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Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating

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Most of us have experienced some degree of bloating on occasion. Despite how common the experience may be among the general population, it is odd to report that, as yet the scientific community cannot entirely agree on the most likely cause of bloating. Having said that, when instant relief is needed either of these two supplements could help reduce your symptoms fast.

Peppermint capsules

Peppermint oil capsules help to relieve abdominal pain and bloating associated with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

Thanks to the historical use of peppermint for digestive upsets there have been a vast number of scientific investigations designed to assess its effects.

One such study of men suffering from digestive problems, volunteers were either provided with peppermint tablets or a placebo, in order to measure the impact both substances had on feelings of swelling and bloating.

While the placebo group reported a 29 percent improvement in digestive sensations, the peppermint group experienced a far more significant impact of 83 percent. 

Food moves through your intestines because some of the muscles in your bowel contract and then relax in a regular way, lipitor and muscle weakness pain said Patient Info.

The health site added: “These muscle contractions move the food along. In conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, the muscle contractions can occur too often or become painful.

“Smooth muscle relaxants like peppermint oil work on the muscles in the bowel to cause them to relax and helps to relieve the pain and discomfort.”

You can buy peppermint oil capsules ‘over the counter’ for the management of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

They can also be bought without a prescription at pharmacies and other retail outlets.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts, which are widely promoted to have various health benefits.

According to Amine Ould-Laib, a nutritionist at food allergy and dietary app Spoon Guru, probiotics work by digesting the plant-fibre in our diet, producing short-chain fats which are thought to have protective effects against colon cancer.

“They also work by competing with the bad bacteria in our guts, keeping them under control,” Ould-Laib said.

In a study published in the National Library of Health, probiotics in the management of lower gastrointestinal symptoms was investigated.

The study looked at placebo‐controlled trials published between January 2012 and June 2017.

A total of 70 studies were included looking at significant benefits of probiotics vs placebo.

“Statements with 70‐100 percent agreement and ‘moderate’ evidence indicated that, in some patients with IBS, specific probiotics help reduce bloating/distension and improve bowel movement frequency/consistency,” noted the study.

It concluded that specific probiotics could relieve lower GI symptoms in IBS, prevent diarrhoea and reduce bloating.

Other ways to reduce your bloating include:

  • Go for a walk
  • Yoga
  • Eat more fibre
  • Avoid chewing gum
  • Reduce soda drinks
  • Eat slowly
  • Cut down on salt
  • Keep a food diary.

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