Isn’t it astonishing how something as common as bloating can play such a disruptive role in our daily routines? It doesn’t take long for your day to go sideways once that dreaded feeling of bloating-induced abdominal pain kicks in. Needless to say, it’s a sensation that we’d all rather live without.
The good news about bloating being such a common occurrence is that there has been plenty of trial and error for remedies over the years. As such, we now have a pretty solid idea of what causes a bloated stomach and a few options for how to deal with it.
Experts, like our very own Dr. Kellyann, have long studied the way that the digestive system works. In this guide, we’ll go over the most common causes of bloating and how to use natural remedies to relieve your discomfort.
What Causes Bloating and Digestive Discomfort?
The digestive system is one of the most fascinating aspects of the human body. The journey of digestion begins when food enters our mouths and concludes when it exits the small intestine. During this time, the nutrients that make up the food we’ve eaten will be broken down so that our bodies can use them where they’re needed the most.
Unfortunately, there can sometimes be issues that negatively affect this journey and result in various digestive discomforts, such as bloating.
Common Causes of Bloating
- Overeating: One of the most prevalent reasons for bloating. Consuming large meals can strain the digestive system, leading to discomfort and a feeling of fullness.
- Gas-producing foods: Certain foods are known to produce more gas in the digestive system. These include lentils and beans, dairy products, and certain vegetables that cause excess gas.
- Artificial sweeteners: Products like sorbitol and aspartame can cause bloating in some people, especially when consumed in large quantities.
- Swallowed air: Habits such as chewing gum, drinking through straws, or rapid eating can introduce excess air into our digestive system, leading to side effects, including burping and belching.
- Food intolerances: Apart from lactose, intolerances to other components, such as gluten, can also lead to bloating.
- Constipation: When bowel movements are infrequent, it can lead to a buildup in the intestines, resulting in bloating and discomfort.
Medical Conditions That Can Result in Bloating
- Lactose intolerance: This is when the body lacks the enzyme to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk. Consuming dairy products can lead to bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence.
- Celiac disease: This is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine, causing bloating, diarrhea, and even unexplained weight loss.
- Gastroparesis: A condition where the stomach can’t empty itself of food in a normal way, often resulting in bloating and belching.
- Gastrointestinal infections: Certain bacterial infections can cause excess gas and bloating.
- Other conditions: Some more rare medical conditions, like bowel obstructions, can also result in bloating.
How Can Home Remedies Help Alleviate Bloating?
Seeing as how there are so many potential causes of bloating, it should come as no surprise that roughly one in seven Americans experience bloating on a weekly basis. Such a common issue means there are tens of millions of Americans looking for relief. In turn, that means a lot of scientific experimentation of various home remedies.
Humans have been passing down time-tested home remedies for various ailments since before the written language was invented. Each generation is taught the secret to fix a common issue and expands on the recipe as needed. For bloating, there are a ton of natural remedies that have been passed down.
The most effective remedies are the ones that focus on treating the root cause of the bloating. The problem is that it can sometimes be difficult to figure out without medical intervention. For that reason, it might take a few weeks of trial and error to determine which natural remedies will target the specific cause of your bloating.
10 Home Remedies for Bloating
Our ancestors suffered from a lot of the same ailments that we do now and had to figure out ways to treat them. Of course, they didn’t have access to pharmacies with clearly labeled products spelling out how to relieve bloating.
Instead, they had to turn to nature as their one-stop shop for medicine. The good news is their efforts taught us a lot about the potential nutritive power of common foods and plants.
The following remedies are rooted in time-honored traditions and modern-day science and just might be what you need to get rid of your bloating and digestive discomfort.
1. Bone Broth
Bone broth is the first mention on this list for a variety of reasons. When this easily digestible and nutrient-rich elixir is introduced to the digestive tract, it can result in a significant soothing effect for your stomach.
The creation of a high-quality bone broth is steeped in tradition and has been used for centuries. The key is to slow-cook the bones in hot water, often using various herbs and vegetables, to extract the maximum goodness from them. As the broth brews, it becomes ripe with a variety of amino acids, including glycine and proline, which play critical roles in supporting gut health.
Our Bone Broth is not only rich in these essential nutrients but also comes with a flavor that’s both comforting and nourishing. For those wanting a holistic, natural approach to supporting gut health and managing bloating, then sipping on this “liquid gold” can be an excellent first step.
In many ways, the gut is akin to a bustling metropolis, as trillions of bacteria call it home. Among them are probiotics, which are commonly referred to as “good bacteria.” These living organisms work very hard to ensure peace and harmony within the digestive tract. Their efforts not only impact your digestive well-being but also play a crucial role in your immune system, mood, and more.
Introducing more probiotics into the gut microbiome can go a long way toward helping alleviate bloating and other digestive discomforts. You can get plenty of probiotics by eating more yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, or kombucha.
On the other hand, there are a variety of probiotic supplements infused with specific strains that target specific digestive concerns. Whichever way you go, it’s hard to go wrong with probiotics.
3. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds have a rich history in both the culinary and medicinal worlds. Their sweet, licorice-like taste complements dishes, while their therapeutic profile can address digestive woes. Fennel is rich in essential oils, such as anethole, which possess certain properties that can ease muscle contractions in the stomach.
On top of that, fennel also has diuretic properties that can help eliminate water retention, which often makes bloating much worse. Adding some more fennel seeds to your post-meal routine can be a ritual that provides you with flavor and digestive comfort.
More than just a burst of flavor, ginger is widely embraced across many cultures for its medicinal value. The primary bioactive compound in ginger is gingerol, which is well-regarded as a strong antioxidant.
Ginger tea has long been used to quell nausea and soothe upset stomachs. Featuring the occasional cup can help provide you with all the benefits of this powerful herb.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is probably the most tangy option on this list and has the health benefits to justify the taste. The primary benefit is due to the compound’s acetic acid content, which can help balance the acid in your stomach. The balancing act can encourage efficient digestion, which may cause bloating.
That’s not the only reason why apple cider vinegar deserves a spot in your pantry. It also features prebiotics, the primary food source for the aforementioned probiotics in your stomach. Keeping them fed and strong can further support your digestive system.
6. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is instantly recognizable as an option for soothing an upset stomach. The tea is derived from the delicate petals of the chamomile flower and has long been cherished for digestive relief. The potent antioxidants found in these petals can be effective in soothing a variety of digestive ailments and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Chamomile goes beyond just alleviating indigestion — it can also have a calming effect on your nerves and promote a deeper sense of relaxation. It’s certainly a valuable remedy to turn to when feeling stressed.
7. Lemon Water
The simple combination of warm water infused with the zest of lemon is sometimes all it takes to get your digestive system back on track. The natural acidity of lemons can help to balance the stomach’s pH and promote a more effective digestive effort throughout the day.
Our Lemon Sips take these benefits to an entirely new level by adding SOD B to the mix. This antioxidant-rich extract is derived from cantaloupes and can provide additional benefits for your skin. Just one glass a day is all it takes to support your body from the inside out.
Peppermint is nature’s refreshment, as its unique aroma and taste are akin to a cool breeze on a warm day. The soothing qualities of peppermint tea and peppermint oil can often provide immediate relief for irritated GI tracts, making them a highly sought-after remedy for cramps, muscle spasms, and other digestive issues. Naturally, these effects can be highly beneficial for bloating as well.
9. Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are the new recruits that enter the microbiome through our food. Much like freshly graduated students ready to tackle the workforce, these digestive enzymes are ready to get to work supporting your digestive system. The primary function of these enzymes is to help digest food more efficiently.
By achieving this goal, they can help reduce the chance of undigested food particles fermenting in the gut. When undigested foods start to ferment, it doesn’t take long for excess gas and bloating to follow along with more unpleasant symptoms. Giving your gut more digestive enzymes can help decrease the frequency of undigested foods building up.
10. Dietary Changes
Each person’s relationship with food is unique. While food can nourish and energize our bodies, certain foods might not agree with our system. If you often experience bloating, then it may be a good idea to try to identify foods that might be the culprit.
For example, you may have one of the intolerances or medical conditions discussed earlier and not know it. The bloating could be your body’s way of informing you that something is wrong. If you’ve noticed that you only experience bloating after eating certain foods, then it could be wise to visit your doctor for intolerance testing.
How To Create a Personalized Approach to Managing Bloating
As you can see, there is an entire arsenal of options for home remedies that can help manage bloating. However, prevention is generally the best treatment of them all. While you can’t always prevent bloating, here are a few ways that you can side-step the unpleasant experience.
Identifying Individual Triggers
As we touched on earlier, making dietary changes may be the most effective way to be rid of bloating. One way to figure out which foods are causing the problem is to keep a food diary.
You’ll need to keep strict records of what you eat and how you feel afterward. If feelings of discomfort keep appearing after eating specific foods, then eliminating them from your diet can help reduce the odds of future bloating.
Low FODMAP Diet
The low FODMAP diet has picked up steam in the wellness community in recent years. FODMAPS are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates found in many foods which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine by some people.
Some of the most common examples are many of the foods mentioned earlier, including dairy products, beans, lentils, wheat, and some fruits and vegetables. By eating less of these foods, you may be able to minimize abdominal bloating and some other digestive issues.
Seek Professional Guidance
There’s no shame in calling in the experts with a little guidance. If you’ve tried the remedies listed above and made dietary changes and still often experience bloating, then it might be best to seek professional advice.
Bloating could merely be the side effect of a larger issue, and using home or over-the-counter remedies might not be the best solution. Consulting a nutritionist or healthcare professional can provide you with more information that you need to create a well-rounded approach to alleviating bloating.
Don’t let bloating be the rain on your parade for another day. Instead, take some proactive steps and try some of the home remedies listed above. If those aren’t enough to alleviate your bloating, then you might need to take further actions by making drastic changes to your diet or consulting with professionals.
It can be difficult to navigate the intricacies of digestive health, but always keep in mind that Dr. Kellyann is here for you. Whether it’s the nourishing touch of bone broth or the revitalizing zest of Lemon Sips, our range of products is specifically created to support your digestive wellness.