You might be asking how to get rid of bloating or what to do when bloated. Most of us suffer from bloating occasionally, especially after eating a large amount of food or the wrong types of food. It can often be a bit of a mystery and it’s sometimes hard to know what exactly has caused it.
Today we will look at this problem in a little detail and hope to shed some light on the issue, so you can get relief in the short term but also potentially solve the problem long-term as well.
Is Farting Healthy?
The gastrointestinal tract contains, on average, less than 200 mL of gas, whereas daily gas expulsion averages 600–700 mL.
On average, healthy men pass flatus (Fart) 14 times per day, especially after meals. Fart rates up to 25 per day are quite normal. The major gases in farts are nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane. Gases produced by colonic bacterial fermentation of ingested nutrients and endogenous glycoproteins (hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide) represent 74% of farts. (7)
In other words, if you fart up to 25 times daily, that’s normal and healthy but farting a lot, especially when there is internal discomfort or bloating usually represents an imbalance, which needs attention.
If you are ready to examine excessive farting, wind, and gas in-depth, then buckle up, we’re going to get to the bottom of this issue!
What Does Bloating Feel Like?
Bloating is more common in women (19.2%) than men (10.5%). Between 10% to 25% of healthy people experience bloating. It is particularly common in persons with irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. (8)
There is a pattern of symptoms that define what bloating actually is. This is called the Rome Criteria and is used for diagnosis. (1)
- The recurrent feeling of bloating or visible distention for at least 3 days per month
- The onset of symptoms at least 6 months prior to diagnosis
- Presence of symptoms for at least 3 months
- Insufficient criteria to establish a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, functional indigestion, acid reflux, or any other functional gastrointestinal disorder (1)
Other symptoms may include burping or belching, farting a lot, and sharp stabbing abdominal pains.
What Causes Gas in the Stomach?
Also known as flatulence, gas in the stomach is usually associated with what’s going on further down in the digestive system, like in the small intestine and colon. There are a number of other conditions that can be connected with excess gas and a bloated stomach.
- 90% of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have symptoms of bloating
- Functional Dyspepsia (Indigestion)
- Chronic constipation
- Celiac disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Fructose intolerance
- Gluten sensitivity (1)
Foods that cause gas and bloating
A number of foods are also known to be gas forming such as:
- Raw Brassica including Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
- Raw Carrots, Celery, Onions
- Legumes, Beans, Chickpeas, Dahl, especially if not well cooked (high in inflammatory Lectins)
- Nuts and seeds (also contain lectins)
- Sugary drinks
- Dairy products
- Wheat products
Imbalances of Gut Microbiota
The term gut microflora (also called gut microbiome or microbiota) refers to bacteria (and their byproducts) that inhabit the intestinal tract and their effects on both GI (Intestine) tract function and the body as a whole. Approximately 500 different species of bacteria reside within the colon. (1)
Research over the past decade has shown that these bacteria play a vital role in gut immune function, mucosal barrier function, metabolism of drugs, and the production of short-chain fatty acids and vitamins. Even minor disturbances in gut microflora can lead to significant changes in gut function, including gas production. (1)
Colonic gas production occurs primarily due to the metabolism of materials by colonic bacteria. Food products that are incompletely digested within the small intestine—such as lactose (in patients with lactase deficiency), fructose, sorbitol, legumes (ie, stachyose and raffinose), fiber, and complex carbohydrates (ie, wheat)—are broken down in the colon. (1)
Altered microflora may produce differences in fermented gas type and volume, which may be the causes of symptoms in patients with bloating. There have been some reports to verify the relationship between the types of gas produced by colonic microflora and bloating. (6)
The 5 most common gases found in the GI (Intestine) tract are nitrogen (N2), oxygen (O2), hydrogen (H2), CO2, and CH4 (methane). (1)
You can see where these gases appear in the diagram below.
Causes of gas in the stomach
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
As mentioned above, the gas found in the stomach is often related to other complications further down the digestive pathway, intestines, and colon. For example, patients with irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation are less able to effectively evacuate infused gas and are much more likely to develop symptoms of abdominal distention, bloating, and gas. This can be also connected with stress-related muscle reflexes and incorrect posture. Women with moderate-to-severe bloating more frequently report a history of major depression and more severe depression and anxiety (1)
Relaxation, massage, meditation, and other stress relief techniques could be useful with regard to this.
Bloating is one of the most common complaints in a large proportion of patients with various functional gastrointestinal disorders, namely: functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, and functional constipation. (9) In an individual, reflux and dyspepsia (indigestion) may occur simultaneously and therefore they are hard to be discriminated between. (10) Acid reflux and indigestion are often experienced simultaneously. Read more about acid reflux
You can see in the diagram below that bloating and gas can have multiple contributing factors. Even today this problem continues to evade simple treatment and is uniquely individual to each patient. In saying that we will discuss some natural treatment options below.
What’s good for bloating and what helps with gas?
Because this condition is complex and can be difficult to treat with conventional drugs, the natural approach is worth investigating first. That’s what we will do here.
A combination of simple dietary changes and herbal remedies should give great results. Because these can be done at home without medical intervention the stress factor is also reduced.
Start with a good herbal cleansing program and it will incorporate all of these recommendations.
Gastroenterologists usually direct patients to remove one possible offending substance at a time (ie, dairy first, then fructose-containing liquids, then fiber, and so on); however, some patients with severe bloating and abdominal distention prefer to begin with a strict elimination diet consisting of only water, broth, boiled chicken, and egg whites, and then they slowly add in different food groups. Some patients have noted symptom improvement after minimizing carbohydrates and gluten, although this approach has not been well studied. (1)
Many retrospective observational studies have shown that the reduced intake of large amounts of highly fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates (FODMAPs) may reduce bloating in IBS patients. (6)
Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins present throughout nature that act as agglutinins. Approximately 30% of our food contains lectins, some of which may be resistant enough to digestion to enter the circulation. Because of their binding properties, lectins can cause nutrient deficiencies, disrupt digestion, and cause severe intestinal damage when consumed in excess by an individual with dysfunctional enzymes.
A detox elimination diet followed by a combination of digestive herbs has been found to be of great assistance. (see client reviews below)
The good news is that a great number of natural herbs have an excellent effect when it comes to relieving gas and bloating. The category of medicinal herbs that reduce gas is called carminatives.
Follow the links for complete articles on each herb.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) leaf
The pharmacological studies in vitro and in vivo showed antispasmodic effects on the smooth muscle of the digestive tract, choleretic activity (bile production), and reduction in the tonus of the oesophageal sphincter (relaxes the oesophagus muscle) enabling the release of the entrapped air. The clinical studies of the essential oil, have demonstrated efficacy for the symptomatic relief of minor spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, flatulence, and abdominal pain. (2)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) Seed
Crying time reduction was observed in 85.4% of subjects with infant colic, using Fennel, Lemon Balm, and Chamomile which showed that colic in the breastfed infant improves within 1 week of treatment. (4)
Pineapple (Ananas comosus), Papaya (Carica papaya), and Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) all contain enzymes that can help improve digestion thus reducing indigestion related bloating and gas. These are the best but many other fruits also contain digestive enzymes – Maybe that’s why fruit salad is often a popular dessert!
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Rhizome
Ginger is traditionally used as a home remedy and is of immense value in treating various gastric ailments like constipation, dyspepsia, belching, bloating, gastritis, epigastric discomfort (pain below your ribs in your upper abdomen), gastric ulcerations, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, and scientific studies have validated the traditional uses. (3)
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Root
Licorice is used for various digestive system complaints including stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and ongoing inflammation of the lining of the stomach (chronic gastritis). A mixture of dried powdered slippery elm bark, lactulose, oat bran, and licorice root significantly improved both bowel habit and IBS symptoms in patients with constipation-predominant IBS. (5)
Other common herbs used to help relieve bloating and gas include chamomile tea, caraway seeds, and parsley, all of which can be found in the kitchen and used with your food. Most of the herbs mentioned above can be included in food or used as herbal teas with food.
Digezaid contains herbs that support comfortable, healthy digestion and maintains intestinal health.
The formula also contains the enzymes Papain, Bromelain, and Kiwifruit to improve the digestion of proteins and soothing herbal agents such as Peppermint, Ginger, and Fennel to calm digestive discomfort such as bloating and gas.
Cayenne and Licorice are included to support intestinal wall healing and to control negative bacteria that can cause ulcers and inflammation of the gut wall.
Click on the individual ingredient names for more information on how each herb works.
Digezaid (120 Capsules)
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita) leaf
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seed
- Pineapple (Ananas comosus) extract (Bromelain)
- Papaya (Carica papaya) extract (Papain)
- Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) whole fruit
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome
- Cayenne (Capsicum annum) fruit
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) root
(1) Pathophysiology, Evaluation, and Treatment of Bloating. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264926/
(2) A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16767798
(3) A review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23612703
(4) A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a standardized extract of Matricariae recutita, Foeniculum vulgare and Melissa officinalis (ColiMil) in the treatment of breastfed colicky infants. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16041731
(5) Effects of two natural medicine formulations on irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: a pilot study. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20954962
(6) Abdominal Bloating: Pathophysiology and Treatment. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3816178/
(7) Gas and Bloating. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350578/
(8) Functional Abdominal Bloating with Distention. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3388350/
(9) Bloating and functional gastro-intestinal disorders: Where are we and where are we going? PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202369/
(10) Dyspepsia and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): is there any correlation? PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20737754