Most people don’t know they have digestive issues, even when they regularly suffer from gas and bloating. Almost 70% of Americans undergo bloating symptoms and often leave it unnoticed. However, this problem signifies a weak gut system and needs to be taken care of, as it can lead to complications when left untreated.
Bloating should not be considered the same as fat build-up around your tummy. Even when you have less than 10% fat, you can still experience bloating. You can find people who eat right, undergo a regular workout routine, and avoid fast food, yet they are victims of bloating.
Causes of bloating
Bloating happens when our gastrointestinal tract is filled up with gas or air. It may look bigger than normal, and the person with this problem will feel always full even when they haven’t eaten recently. Bloating is not always a sign of serious concern but can be uncomfortable and painful.
The main cause of abdominal bloating is that the gastrointestinal tract is unable to split the food into tiny particles to be absorbed in the blood. This food turns toxic and causes bloating.
Some of the main reasons of bloating can be categorized as:
- Eating habits: The root cause of bloating is our eating habits that affect our overall health in the short and long term. Ayurveda says that 80% of our health is determined by what we eat and 20% by how active we remain in a day. If you are not able to control bloating despite spending hours in the gym, then keep a strict check on:
- Eating junk food or overeating, and mixing food with aerated water
- Don’t allowing you to spend more time eating
- More consumption of dairy products, especially when you have lactose intolerance
- Addictions: Our lifestyle can also be the cause of bloating. For example, smoking causes bloating. Similarly, people get addicted to medicines, like painkillers or anti-allergic. Most of these medicines can slow down the pro-digestion activity in the gut. This results in byproduct gases forming, which can get trapped in the lower abdomen and cause bloating.
- Medical conditions: There are several chronic or temporary clinical conditions that may cause bloating. For example, people suffering from gastrointestinal infection or irritable bowel syndrome often cause bloating.
Apart from physiological factors, long-term stress and anxiety are also the major factors responsible for bloating.
Bloating according to Ayurveda
Agni (fire) is considered the main source of life in Ayurveda and is a gatekeeper of good health. Everything we eat is looked upon as an offering to Agni. What we eat strengthens this fire and boosts our digestive system or can suppress it leading to an impaired and weakened Agni.
As per Ayurveda, harmful foods like fried foods, processed meats, and very cold food often leave undigested residue in our digestive tract that turns into toxins, or ‘ama’ in Ayurvedic terms. Ama is known as the root cause of bloating in Ayurveda.
So, Ayurveda’s health goal is to balance this metabolic fire, and most Ayurvedic practitioners suggest:
- Eat only when you are hungry.
- Ensure to keep gaps of at least three hours between two meals so that the previous meal is properly digested.
- Try to avoid smothering Agni by eating cold, wet, spicy, oily, and fried food items.
Ayurveda management for bloating
Ayurveda suggests the following to help treat your bloating problems:
- Lifestyle changes: Bloating symptoms can be diminished or even prevented by adopting a few lifestyle changes like losing weight. Moreover, limiting carbonated drinks and eating slowly will also help.
- Belly massages: Abdominal massages may also help reduce abdominal bloating. Massages also improve depression which is many times a cause of bloating.
- Ayurvedic consultation: You can consider taking the help of an Ayurvedic consultant from Patanjali Yogpeeth USA. Ayurvedic experts from Patanjali will find the root cause of your problem and ‘doshic’ imbalance, which is a key factor behind bloating and will suggest you personalized diet and lifestyle program.
- Ayurvedic management: Ayurvedic consultants can also suggest various treatment modalities to cure bloating problems. These include ‘deepana’ (by carminatives), ‘paachana’ (by digestive), and ‘vaataanulomana (by gas expellers). Ayurvedic detox (panchakarma) is also suggested for decreasing the cause of digestive discomfort. This includes ‘virechana (purgation) and ‘vasti (herbalised enemas), which help clean the intestine.
Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend pranayama and Yoga to control bloating. Some of the common Yoga asanas include:
- Yoga postures
- Pawaukta asana
Some of the Ayurvedic herbs which also help keep bloating under control are:
- Hingwastaka Churna, etc.
Bloating is a single medical condition that is most common and happens in patients with poor gut health. Ayurveda can treat bloating and focuses on the root cause, not just the symptoms. While opting for a quick remedy to help relieve the bloating problem is not bad, but for permanent relief, you need to find the cause and then go for the treatment.