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Gas & Indigestion

Indigestion” refers to any number of gastrointestinal complaints, which can include gas (belching, flatulence, or bloating) and upset stomach.

Living with acid reflux can be hard enough, but when you add other problems to that, it can be downright life altering. There are some reflux sufferers who also have problems with gas and indigestion, and those problems mixed with acid reflux are enough to make anyone miserable. You may not think they are related, but there are times when gas indigestion problems are directly linked to your acid reflux, or are aggravating your condition.

In the case of gas, it might be making your reflux worse, or might even be the cause of it. When food sits in the stomach for too long, it begins to break down but does not necessarily move through the digestion tract quickly enough. That creates gas in the stomach and can put undo pressure on the muscle between your stomach and your esophagus that is meant to stay closed to prevent reflux. When opened, or even pushed open repeatedly by excess gas, you run the risk of having acid splash up into your esophagus.

When it come to indigestion, you may think it is just a natural part of acid reflux, but that might be related to the gas problem you are experiencing. Gas indigestion problems can feel much like acid reflux symptoms, but are more likely the cause of your reflux. All of these things go together to make you feel very uncomfortable.

Some sufferers think that they are producing too much stomach acid and that is the root of all of their problems. However, what most people don’t realize is that as you age, you actually produce lower amounts of stomach acid, and that may be what is at the root of your gas indigestion problems. When there is not enough acid, food is not digested as quickly and can not move through your system. Instead, it sits in the stomach producing excess gas as a result. It’s a vicious circle.

What causes gas & indigestion? 
  • Stress or worries is the main cause for indigestion./li>
  • In taking excess allopathic medicines cause indigestion.
  • There is indigestion at the time of pregnancy.
  • Excess smoking habit also leads to indigestion
  • Taking caffeine, tea on an empty stomach causes gas formation and indigestion. 
  • Taking alcohol can cause various diseases like ulcer which hampers the functioning of digestive system may also cause indigestion.
  • Eating heavy food, swallowing of food or quickly also causes indigestion.

Gas in the digestive tract—the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine—comes from two sources:

  • swallowed air
  • normal breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine, also called the colon
Swallowed Air :

Aerophagia, or air swallowing, is a common cause of gas in the stomach. Everyone swallows small amounts of air when eating and drinking. However, eating or drinking rapidly, chewing gum, smoking, or wearing loose dentures can cause some people to take in more air.

Burping, or belching, is the way most swallowed air—which contains nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide—leaves the stomach. The remaining gas moves into the small intestine, where it is partially absorbed. A small amount travels into the large intestine for release through the rectum. The stomach also releases carbon dioxide when stomach acid mixes with the bicarbonate in digestive juices, but most of this gas is absorbed into the bloodstream and does not enter the large intestine.

Breakdown of Undigested Foods :

The body does not digest and absorb some carbohydrates—the sugar, starches, and fiber found in many foods—in the small intestine because of a shortage or absence of certain enzymes that aid digestion.

This undigested food then passes from the small intestine into the large intestine, where normal, harmless bacteria break down the food, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and, in about one-third of all people, methane. Eventually these gases exit through the rectum.

What are some symptoms and problems of gas?

The most common symptoms of gas are flatulence, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, and belching. However, not everyone experiences these symptoms. The type and degree of symptoms probably depends on how much gas the body produces, how many fatty acids the body absorbs, and a person's sensitivity to gas in the large intestine.

Belching :

An occasional belch during or after meals is normal and releases gas when the stomach is full of food. However, people who belch frequently may be swallowing too much air and releasing it before the air enters the stomach.

Sometimes a person with chronic belching may have an upper gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, such as peptic ulcer disease, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), or gastro paresis, also called delayed gastric emptying.

Sometimes people believe that swallowing air and releasing it will relieve the discomfort of these disorders, and they may intentionally or unintentionally develop a habit of belching to relieve discomfort.

Gas-bloat syndrome may occur after fundoplication surgery to correct GERD. The surgery creates a one-way valve between the esophagus and stomach that allows food and gas to enter the stomach but often prevents normal belching and the ability to vomit.

Flatulence :

Another common complaint is too much flatulence. However, most people do not realize that passing gas 14 to 23 times a day is normal. Too much gas may be the result of carbohydrate malabsorption.

Abdominal Bloating :

Many people believe that too much gas causes abdominal bloating. However, people who complain of bloating from gas often have normal amounts and distribution of gas. They may just be unusually aware of gas in the digestive tract.

Bloating is usually the result of an intestinal disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The cause of IBS is unknown but may involve abnormal movements and contractions of intestinal muscles and increased pain sensitivity in the intestines. These disorders may give a sensation of bloating because of increased sensitivity to gas.

Any disease that causes intestinal inflammation or obstruction, may also cause abdominal bloating. In addition, people who have had many operations, internal hernias may experience bloating or pain. Finally, eating a lot of fatty food can delay stomach emptying and cause bloating and discomfort, but not necessarily too much gas.

Abdominal Pain and Discomfort :

Some people have pain when gas is present in the intestine. When pain is on the left side of the colon, it can be confused with heart disease, which sometimes causes abdominal pain. When the pain is on the right side of the colon, it may mimic gallstones or appendicitis.

Herbs which is useful :

Ajwain (Carum copticum) :

Also known as Bishop's weed, Ajwain has long been considered a herbal "wonder drug", with a reputation for preventing Gas. Water distilled from the seeds in an excellent carminative that cures flatulence, indigestion & low appetite.

Buy 1 Kg. Ajwain Powder

Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) :

Amla is a natural and effective herb that helps in curing many diseases like  indigestion, heartburn. It promotes ojas and the reproductive fluids, and is useful in the treatment of ulcers and hyperacidity. 

Buy 1 Kg. Amla Powder

Adrak (Zingiber officinale) :

The juice of ginger mixed with lime and honey is a traditionally used cure for treating dyspepsia. It is exceptional for treating the hyperacidity caused by consuming more of flesh foods.

Buy 1 Kg. Ginger Powder

Lavanga (Syzygium aromaticum - Clove) :

A few pieces of cloves taken directly are excellent in treating acidity and irritability in the stomach.
Buy 1 Kg. Clove powder

Saunf (Fenneliculum vulgare  - Fennel ) :

Fennel seeds have been found to be effective in the treatment of atonic dyspepsia. It is a mild purgative; hence it is also used to treat digestive and acidity complaints in infants and young children.

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) :

Pepper has a stimulating effect on acidity, digestive organs and produces an increase flow of saliva and gastric juices. It is an appetizer and a home remedy for any digestive disorder or heartburn or acidity. Powdered black pepper, thoroughly mixed with malted jaggery, may be taken in the treatment of such conditions. Alternatively, a quarter teaspoon of pepper powder mixed in thin buttermilk can be taken during indigestion, acidity or heaviness in the stomach. For better results, an equal part of cumin powder may also be added to the buttermilk.

Buy 1 Kg. Black Pepper Powder

Diet :

The patient should undertake a fast. He should be given only warm water to drink during this period. This will give rest to the stomach and allow the toxic condition causing the inflammation to subside. After the acute symptoms subside the patients should adopt an all fruit diet for the next three days and take juicy fruits like apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, peaches and melons. He may thereafter gradually embark upon a balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables and fruit.

The patient should avoid the use of alcohol, tobacco, spices and condiments, meat, red pepper, sour foods, pickles, strong tea and coffee. He should also avoid sweets, pastries, rich cakes and aerated waters.

Life Style :

  • Regularly do exercise as it keeps your body in shape, keeps weight under control, and prevents indigestion.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • He should avoid anxiety, worry and anger.
  • Eat simple and light foods, green and fibrous vegetables, low fat, and less oily foods.
  • Always wear comfortable and good fabric cloth.
  • Get rid of smoking habit as it causes not only indigestion but various other diseases.
  • Relax yourself by doing meditation and yoga and keep a good balance between work and rest.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, tea, beverages and chocolates as all these create more complication and causes indigestion.
  • Avoid playing and doing heavy physical work just after your lunch.
  • Avoid taking heavy meals eating 4-5 small meals is better than eating one heavy meal. Overeating also causes indigestion.
  • Use herbs in cooking that combats gas and indigestion, like Black pepper, Fennel, Ginger etc.
  • Yoga may help in indigestion and other digestive problems
Yoga :
Alternate breathing exercise method

Sit on floor and keep your eyes closed. Keep your index and middle finger on forehead and thumb on right nostril, inhale from left nostril, hold your breath for few seconds then release carbon dioxide or exhale from right nostril then alternatively inhale from right nostril, hold your breath for few second, and exhale from left nostril.. Repeat this alternate breathing exercise the same way for 5-10 minutes. 

Ayurvedic Supplements for Gas and indigestion :
Gas Guard
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Gaisantak Bati
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Ajwain Ark
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Hingwastak Churna
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