Believe it or not, there are natural ways you can cure bloating. The uncomfortable condition, that can make you feel both sluggish and fatigued, is your body's natural reaction to certain foods that it is trying to digest. Excess intestinal gas is accumulated and puffs up the body. Fluctuating hormones, especially in women, can also be a reason for bloating. There are several treatments and cures you can incorporate once you find out what is causing your bloating.
Limit Your Salt Intake
An excess of salt makes your body hold on to water and causes it to bloat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person should consume less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium on a daily basis. Aside from consuming salt in its natural form, salt is also present in such foods as chips, nuts, junk food, hot dogs, tomato soups and spaghetti sauce. A high salt intake can lead to high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
Avoid Swallowing Air
Swallowing air is another way you can become bloated. When you smoke or chew gum, you take in more air than normal. This accumulates and results in bloating. Swallowed air may cause belching or when passed through the digestive tract, it may be released as flatus. Some people are prone to swallow air when they are stressed while others swallow air when they eat and talk at the same time. To avoid bloating, avoid chewing gum and talking and eating at the same time. If possible, limit or stop smoking.
Limit Gas-Producing Foods
Eating foods that are hard to digest or that you body cannot digest may result in bloating. Bacteria feed on undigested food that stays in the intestines. This results in gas and bloating. Cauliflower and broccoli are examples of two vegetables that your body cannot digest completely because it lacks the enzymes to do so. Beans are also known to produce gas. If you experience bloating when consuming dairy products, you may be lactose intolerant, meaning your body has a hard time digesting milk sugars. Opting for alternatives like soy or rice milk may prevent discomfort.
Pregnant women, women going through menopause and women that experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), may all experience the discomfort of bloating due to hormone fluctuations. Hormones are responsible for the water retention that occurs in your kidneys. This leads to bloating. Over-the-counter remedies such as water pills, PMS symptom-combating medicine and diuretics may offer relief. Consult your doctor before taking any medicine, especially when you are pregnant.
- Pure Inside Out: Bloating -- Causes and Remedies; Randa Khalil, et. al.
- WebMD: Gas, Bloating and Burping; Sept. 2009
- Mother Nature: Bloating
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention: Sodium -- The Facts
- Mother Nature: Water Retention
- MayoClinic: Premenstrual Syndrome -- Treatments and Drugs; Dec. 2009
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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