Don't take gas too lightly

Gastric problems are not only embarrassing, but can also be quite painful. Bharat & Shalan Savur offer tips on getting relief from this common issue.

It’s strange, but true: excessive gas in our stomach can make us spaced out, sleep poorly, restless, indecisive, unfocussed, or confused. In fact, it can literally dry joints and make them ache, cause the bronchi to spasm, lungs to wheeze, hair to bristle and stick out oddly and skin to stiffen. In time, it lowers our natural exuberance and we become lethargically indifferent towards everything. We feel ‘old’.

Gas formation usually occurs during the times of transition — early morning during sunrise, and in the evening during sunset and during seasonal changes, when the weather cools, warms, dries, or moistens. However, those who suffer from excessive gas may experience bloated stomach, flatulence and burping throughout the day.
Even negative emotions like worry and fear can aggravate the symptoms of gas. Late night working and overexerting the body and mind, too, have been known to worsen it. In severe cases, a gas attack can feel almost as painful as, perhaps, a heart attack!
Here go a few tips to relieve yourself of gastric problems:

n Believe it or not, excessive gas, in turn, can bring about dizziness, numbness, or tremors when you are taking a normal walk in cold or dry weathers. An airconditioned environment is drying, too. Switch off the airconditioner. Or at least place a bowl of water to humidify the room.

n Don’t keep a long gap between meals. And avoid dining at restaurants that have given you a gas-hangover - you don’t know what harmful substances they could be using.

n Try hingashtak churan in curd or trifala tablets (available at chemists’ shops) or chew jeera after meals. They really help. Bonus: Trifala, say ayurvedics, strengthens our digestive power in the long run.  
  
n Hydrate your body. Drink 2 litres of water everyday. Consume vegetables and fruits high on water content - like watermelon, cucumber and carrot. In fact, carrot juice penetrates water-unfriendly membranes and helps cleanse your system.

n Do rhythmic actions. A little-known fact is that gentle, rhythmic, continuous            exercise done daily settles gas. Try half-hour stationary cycling, if not running or        dancing. It boosts stamina, too. Follow up your exercise session with a gentle,       rhythmic massage with warming oils - mustard, almond or sesame.

n Negative emotions tense the stomach muscles and worsen gas problems. If you work under pressure all the time in your chosen field, consider a change of              profession. Or atleast practise yoga             extensively to maintain positive mental balance. Be as selective about your thoughts as you should be about food.

n Avoid beer and other soft liquor. They are known to cause excessive gas and stomach bloating when consumed more than once a week or two pegs in a row. If you simply can’t do without some alcohol, go for cocktails instead.

n Be selective about the foods you  consume. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, whole-wheat or refined flour, apricots, toor dal, legumes, dairy products, and sugar, cause excessive gas in some people.

n Consume smaller servings of such foods.

n Opt for roasted cabbage instead of raw.

n Replace toor dal with masoor dal.

n Replace milk with curd-with-hing.

n Soak pulses overnight in water.

Follow it up with half an hour of pressure-cooking. This eliminates 90 percent of gas-producing properties, say researchers.

n Mix whole wheat flour with a little ragi flour.

Note: But if you can, try and avoid such gas-producing foods completely. It’s wise to take note of any recurring discomfort after consuming a certain food, and discard that food altogether from your diet.

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