Bloating is awful and sometimes unavoidable. If you find yourself uncomfortably bloated, try one of these seven tricks to reduce it and feel yourself again!
When your stomach looks a few months pregnant, but you’re not, it’s never a good feeling. This problem is usually due to bloating, and it’s something almost everyone deals with occasionally.
Just because “everyone” has it doesn’t mean you want to keep it around, though! It’s an uncomfortable feeling that usually stems from fluid retention or a buildup of gas.
Bloat will go away on its own over a few days, or you can take matters into your own hands (or stomach).
Maybe you want to get rid of the bloat because it’s causing you discomfort or simply because it doesn’t look good. Whatever the reason, these seven tricks will reduce your bloating fast so you can get on with your day!
1. OTC Meds
When you want relief from painful bloating fast, OTC medications are your best bet. They don’t “fix” the problem, but they reduce the symptoms so you can get on with your life.
Gas relief products are easy to get over-the-counter. The active ingredient is usually simethicone or activated charcoal.
Simethicone is a relatively harmless substance that treats gas in babies through adults. It relieves the pressure that comes from an excess gas buildup in your stomach and intestines.
Don’t take products with simethicone in them, like Gas-X, if:
- you are allergic to the ingredients
- you are breastfeeding
- you have phenylketonuria
Activated charcoal is the other common bloat-relieving ingredient in many OTC medications. On its own, this substance works because of its porousness. The gaps in the charcoal work as a net that traps the excess gas in your stomach.
But when you combine activated charcoal with a product that has simethicone in it, the two ingredients work together to destroy the gas bubbles. This knocks out bloating fast.
2. Natural Remedies
Healthcare practitioners and naturalists have used herbs to treat medical conditions for millennia. These herbal remedies are becoming an accepted part of mainstream therapy for a lot of situations.
For digestion issues like bloating and gas, try these natural at-home herbs:
- Peppermint oil or tea can help with irritable bowel syndrome and other GI issues.
- Ginger, either the herb or in a dressing or smoothie, can reduce bloating and constipation.
- Boiling fennel seeds into a tea is a centuries-old go-to digestive reliever.
You can also prevent bloating and gas naturally by watching what you eat and making sure you’re getting enough exercise.
3. Get Active
Constipation is one of the most common reasons for bloating. An unhealthy diet partly causes it, but it can also stem from inactivity.
When you’re active, your bowels function more regularly. Regular movement decreases how much time your food needs to get through your intestines. The longer it takes, the harder your stools are, and the more difficult they are to pass.
If you’re bloated, it may be because of constipation. Going for a walk or moderate yoga activities can be all it takes to get your bowels moving and drop your bloat fast.
4. Avoid Allergy Irritants
If bloating is a regular thing for you, it could be allergy-related.
Food allergies or ingredients your body is intolerant to aren’t always obvious. In fact, the first sign you might notice that there’s a problem is when you’re bloated.
The best way to determine if you have an allergy intolerance is to talk to your healthcare provider. Otherwise, you may be eliminating foods from your diet for no reason!
Some of the most common food allergies are dairy/lactose, eggs, wheat and grain, and nuts. But your allergy may be something as unexpected as bananas or chocolate (the horror!).
5. Watch Your Diet
What you eat has a major effect on how your body works. It’s basic Biology and Anatomy 101, but many people don’t actually know how the “you are what you eat” saying is so on point.
When you eat junk, you’re fueling your body with said junk. It’s a cycle that only gets fixed when you change your diet.
Most of today’s prepackaged, frozen, and fast foods are full of bloat-inducing ingredients. If you feel like you’re always constipated, gassy, and/or bloated, the culprit could be your diet.
Never mind Keto and the other diet fads. Stick with a low-FODMAP diet (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols).
It’s really not that bad. Once you learn the foods in each group, you just avoid them. You can eat everything else!
These include wheat, rye, legumes, and certain bloat-inducing fruits and vegetables, like onions and garlic.
This is the one that gets most people in gas trouble. Lactose products, like milk, yogurt, and soft cheese, are surefire bloaters.
A lot of fruits fall in this category, particularly those with high fructose. Figs, mangoes, honey, and agave products are no-nos if you want to avoid bloat.
Stay away from foods and gum that claim to be sugar-free, low-cal, or low-carb but have polyols in the ingredients. Some fruits and vegetables are polyol carriers, too, like stone fruits and mushrooms.
Here’s the bottom line:
When you’re feeling gassy, think back to your previous few meals. If they included any of these foods, you might have found your trigger.
6. Relax in a Bath
The warmth of the water in a bath can ease some of the discomforts of your bloated belly.
When you’re stressed, your GI tract doesn’t function optimally. Taking a bath and relaxing lets your whole body focus on doing what it’s supposed to do.
To knock out the bloat with a double-punch, use peppermint or other herbal digestive oils in your bathwater.
7. Massage Your Belly
When a baby is gassy, doctors suggest that the parents rub their belly and do “bicycles.” These same motions work in adults, too, encouraging the bowels to get moving.
If your gas and bloat are causing you severe discomfort, use these steps to get rid of the pain:
- Put your hand on the right side of your belly, close to your pelvis bone.
- Move it in a circular motion gently up your side.
- When you reach your ribs, move your hand to the left side.
- Repeat the process in circular motions down to your hip and your belly button.
- Continue this for about three minutes or until you feel better.
We may not be babies anymore, but our bodies still function in the same way. Get rid of your gas pain with a self-massage technique that works no matter how old you are!
When gas and bloat are stopping you from living your best life, it’s time to get rid of them now!
These seven tricks will help you reduce your bloated belly and get back to feeling great — so you can move on with your day!
Author Bio: Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with HQ to help them with their online marketing.