Gas, bloating, burping, and flatulence are all normal parts of the digestive process. Still, knowing this does not make it any less embarrassing when a casual dinner with friends quickly turns into a gassy encounter of the smelly kind. Whilst it may be tempting to do so, hiding under the table and hoping no one else notices is not the best solution.
Blaming the offensive odour on a nearby pet also is not the best approach. If eating has turned into a stressful experience thanks to uncomfortable digestive issues, there are natural ways to help.
Just Passing Gas… or Something More Serious?
Everyone farts. Sometimes they are loud and odourless. Other times they are silent but stinky. And some unfortunate individuals produce both loud and smelly flatulence. But passing gas is just a fact of life. According to medical professionals, the average person passes wind between 5 and 15 times a day.
Intestinal gas is a normal part of the digestive process that is caused by gas in the bowel after food breaks down. The intestines can produce between 500 and 2,000ml of gas daily that consists of a combination of methane, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. How bad the gas smells depend on the types of food consumed that day. Higher-fibre foods, for example, tend to produce more aromatic farts.
When does normal farting become something else entirely?
- Does it happen more than 40 times a day?
- Is it unusually loud or smelly?
- Is the abdomen bloated and painful?
- Are there rumbling sounds coming from the lower abdomen?
Answering yes to these questions is a good indication there may be cause for concern and the need for discussion with a healthcare provider.
What Causes Digestive Issues in Women?
Some digestive disorders cause excessive flatulence. Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, and ulcerative colitis are among the conditions that can wreak havoc on the digestive system. Some of these disorders also cause excessive bloating and abdominal cramping.
For women, there are other common causes related to hormonal imbalances:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is known to cause bloating. Symptoms can be further aggravated, especially by foods containing the carbohydrate raffinose. Foods with this carb include asparagus, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. Women with PCOS experience an imbalance between the male and female hormones in their bodies. They overproduce male hormones, which affects their ability to ovulate. PCOS is treated with hormone therapy and other medications to help control the symptoms.
Perimenopause marks the beginning of a woman’s journey towards menopause. A steady drop in oestrogen levels begins during this time, which causes various symptoms. Bloating, fluid retention, and gassiness are among the most common complaints from women in this stage of their lives.
- Menopause marks the end of a woman’s fertile cycle. While gas, bloating, and fluid retention are more common during perimenopause due to the wild fluctuations in hormone levels, these symptoms can still occur after menopause.
When hormones are the reason for the bloating, cramping, and gassiness, it can be difficult — but not impossible — to control. Prescription medications like birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are available, but there are also natural alternatives. Two unique natural herbs capable of tackling these unpleasant — and sometimes embarrassing — are chamomile extract and fennel seed extract.
Tackling Tummy Issues with the Power of Chamomile
When it comes to tacking tough tummy issues, chamomile is one of the most effective natural treatments available. Digestive tract inflammation, premenstrual tension, and stomach pain are soothed by this amazing herb.
One of the reasons chamomile is so efficient at comforting the digestive tract is that it inhibits Helicobacter pylori, bacteria identified by medical researchers as contributing to stomach ulcers. It also helps support the reduction of smooth muscle spasms caused by several gastrointestinal inflammatory disorders.
Women experiencing hormonal fluctuations due to PCOS, perimenopause, menopause, or other conditions that cause hormonal imbalances may want to consider adding chamomile to their diets.
Most people who use chamomile extract to treat digestive issues drink it as tea. With its delicate hints of apple, chamomile tea is mellow to the tastebuds. Not keen on the flavour or don't like tea? Chamomile also is available as a capsule, liquid extract, tincture, or topical cream.
Regardless of the delivery method, chamomile consumption is effective at combatting some of the most troublesome digestive issues in women due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
1. It relieves symptoms of indigestion and acid reflux
Chamomile extract is successful in combatting indigestion and acid reflux, which happens when stomach acid is forced back into the oesophagus. Studies support the notion that chamomile has the power to lower gastric acidity as effectively as commercial antacids. When drinking chamomile tea, two to four cups daily will produce the best results. For other forms of chamomile extract, follow the recommended usage guidelines on the packaging.
2. It relieves symptoms of stomach discomfort and pain
Painful stomach gas and bloating are some of the most popular reasons why women visit a healthcare practitioner. Chamomile tea is proven to relax the muscles in the digestive tract, which can reduce or eliminate stomach discomfort and pain.
3. It relieves gastrointestinal tract inflammation
As mentioned, chamomile tea has known anti-inflammatory properties. Viruses are the most common cause of intestinal inflammation, resulting in 70 per cent of cases. Not only can chamomile extract combat the inflammation, but it also can be useful for its antimicrobial properties in fighting this kind of stomach distress.
4. It relieves fluid retention and abdominal bloating
Both men and women suffer from abdominal bloat, but women appear to deal with the unpleasant stomach condition more frequently than males. The difference can be blamed on hormonal fluctuations in women, particularly during the perimenopausal and menopausal years.
Other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), also can be a culprit. Additionally, women with PCOS are prone to stomach bloat and fluid retention. Chamomile tea is shown to be effective in helping with these unpleasant symptoms.
Fennel Seed Extract: Eradicator of Bloating, Fluid Retention, and Gas
Chamomile extract is not the only superstar solution for tummy troubles. Fennel seed extract is a saviour when it comes to solving some of the most common complaints about digestion. It is available as a tea, capsule, or tincture. Whether dealing with constipation, diarrhoea, gas, or bloating, fennel seed extract is worth considering as a natural alternative to commercial medications.
1. It relieves digestive upset and bloating
Digestive discomfort and bloating are common amongst women with fluctuating hormones, including during the perimenopausal and menopausal years. Health researchers discovered the link between ovarian hormone fluctuations and digestive upset and bloating. Fennel seed extract is effective when used as a dietary aid for digestive and diuretic purposes.
2. It relieves gas, flatulence, and belching
When gas builds up in the body, there are only three outcomes. It builds up in the intestinal tract, causing cramping and pain. It comes out in the form of flatulence, which can be embarrassing and stinky. Or it comes out in the form of a burp. None of these scenarios is ideal, especially if you are around other people when they occur.
The good news is that fennel seed extract is great at fighting noxious gas. It packs quite a punch in the soluble fibre department, with 2 grams of fibre per one tablespoon of seeds. Adequate soluble fibre intake can help reduce digestive upset and bloating.
Fennel is also a rich source of many essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, and potassium, and is low in calories. It truly is a superfood.
3. It relaxes the gastrointestinal tract (allowing gas to pass and bloating to subside)
Bloating in the digestive tract happens when food is broken down in the intestines and converted into methane, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. When the intestinal tract muscles are tense, they can prevent the normal passing of those gases. Pain and bloating are the usual result. Fennel seeds are a proven anti-inflammatory because they contain anethole.
If gas and bloating are major concerns, fennel seed is worth considering. It is well tolerated by most people when consumed in the recommended amounts. Fennel seeds are versatile — they can be crushed and added to a favourite recipe or steeped into a tea with a sweet licorice flavour.
There are some truly creative ways to include fennel in recipes that are tasty and healthful. However, it may not be safe to use fennel seeds during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding, so be sure to consult with your physician first.
Taking the Natural Route
There is hardly a shortage of commercial medications and solutions for gas, bloating, burping, and flatulence. However, prescription treatments often are accompanied by unpleasant side effects. If you're looking for a more natural alternative, chamomile extract and fennel seed extract are relatively safe for consumption.
Women who are interested in a more natural approach to reducing the frequency and duration of stomach discomfort during any season of their lives will find chamomile and fennel seed extracts to be a top consideration.
Be sure to consult with a medical practitioner or pharmacist before taking any new supplements to ensure they do not have adverse reactions with any commercial medications you may be taking. Also, chronic or persistent gassiness, bloating, and digestive discomfort not alleviated by chamomile or fennel seed extracts may warrant a visit to a healthcare provider for a wellness check.
A personal note: If you’ve been trying dozens of HRTs, elimination diets, doctors or supplements and your body is still out of control, with emotions bursting out of you with no warning...