Activated Charcoal Uses For Bloating and Gas
Stomach bloating remedies are most often sought out to relieve the symptoms of gas, which can be a major contributing cause of a bloated belly. Most remedies designed to beat the bloat contain simethicone, a relatively safe ingredient that is found in the majority of stomach gas remedies. These over the counter treatment options are most often employed to combat a distended abdomen as well as stomach pain.
Stomach pain can occur when gas is abundant and has built up in the abdomen. It is not uncommon for stomach bloating to be accompanied by discomfort as a result of the pent up gas. Pressure can build from the formation of gassiness with no release as a result of swallowing excess air, eating gassy foods or simply a result of digestive processes. Activated charcoal uses can include relieving some of this discomfort.
While activated charcoal powder is readily available and often used for a variety of ails including poisonings, hangover prevention, stomach gas pain and bile flow problems, activated charcoal tablets are much more common and used for the same purposes. Activated charcoal tablets are made from regular charcoal that has been specially heated with specific gases that create pores, which are used in the containment of chemicals. The tablets are used for many health conditions, but one of the most common activated charcoal uses is for relief of intestinal gas.
Charcocaps, a popular manufacturer of the tablets, explains how the pills work to relieve gas. The multitude of tiny holes on the surface of the tablets is thought to attract molecules of gas once condensed, and then carry them out of the body. For a more visual demonstration of the way that activated charcoal uses are adequate for gas relief, Charcocaps offers an explanation about the surface area of the tablets to bring things into perspective. A mere teaspoon of activated charcoal has a porous surface area that equals a football field in terms of absorption properties, and this is indicative of the barbeque associated ingredient’s ability to soak up loads of stomach gas.
Activated charcoal has a long history of being used to treat poisonings and lend a hand in detoxification. And today, activated charcoal uses still include many of these centuries old applications. While most notably used as a remedy for overdose and to prevent the digestive system from absorbing harmful toxins, modern science has expanded the use of activated charcoal to include providing gas relief.
It is important to note that while activated charcoal can be used safely in short term applications as noted by WebMD, this alternative to simethicone is not devoid of side effects. Some of these can be serious including intestinal blockages, dehydration and regurgitation into the lungs, although these are rare. Less serious side effects of activated charcoal that appear more commonly are typically mild and include gastrointestinal disturbances like nausea, vomiting and feelings of indigestion or discomfort. Stool that is black in color has also occurred as a side effect of activated charcoal, according to drugs.com, an independent resource for medication information for many common over the counter and prescription medicines. Another much less serious side effect but one that some may find unpleasant, is the chalk like coating that can affect the inside of the mouth from the adhesive properties of the activated charcoal. While certainly not a health hazard, this can be bothersome to some people.
Activated charcoal uses have been plentiful for hundreds of years. Its incredible absorptive properties are useful in ridding the body of debris, including everything from poisons to toxins. But, this same absorptive power has also been shown in studies to be potentially useful in the management of stomach gas, and an alternative to other over the counter remedies that while typically safe, can contain inactive ingredients like artificial colorings and the artificial sweetener sorbitol. Activated charcoal is not for everyone, but it can provide an alternative remedy for those who are trying to beat the bloat in a different way.