Gas is a natural reflex of the digestion process. The good bacteria in the gut process and break down food into smaller molecules for proper absorption by the body. In the process, the bacteria release methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen that collectively form gas. This gas formed exits the digestive system in the form of a burp or a fart.
The symptoms of gas vary in terms of severity with some resulting in nothing more than mild abdominal pain to others like severe bouts of discomfort that can be the result of a developing gastrointestinal disorder. However gas can cause also a lot of discomfort for women, especially during pregnancy.
Obesity, hormonal imbalance, and gestational diabetes are the most common causes of bloating or gas during pregnancy for which medical attention is advisable. One can try the following home remedies to alleviate the discomfort and provide relief prior to starting treatment.
- Staying hydrated
Water is a lifesaving liquid that helps the body get rid of toxins in the system. Drinking water at regular intervals also helps women counter and reduce bloating or gas buildup during the day. Doctors recommend a minimum of six to eight glasses of water per day to ensure proper hydration. One must be careful and mindful of water intake during pregnancy especially to ensure both the mother and child remain healthy throughout the gestation period.
- Avoid processed and refined foods
Foods available on the shelves of the supermarket contain different types of preservatives and additives to increase the shelf life of products. However, most products feature fructose made from corn as one of the primary ingredients used in processed foods and beverages. Fructose is one of the leading triggers of bloating or gas as it increases the sugar levels in the body forcing the digestive system to work overtime to break down particles for generating energy.
- Avoid fried and oily foods
The digestion process is considerably slow throughout the duration of the pregnancy. Consumption of fried and oily foods will put pressure on the intestines that can lead to gastric problems. As a result, bloating and gas are among some of the common discomforts experienced due to increased metabolic activity.
- Consume fiber-rich foods
Fiber-rich foods absorb the water from the digestive system which is a huge plus as excessive water retention can lead to bloating and gas. Pears, leafy vegetables, oatmeal, apples, and carrots are great sources of fiber essential for aiding the digestive system to promote healthy bowel movements. Note that it takes time to get used to a fiber-rich diet which is why the foods must be introduced slowly to avoid digestive disorders.
- A smaller portion of meals
To avoid bloating or gassiness, it is a good idea to split up full meals into smaller meals equally spread out during the day. A full meal will put more pressure on the intestines to quickly process and absorb the nutrients in comparison to smaller meals. Doctors also suggest that one must chew and swallow slowly to ensure the stomach has sufficient time to process the food.
Warm water, lemon juice, and herbal tea are some of the beverages that can also provide relief from bloating, gas, and other gastric problems.