Bloating is a feeling of fullness or tightness in the abdominal area, often accompanied by abdominal pain. The most common cause of bloating is the presence of intestinal gas. According to Ayurveda, good health and wellbeing depend upon the good digestion. Occasional bloating is very common but regular, persistent bloating and gas is a sign of poor digestion and the need for extra care of the health.
According to Ayurveda, vata aggravating factors such as improper food and incorrect lifestyle (vata prakopaka aahara and vihara) cause an abnormal condition of the digestive fire (aagnidushti) and disturb the function of the stomach and intestines. This leads to impaired digestion and bloating (adhmana).
Causes of bloating may be due to
- Swallowing air (this can happen when you chew gum, smoke, or eat too fast)
- Reflux (GERD)
- Weight gain
- Menstruation (in some women)
Other causes could include medical conditions, such as:
- Inflammation (such as a condition called diverticulitis)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Liver disease (abnormal buildup of fluid in your stomach or pelvis)
- Crohn’s disease
- Blockage in your bowel or bladder
- Cancer (ovarian, uterine, colon, pancreatic, or stomach)
- Mental health factors, such as anxiety or depression
- Some medicines
According to Ayurveda,
- Bloating with distention (Adhmana) is purely a Vata disorder. Vata can get aggravated due to many factors.
- Improper food habits, stress, sleep disturbances, not following a proper daily or seasonal regime and forcible suppression of natural urges can all aggravate Vata dosha.
- The aggravated Vata causes vitiation of gas and feces (dushya) which results in bloating (Adhmana).
- Vitiation of Samana Vata causes disturbance in the function of the stomach and intestine which leads to impaired digestion, bloating and gas formation.
Common symptoms of bloating include stomach pain, discomfort, and gas. You may also burp or belch frequently or have abdominal rumbling or gurgling.
Severe bloating may occur along with other serious symptoms, such as:
- Blood in your stool
- Noticeable weight loss (without trying)
- Vaginal bleeding (between your periods, or if you are postmenopausal)
- Heartburn that is getting worse
- Fever (due to an infection)
In many cases, the symptoms of abdominal bloating can be diminished or even prevented by adopting a few simple lifestyle changes such as losing weight, if you’re overweight.
To reduce swallowing too much air, you can:
- Limit your intake of carbonated drinks.
- Avoid foods that cause gas, such as vegetables in the cabbage family, dried beans, and lentils.
- Eat slowly and avoid drinking through a straw.
- Use lactose-free dairy products (if you are lactose intolerant).
Self belly Massages
Abdominal massages may also help reduce abdominal bloating. Massages improve depression, anxiety, well-being, and perceived abdominal bloating symptoms.
If lifestyle changes and dietary interventions don’t relieve abdominal bloating. Visit an Ayurvedic doctor to finds a medical cause for your bloating. Ayurvedic doctor will find the root cause and doshic imbalance behind the bloating and provide your personalized diet and lifestyle program.
Panchakarma for bloating :
Panchakarma therapy is regarded as the first-line treatment in most of the clinical conditions. As this is the purificatory and cleansing therapy, there are better results here in the case of bloating too.
- Herbal steam bath (Swedana), Herbal Paste massage (Udwartana), classical massage without oil and with pressure (Mardanam), different kinds of suppositories (Varti), enema, and intake of foods like appetizers such as Soups that ignite the metabolic fire (Deepana), promote digestion Pachana), and have a carminative action (Vata-anulomana) are recommended. All of the above are used according to the severity of the condition.
- Vamana (medicated emesis): In rare cases, mild Vamana, followed by the proper Deepana, can be administered to eliminate all bio toxins.
- Snehana and swedana: Applying various warm Vata balancing medicated oils followed by a hot steam bath helps to pass gas and soften the stomach.
- Medicated Enema (Vasti): For adults with severe pain or constipation, it is advisable to perform Aasthapana Basti (medicated decoction enema) for immediate results. It will aid defecation and help release gas.
- Herbal Paste: The same effect can be achieved by applying the paste of Hing, Triphala, or Trikatu; alternatively, Ajamoda with Takra or warm water can be used, too. Applying warm Hingu water (Asafoetida) in the umbilicus also helps release gas and alleviate pain. Apply Asafoetida paste on the abdomen or on the sole of the foot (in the children aged below 18 months).
- In case of excess dryness and wind, your Ayurvedic doctor might suggest an enema course (Anuvasan Basti or oil enema) for 7 to 10 days depending on the disease and dosha condition.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Bloating
- Hingwastaka Churna
- Hinguvachadi Gulika
Pranayama and yoga:
- Bridge pose
- Adho mukha savasana
- Don’t Eat Too Much at a Time
- Avoid Swallowing Air and Gases
- Don’t Eat Foods That Give You Gas
- Try a Low-FODMAP Diet
- Be Careful with Sugar Alcohols
- Take Digestive Enzyme Supplements
- Take Probiotics
Note: This article is designed for the general management of Bloating according to Ayurvedic principles. Please do not use this information for your self-diagnosis and treatment without the proper guidelines of a professional. If you wish to follow the Ayurveda program, you are advised to book an Ayurvedic consultation with a qualified Ayurveda doctor who is specialized to design a personal program comprising a diet, a combination of herbs, and a detox program according to your personal needs. Sunshine Ayurveda offers effective and holistic management of Bloating based upon the ancient principles of Ayurveda.