Gas symptoms include burping, passing gas, sharp belly pain, and bloating. While unpleasant or even embarrassing, these are all normal bodily functions. In fact, the average person passes gas up to 23 times a day.
However, if your gas is bothering you, some simple things can help relieve gas pain. Keep in mind, though, if your gas pain doesn’t go away quickly, or you also have other worrisome symptoms, there may be more going on.
If weight loss, constipation, or diarrhea accompany your gas pain, be sure to contact your healthcare provider. While gas is produced as part of the normal process of eating and digestion, some health conditions can cause more gas than expected. Some conditions that may cause extra gas include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Gastroenteritis (stomach infection)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
If your gas makes you uncomfortable, working with your healthcare provider to find out the cause is key to relief. For example, you may need a lactase supplement if you have lactose intolerance.
When Bloating And Gas Is Not Normal
In most cases, bloating and gas are just regular parts of the digestive process. Good bacteria in your gut ferment foods that are not fully digested in your small intestine. When you eat too many gas-producing foods—or too much fiber and not enough water—it’s normal to experience some abdominal pain, gas, and the distension that makes your tummy feel full and tight.
Gas can also be caused by swallowing too much air, which can happen if you chew gum, eat too quickly, or drink through a straw. If you’re curious about how to get rid of gas and bloating, start by drinking plenty of water, eating smaller meals slowly, and ditching straws and gum. Eating foods that reduce gas, and avoiding certain foods that cause it can also help. However, there are two underlying gut issues that you should get tested for if your digestive symptoms are extreme and don’t respond to these lifestyle measures.
READ MORE: Belly Bloat – Causes & Solutions
What Causes Bloating And Gas?
Dehydration, a high-fiber or fatty diet, and chewing gum or drinking from a straw can contribute to digestive symptoms such as bloating and gas. Food allergies and intolerances can also contribute to excess bloating and gas; common offenders include dairy, gluten, and sugar.
If removing inflammatory foods, drinking more water, and eating smaller portions doesn’t get rid of your bloating and gas, or if you continue to feel pain from excess bloating and gas, you may have an underlying health issue such as SIBO or IBS.
Gas & Bloating Due to SIBO
One of the #1 cause of severe bloating and gas is SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. SIBO occurs when the bacteria from your colon and large intestine overgrow and colonize in your small intestine. These bacteria feed off of and ferment the undigested carbohydrates in your small intestine, causing a buildup of hydrogen and/or methane gas.
If you have SIBO, you must overcome this gut imbalance before you can banish bloating and gas for good. Treating your SIBO is a 3-step approach that works to eliminate the overgrowth and restore your gut’s natural balance.
Gas & Bloating Due to IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is sort of a catch-all term for digestive issues that have no other diagnosable cause. In fact, an estimated 50% of people diagnosed with IBS actually have SIBO.
For the other 50%, there are a number of possible underlying issues that may be causing your symptoms, including leaky gut, Candida overgrowth, parasites, or food intolerances. In that case, an amino acid called L-Glutamine may be just what you need. The main function of L-Glutamine is to provide the building blocks of protein.
Your body produces it naturally to protect the mucous membrane of the esophagus and intestines. Because it’s so readily and easily used by your intestinal tissue, L-Glutamine can help to quickly restore your gut lining to an optimal state.
By getting to the root of your IBS, you can say goodbye to gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain once and for all. A low-FODMAP diet, or a diet low in fermentable carbs, has been shown to improve the symptoms of IBS.
How to Get Rid of Gas Immediately
There are several natural remedies and some over-the-counter medications that can help relieve gas quickly. Things that may be helpful include:
- Herbal teas like spearmint, ginger, or anise
- Apple cider vinegar added to tea or water
- Fennel seeds
- A heating pad or warm bath
- Gentle exercise
- Deep breaths
- OTC medication, such as simethicone or activated charcoal
Learn more about these tips and a few others that may help.
In order to relieve gas and bloating, you will need to get yourself to fart or burp. There are several ways to get rid of gas naturally, some of which may work better for you than others.
Don’t Hold Gas In
If your symptoms are related to trapped gas, don’t worry about modesty. Instead, go to a private place and let out a big burp. Or find a bathroom and relieve yourself. The less gas there is in your system, the less likely it will cause you pain.
Move Your Bowels
If you can have a bowel movement, do it. Don’t wait until you are in the comfort of your own home. In the end, having a bowel movement will help in two ways:
- It gets the muscles in your large intestines moving. This will encourage the gas to make its way out of your system.
- A bowel movement empties the rectum of any stored stool. This frees up the area so that the trapped intestinal gas can move.
Spearmint, ginger, and anise teas are all known to help get rid of gas naturally. That said, avoid anise if you have recurring diarrhea since it may have a mild laxative effect. This can, however, be helpful if you think constipation might be adding to your gas pains.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is another natural ingredient used by many people to relieve gas, bloating, and indigestion. Simply add one tablespoon of ACV to a cup of tea or warm water. You can drink this mixture regularly or any time you feel particularly gassy.
Chew Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are known for relieving intestinal gas naturally. A safe amount is thought to be approximately 1 teaspoon. Try chewing some seeds and see if they are helpful for you.
There is mixed information regarding the safety of eating extra fennel when pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it may be best to play it on the safe side and choose a different option to get rid of gas.
Heat can be very emotionally soothing. In addition, heat helps to relax the muscles in your gut and relieves pain. You can use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or relax in a hot bath to get rid of gas and gas pain.
If you use a heating pad or hot water bottle, put a layer of clothing between your bare skin and the heat to protect your skin from a burn. If you have frequent gas pain, you may want to take a heating pad with you to work.
Move Your Body
Gentle exercise can help ease gas pain. Walking is the easiest option since you can do it practically anytime, anywhere. Walking helps to relax the muscles in your abdomen. These relaxed muscles can help trapped gas make its escape.
Yoga is another great option if you have space and privacy. Several yoga poses, such as child’s pose (Balasana) and happy baby (Ananda Balasana), are known for helping trapped gas move through the intestines.
Take Some Deep Breaths
Deep breathing may help relieve gas. But this only tends to work if it’s something you practice regularly. Since deep breathing from the diaphragm is so effective for reducing stress, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to do it. You can then use this breathing technique as needed for future gas attacks.
5 Foods To Get Rid of Gas & Bloating
Although none of us wants to admit it, bloating and gas are issues we all deal with on a daily basis. Having the occasional digestive symptom is completely normal, however, this doesn’t change the fact that passing gas in social situations can be embarrassing.
And sometimes bloating and gas can become so severe that they cause discomfort or even pain. The good news is that what you eat has a huge effect on how much bloating and gas you experience, and there are many foods that can naturally reduce bloating and gas.
Celery has an extremely high water content—about 95%—and is also high in potassium, which can help control the water retention associated with bloating. Celery has long been used to provide gas and bloating relief, and can even help repair a leaky gut.
The insoluble fiber in celery supports healthy bowel movements by regulating both constipation and diarrhea. When eating foods that reduce gas such as celery, it’s best to cook it first to soften indigestible fibers that may lead to more bloating.
When most people hear “potassium,” they think of bananas. Just one medium banana contains 422 mg of potassium, which is essential for fluid balance and maintaining a flat tummy. Bananas are also a good source of resistant starch, which can help combat constipation and relieve trapped gas that causes bloating.
For optimal gas and bloating relief, stick with bananas that are still slightly green, which contain more resistant starch and less fermentable sugar. Due to the amount of sugar in bananas, it’s best to enjoy them in moderation.
Ginger is another one of the many foods that reduce gas. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years for all sorts of digestive issues. Ginger can give you gas and bloating relief by enhancing motility and accelerating stomach emptying.
What’s more, compounds in ginger such as gingerols and shogaols support healthy digestion and limit the fermentable carbohydrates available to the microorganisms that ferment them and cause gas buildup. So the next time you’re feeling bloated, try sipping on ginger tea for some natural relief.
Spinach is one of the richest sources of magnesium, an essential nutrient in which many people are deficient. This makes it an excellent food that prevents gas. One cup of cooked spinach offers 39% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for magnesium. Magnesium synthesizes protein and activates enzymes that aid in digestion by breaking down your food into smaller components.
It also helps maintain bowel regularity by relaxing the muscles in your digestive tract and softening stools. For an easy way to get gas and bloating relief, add a scoop of More Greens to water or a smoothie, or simply take a magnesium supplement.
Intestinal inflammation due to autoimmune disease, food allergies, SIBO, or other gut imbalances could be the cause of bloating and fluid retention. Thankfully, cucumbers contain a flavonoid called quercetin, which supports a healthy inflammatory response, helps maintain upper respiratory health, especially during months when airborne particles are high, and supports a healthy immune response.
Cucumbers can provide gas and bloating relief by reducing gastrointestinal swelling. Plus, they have one of the highest water contents of all vegetables at around 96%. Eating cucumbers or drinking cucumber-infused water can help balance your sodium levels, flush excess water from your system, and release trapped gas.
While some gas is normal, too much gas can cause pain and embarrassing symptoms. Finding out why you have extra gas can help you come up with solutions. It’s best to work with your healthcare provider to learn why you are experiencing discomfort. There may be an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed.
For milder gas, there are some things you can do to relieve your symptoms at home. Relieving yourself as soon as you need to pass gas or have a bowel movement, walking, applying heat, and taking deep breaths can all help relieve gas pain. You may also find OTC remedies and supplements helpful. But talk to your healthcare provider before taking them to be sure they are safe for your situation.