Trapped wind can be very uncomfortable and, in some cases, painful. Typical causes include swallowing more air than usual or eating foods that may be difficult to digest. Trapped wind could also indicate an underlying digestive problem such as IBS.
While flatulence is completely normal, excessive flatulence and trapped wind can be a sign that you need to make changes to your diet and lifestyle.
If you are looking for ways to relieve trapped wind, it is recommended that you speak to your GP or a nutritionist for advice. In the meantime, you could try the following tips.
Preventing trapped wind
The best cure for trapped wind is the stop it occurring in the first place. Listed below are some of the things that could help:
- Cut down on fruit juice – Fruit juice contains the natural sugar, fructose, which passes undigested through the colon. Once bacteria in the gut finally breaks this sugar down, it can lead to bloating and wind. Stick to no more than 150ml of juice at a time and consume with food to improve digestion.
- Get tested for lactose intolerance – Some people are unable to break down lactose (a sugar found in milk), which can result in abdominal pain and wind. Keep a food diary for a few weeks to monitor the symptoms that occur after consuming milk products. If you are concerned, make an appointment with your GP to get tested for an intolerance and switch to milk alternatives.
- Eat slowly – You are more likely to swallow air if you eat too quickly and swallow large chunks of food. Take your time to chew each mouthful carefully so that your food gets coated with enough saliva to ensure smooth digestion.
Trapped wind remedies
There are also various natural remedies that could help to ease symptoms:
- Peppermint – Many people find taking peppermint oil capsules effective for relieving intestinal cramps and bloating. You could also start substituting your usual cup of tea for peppermint tea. Aim to drink a cup straight after a meal to aid digestion.
- Fresh ginger – Ginger is considered beneficial for relieving stomach cramps due to its antispasmodic properties. This spice can be consumed in capsule form but you can also buy ginger herbal tea.
- Seeds – Stock up on fennel seeds to help relieve trapped wind. These contain oils that help to soothe digestive spasms. Fennel seed tea is quite popular, but fennel is most effective when eaten raw.