Stomach bloating: Dr. Oz advises on how to 'beat the bloat'
Stomach bloating is usually the result of gorging on gassy food and drink so Christmas is a recipe for disaster. From knocking back fizz to eating Brussels sprouts with reckless abandon, there is ample opportunity to clog up your gastrointestinal tract with wind. In most cases, shunning the worst culprits should help to expel the gassy build-up.
If the problem persists, additional assistance may be necessary to relieve bloating.
Evidence has alighted upon a number of natural products that can help to restore gut health.
Coriander, a herb which is commonly used to elevate dishes, has been shown to alleviate bloating symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
IBS is a common condition that affects the digestive system, causing symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
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Research suggests the herb’s anti-bloating properties emerge when the oil is extracted from its seeds.
One eight-week study in 32 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) found that 30 drops of a coriander-containing herbal medication taken thrice daily significantly decreased abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort, compared with a placebo group.
Coriander extract has also been shown to promote gut health in other ways.
Coriander extract is used as an appetite stimulant in traditional Iranian medicine. One rat study noted that it increased appetite, compared with control rats given water or nothing.
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Bloating – what to avoid
According to Bupa, reducing the amount of certain sugars in your diet may help your bloating symptoms.
“These are found in FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) foods, which are hard to digest,” explains the health body.
They include onions, wheat, beans, lentils, milk, mushrooms, honey and apples.
“You should get advice from a dietitian before starting a low-FODMAP diet,” advises Bupa.
Handy self-help tips
Another simple self-help tip that may provide bloating relief is to try and reduce your air intake.
According to the NHS, you can do this by:
- Not talking and eating at the same time
- Sitting down to eat (sitting upright and not slumped over)
- Reducing the amount of fizzy drinks you consume
- Stopping chewing gum and chewing with your mouth closed so that you’re not taking in excess air.
According to the health body, the best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely.
“Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most,” it advises.
When is bloating serious?
In some cases, bloating is a symptom of a more serious underlying condition.
For example, as Harvard Health explains, colon, ovarian, stomach, and pancreatic cancer are among the cancers that can have bloating as a symptom.
In rare cases, sudden bloating can signal cancer, the health body warns.
If sudden bloating lasts more than a few days, report the symptom to your doctor, it advises.
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