbone.
- Bring both your palms together in your chest and bend your elbows.
- Now, rotate the upper body to the left side until the right elbow faces towards the knees.
- Return to the center and do the same for the right side.
- Repeat the steps in 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.
c). Sphinx Yoga
This yoga stretches your torso, helping digestive organs release gas. Here is how to do it:
- Lie face-down on the mat, bending your elbows and placing your palms next to your chest.
- Now, applying some pressure from your palms, raise your head and upper body from the ground while making the buttocks relaxed.
- Once you reach your limit, hold the positions for a few seconds before returning.
- Repeat these steps five times.
Bloating is an uncomfortable condition that makes you feel tight and full. It is caused by mild to severe factors. You can not completely avoid bloating, but you can reduce the symptoms of bloating and gas with practical strategies and lifestyle changes to quickly relieve it.
Above, we have mentioned some methods on how to reduce bloating, like walks, exercise, dietary changes, and mindful eating, which can all help relieve and prevent bloating.
Eat foods that contain high fiber, like vegetables and whole grains, which promote gut health. Contact a gastroenterologist or a healthcare professional in order to change your diet.
1. How do you get immediate relief from severe bloating?
Ans: To relieve bloating immediately, try fennel seeds in warm water with a pinch of asafoetida and rock salt, or chew some fennel seeds.
2. Is bloating a severe problem?
Ans: Although it is not a severe problem, it can lead to severe issues if it lasts longer than two weeks after taking medicines.
3. Can bloat be cured?
Ans: A low-fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAP) diet can reduce gas and bloating symptoms.
4. What drinks are good for bloating?
Ans: Drinks that are good for bloating include:
- Green tea.
- Water with lemon or cucumber.
- Watermelon smoothie.
- Peppermint tea.
- Fennel tea.