Gas trapped in the intestines can be incredibly uncomfortable. It may cause sharp pain, cramping, swelling, tightness, and even bloating.
Luckily, many home remedies can help to release trapped gas or prevent it from building up. Twenty effective methods are listed below.
1. Let it out
Holding in gas can cause bloating, discomfort, and pain. The easiest way to avoid these symptoms is to simply let out the gas.
2. Pass stool
A bowel movement can relieve gas. Passing stool will usually release any gas trapped in the intestines.
3. Eat slowly
Eating too quickly or while moving can cause a person to take in air as well as food, leading to gas-related pain.
Quick eaters can slow down by chewing each bite of food 30 times. Breaking down food in such a way aids digestion and can prevent a number of related complaints, including bloating and indigestion.
4. Avoid chewing gum
As a person chews gum they tend to swallow air, which increases the likelihood of trapped wind and gas pains.
Sugarless gum also contains artificial sweeteners, which may cause bloating and gas.
5. Say no to straws
Often, drinking through a straw causes a person to swallow air. Drinking directly from a bottle can have the same effect, depending on the bottle’s size and shape.
To avoid gas pain and bloating, it is best to sip from a glass.
6. Quit smoking
Whether using traditional or electronic cigarettes, smoking causes air to enter the digestive tract. Because of the range of health issues linked to smoking, quitting is wise for many reasons.
7. Choose non-carbonated drinks
Carbonated drinks, such as sparkling water and sodas, send a lot of gas to the stomach. This can cause bloating and pain.
8. Eliminate problematic foods
Eating certain foods can cause trapped gas. Individuals find different foods problematic.
However, the foods below frequently cause gas to build up:
- artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sorbitol, and maltitol
- cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower
- dairy products
- fiber drinks and supplements
- fried foods
- garlic and onions
- high-fat foods
- legumes, a group that includes beans and lentils
- prunes and prune juice
- spicy foods
Keeping a food diary can help a person to identify trigger foods. Some, like artificial sweeteners, may be easy to cut out of the diet.
Others, like cruciferous vegetables and legumes, provide a range of health benefits. Rather than avoiding them entirely, a person may try reducing their intake or preparing the foods differently.
9. Drink tea
Some herbal teas may aid digestion and reduce gas pain fast. The most effective include teas made from:
Anise acts as a mild laxative and should be avoided if diarrhea accompanies gas. However, it can be helpful if constipation is responsible for trapped gas.
10. Snack on fennel seeds
Fennel is an age-old solution for trapped wind. Chewing on a teaspoon of the seeds is a popular natural remedy.
However, anyone pregnant or breast-feeding should probably avoid doing so, due to conflicting reports concerning safety.
11. Take peppermint supplements
Peppermint oil capsules have long been taken to resolve issues like bloating, constipation, and trapped gas. Some research supports the use of peppermint for these symptoms.
Always choose enteric-coated capsules. Uncoated capsules may dissolve too quickly in the digestive tract, which can lead to heartburn.
Peppermint inhibits the absorption of iron, so these capsules should not be taken with iron supplements or by people who have anemia.
12. Clove oil
Clove oil has traditionally been used to treat digestive complaints, including bloating, gas, and indigestion. It may also have ulcer-fighting properties.
Consuming clove oil after meals can increase digestive enzymes and reduce the amount of gas in the intestines.
13. Apply heat
When gas pains strike, place a hot water bottle or heating pad on the stomach. The warmth relaxes the muscles in the gut, helping gas to move through the intestines. Heat can also reduce the sensation of pain.
14. Address digestive issues
People with certain digestive difficulties are more likely to experience trapped gas. Those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease, for example, often experience bloating and gas pain.
Addressing these issues through lifestyle changes and medication can improve the quality of life.
People with lactose intolerance who frequently experience gas pain should take greater steps to avoid lactose or take lactase supplements.
15. Add apple cider vinegar to water
Apple cider vinegar aids the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. It may also help to alleviate gas pain quickly.
Add a tablespoon of the vinegar to a glass of water and drink it before meals to prevent gas pain and bloating. It is important to then rinse the mouth with water, as vinegar can erode tooth enamel.
16. Use activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is a natural product that can be bought in health food stores or pharmacies without a prescription. Supplement tablets taken before and after meals can prevent trapped gas.
It is best to build up the intake of activated charcoal gradually. This will prevent unwanted symptoms, such as constipation and nausea.
One alarming side effect of activated charcoal is that it can turn the stool black. This discoloration is harmless and should go away if a person stops taking charcoal supplements.
17. Take probiotics
Probiotic supplements add beneficial bacteria to the gut. They are used to treat several digestive complaints, including infectious diarrhea.
Some research suggests that certain strains of probiotics can alleviate bloating, intestinal gas, abdominal pain, and other symptoms of IBS.
Strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are generally considered to be most effective.
Gentle exercises can relax the muscles in the gut, helping to move gas through the digestive system. Walking or doing yoga poses after meals may be especially beneficial.
19. Breathe deeply
Deep breathing may not work for everyone. Taking in too much air can increase the amount of gas in the intestines.
However, some people find that deep breathing techniques can relieve the pain and discomfort associated with trapped gas.
20. Take an over-the-counter remedy
Several products can get rid of gas pain fast. One popular medication, simethicone, is marketed under the following brand names:
- Mylanta Gas
Anyone who is pregnant or taking other medications should discuss the use of simethicone with a doctor or pharmacist.
Trapped gas can be painful and distressing, but many easy remedies can alleviate symptoms quickly.
People with ongoing or severe gas pain should see a doctor right away, especially if the pain is accompanied by:
- rectal bleeding
- unexplained weight loss
While everyone experiences trapped gas once in a while, experiencing regular pain, bloating, and other gastrointestinal symptoms can indicate the presence of a medical condition or food sensitivity.