In general, excessive gas is caused by food that is not breaking down efficiently. Did you realize that, on average, you will have about 14 "releases" per day? There might be various causes: eating too much food, eating too much of one thing or the wrong combination of things, i.e. meat and fruit, eating too fast, not chewing properly, and more. Digestion is a highly complex set of chemical and biological reactions and some gas is inevitably produced as a natural byproduct. It’s impossible to prevent intestinal gas completely, however, the good news is that there are a number of natural / simple remedies and preventative measures which may be of assistance!
So, what are some options to help you spell relief?
1. Peppermint tea is very helpful in soothing a "rolling" digestive tract and for easing gas pains. Drink a cup after a meal to allow its essential oil, which contains menthol, act as an anti-spasmodic to the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. Steep the tea for 15 min and squeeze the teabag before discarding.
2. Let 'er rip!
Don't make a habit of holding it in. Not that you want to lose friends or keep from making new ones, but just find a place away from others or head to the bathroom, because if you hold it in, it's only going to build up and add to your misery!
3. Ginger can calm an upset stomach via two inherent chemical components, relax the intestinal tract and ease inflammation. You can grate fresh ginger root, take capsules or sip the tea to help with digestion. As with all herbal or natural remedies, be sure to discuss with your doctor; case in point, ginger can lower blood pressure and blood sugar as well as increase the risk of bleeding if one is taking a blood thinner.
4. Caraway seeds can reportedly ease bloating. Just crunch on a pinchful every morning, or as needed.
5. Chamomile tea is another anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory that can be enjoyed for the relaxing effect it has, as well as help with gas due to indigestion.
6. Pumpkin is helpful in that it can reduce the amount of gas created by the intestinal bacteria. One cup of it baked, steamed or whipped may also provide an anti-cancer benefit as well as give you the additional fiber that you may be missing out on.
7. Chew your food thoroughly! This will provide more surface area in the digestive process, speeding up elimination and preventing your groceries from sitting in your intestines longer, which builds up more gas.
8. Drinking warm lemon water will stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid (HCL), which aids in the protein digestion in the stomach. The added benefit is that this acts like a complete body detoxifier.
9. Exercising will increase the speed of digestion and keep you less grouchy and will provide a regular, gradual release so that you won't manifest a measurement on the Richter Scale!
10. Anise seeds (for those not grossed out by a licorice taste), has anti-spasmodic properties, which will relax your digestive tract and allow you to be able to expel pent up gas. Always check with your doctor first, but water with soaked anise seeds has been shown to provide relief for colicky babies.
11. Essential oils like peppermint and others may likewise be of benefit to ease your digestive maladies. I have been using them to some extent for over a decade for various remedies and the company Young Living has not only individual oils, but blends to make it easier for the consumer. Contact our office for more information.
So, while we may not usually talk about it, and certainly have even less of a desire to hear or experience any other sensory stimulation, gas is here to stay. Hopefully, some of the suggestions I've listed will ease your discomfort and embarrassment. Now, go enjoy a couple slices of pizza; try one of the home remedies above. If all else fails, just blame the dog again!
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