"Most uncomfortable things we can fix: You can swap your restrictive jeans for your favorite sweatpants or joggers; you can hide your social media profile from your grandmother and in most major cities you can order food in to completely avoid hot and humid summer days (thank god). And then there’s bloating, a seriously uncomfortable symptom that seems to keep coming back, no matter how many times you try those bloated stomach remedies you find online. "
Nearly 20% of Americans report experiencing bloating often, so you’re not alone. Whether in response to something you ate or due to an underlying medical condition, 1 in 3 people deal with bloating on a regular basis, but many do not understand where their bloating is coming from nor do they do anything about it. Fortunately, you don’t have to keep playing whack-a-mole with your discomfort!
Our go-to action plan for beating bloat will help you identify the root causes of bloating and offer the best science-backed solutions out there to relieve digestive distress, without sacrificing quality of life (or the occasional ice cream).
How to relieve a bloated stomach
When your stomach starts expanding and the discomfort kicks in, the number one thing on your mind is getting rid of it. Not only is bloating physically uncomfortable, but it can also feel embarrassing! (For the record, this is totally common and nothing to blush about.) At rmdy, we’re serious about addressing the roots of your bloating as well as getting ahead of your symptoms to avoid them in the first place.
Find the cause of your symptoms
This might surprise you, but not all bloating is created equally. A number of causes can make you feel bloated, including constipation, fibrous foods, and having your period (for people with periods). Identifying the source of your bloating can allow you to identify a solution much faster and it can help you avoid bloating the next time around.
Whether you’ve identified the source of your discomfort or not, there are actions you can take to reduce your digestive distress first. Follow our best-in-class tips below to find swift relief for your swollen tummy now, just remember that different solutions work for different people. Our best tip is to try out a few and listen to your bodies’ signals to figure out what works best!
How to eat when bloated and gassy
The last thing you want to do when you’re suffering from a swollen stomach is make it worse. But you still need to eat to fuel your daily activities. First and foremost, try to avoid the foods that are common causes for people’s gas and bloating — even if you’re not sure how you react to them. You may handle legumes just fine, but we still wouldn’t suggest dishing up the black beans if you’re feeling bloated. Reaching for water-rich foods like veggies can potentially help, especially if they also have plenty of potassium. While bloating and water retention aren’t the same thing, fruits and veggies with potassium (such as bananas, tomatoes, asparagus, and cucumbers) may help your body flush excess water. At the very least, it should help you feel less heavy and puffy.
It may also be worth trying a warm cup of lemon water. We won’t weigh in on the supposed waist-trimming abilities of this beverage. But drinking plenty of water can help remove excess sodium from your system, if that’s contributing to your bloating. Plus, the d-limonene found in the peel of lemon (make sure to use whole slices with the peel intact) can give sluggish bowels the kick they need to help you feel normal again.
If you’ve been dealing with these symptoms for a while, it might be time for an elimination diet. In one study, as many as 98% of participants with food sensitivities improved within four weeks of beginning an elimination diet. But before starting this new regimen, you should speak with your doctor who may be able to target your efforts to identify root causes. And working hand-in-hand with them to craft your new menu can help ensure you’re getting the calories and nutrition you need despite the limitations to your diet.
Natural remedies for gas and bloating
Many don’t want to turn to a medication as a first treatment for common symptoms like gas and a bloated stomach. And while we always urge you to discuss options with your doctor, these natural remedies for gas and bloating are good go-tos mainly because they’re safe. So there’s no harm done if they end up not being the solution you need for bloating relief. Some of these natural remedies include:
The cooling effect of peppermint has long been known to target symptoms of bloating and digestive discomfort. Studies show peppermint oil is effective for soothing intestinal spasms in patients with IBS — and it’s available in coated capsules for easy digestion. Not into swallowing pills? For a sweet solution you can find at your local convenience store, try sipping on a soothing cup of peppermint tea.
For thousands of years, ginger has been used as a digestive remedy in traditional Chinese medicine. Studies are catching up — and clinical trials have shown ginger extract to relieve digestive discomfort in a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. Take it in an enteric coated capsule, drink it as a tea, or use it as a seasoning in an array of meals.
You might think of this herb as a go-to part of your bedtime routine, but it’s worth adding in after your midday meals, too. More studies must be performed before chamomile can be officially declared a digestive remedy. However, plenty of anecdotal evidence supports the use of chamomile — as an extract or tea — to treat gas, bloating and mild digestive discomfort. Best of all, chamomile tea is inexpensive and easy to find at the grocery store, making it an accessible at-home remedy for bloating of all kinds.
Ancient Indian medicine, known as Ayurveda, frequently relies on turmeric as a DIY home remedy to cure everything from digestive distress to skin woes — as the mainstream popularity of “golden milk tea” in recent years can attest. Curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, may be responsible for its gut-boosting benefits. A meta-analysis of the use of curcumin for IBS relief found that the compound had a beneficial, though not statistically significant, effect on patients’ symptom reporting.
There has been plenty of hoopla about the benefits of probiotics — and even though evidence backing their potential health benefits is still emerging, existing research stand behind them. Probiotics reduced pain and symptom severity scores in individuals with IBS, a meta-analysis of approximately 1,800 patients found. For the best results, seek a probiotic supplement with over 1 billion Colony-Forming Units (CFUs). Better yet, obtain probiotics through your diet by consuming plenty of fermented foods: kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and even plain old yogurt contain plenty of live active cultures with bloat-busting benefits.
If you want more of these, check out this piece on how to relieve gas & bloating stat. It includes activities such as taking a walk, and trying certain yoga poses to help you remedy your symptoms right now.
In the future, you can also try Daily Digestive Essentials created and curated to digestive symptoms before they start while taking care of your long-term gut health. Find out more about its 4 ingredient categories - digestive enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, natural herbs - here.