Gas, bloating and cramps are symptoms that generally present together. An individual will feel bloated when too much gas forms in the stomach and intestines. The stomach area feels full and uncomfortable. This can sometimes lead to cramping when the gas travels further down the lower intestines. Any remedy should address the reason the bloating has occurred in the first place. For instance, gas and bloating can happen as a result of eating too much, swallowing air when eating, types of food or allergic reactions.
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Avoiding Suspect Foods
Some foods are more likely to cause gas such as sugars, beans, lactose, fructose, sorbitol, starches and some soluble fiber, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. By identifying and avoiding the foods that cause the most difficulty, people who suffer from abdominal gas, bloating and cramping can reduce the problems and discomfort they suffer.
Peppermint is a popular flavoring and is also used to soothe an upset stomach or support digestion, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Through the decades it has been used to treat anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, menstrual cramps and headaches. Peppermint contains menthol, which has antispasmodic properties on smooth muscle in the digestive tract. A warm cup of peppermint tea can help relieve gas and gas pain.
Several different over-the-counter remedies are available to help reduce gas and bloating. Lactase supplements are used when individuals are lactose intolerant. Simethicone can help break up the bubbles in the gas, reduce excessive belching and relieve stomach pain. Beano is an over-the-counter remedy that controls gas produced by reactions to beans and some vegetables. Activated charcoal tablets can also be taken before or after a meal and are available at natural food stores. A doctor should be consulted about the most effective remedies for specific problems.
Individuals who suffer from the gastro-intestinal discomfort of gas should consider changing their lifestyle choices to include eating smaller meals, chewing food slowly, avoiding gum and straws, using properly fitting dentures and eating in a relaxed and stress-free environment. Smoking can also increase the amount of air that is swallowed and therefore increase the amount of gas and bloating experienced.