Symptoms and Causes of Trapped Wind
People who experience trapped gas describe it as acute discomfort in the belly. Bloating and stomach cramps can be present too. Sometimes, trapped wind bubbles can cause a sudden sharp and stabbing pain in the abdomen and chest that can be confused with other serious health conditions, such as appendicitis, gallstones, or a heart attack.
Trapped gas can occur for a vast variety of reasons. Certain foods, such as beans, cabbage, and bran can also make your gut bacteria produce more carbon dioxide gases in the intestinal tract, which can lead to bloating excess gas. We have a full article discussing foods that can make you feel bloated or experience excessive flatulence here - 16 Healthy Foods and Drinks That Can Still Cause Bloating.
People suffering from food intolerances, chronic constipation, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other digestive issues are more likely to experience the inability to pass gas too. But even healthy people can experience trapped wind if they happen to eat too fast, smoke, chew a lot of gum, or have a stuffy nose, which makes them swallow a lot of air.
Therefore, knowing how to address the issue rather than focusing only on prevention is key when it comes to trapped intestinal gas, bloating, and constipation.
Home Remedies For Trapped Gas
We list several effective home remedies for expelling trapped wind below. Do keep in mind that different remedies work best for different people, so trying a few of these or combining them is probably the best strategy to find quick relief.
1. Move Your Body and Bowels
Walking around the house, doing some light housework, playing, or taking a child or a pet for a walk all help tremendously to expel the trapped gas. Activity moves and engages the abdominal and intestinal muscles, which can help you release the gas and speed up a bowel movement, which can also encourage the gas to make its way out of the digestive system.
2. Give your belly a massage
If moving around is difficult and painful, a gentle self-massage can help stimulate the digestive system and promote peristalsis - wave-like muscle contractions that move food and abdominal gas through the GI tract. Gently massage the tender spot or massage the entire abdominal cavity by moving your palm in counter-clockwise circles.
3. Apply heat to the area
The sensation of warmth can be very soothing and relaxing, which can help relax you emotionally and ease the spasm of the muscles in your gut that cause the pain. You can take a warm bath, use a heating pad, or just a hot water bottle for that purpose. Make sure not to use excessive heat and wrap the heating pad or hot water bottle in a towel or blanket to protect the skin from a burn.
4. Drink herbal tea
Drinking warm herbal tea or any noncarbonated liquid can help relieve the pain for many people. The advantage of herbal teas is that they combine the warming action with medicinal properties. Mint, ginger, anise, or chamomile tea all calm the gut from the inside out, relieving bloating and hydrating your body to promote digestion. Read more about herbal teas that are excellent for digestion and how to prepare them in the article 8 Herbal Teas Capable Of Relieving Bloating.
5. Explore your spice drawer
Certain spices have been used as a natural kitchen remedy for trapped gas for millennia. Here are a few of such herbs as:
Steeping these seeds in a glass of warm water and drinking the mixture can help you expel the trapped wind and reduce abdominal discomfort and pain. Fennel seeds, in particular, are an ancient solution for trapped gas. Simply chew on 1 teaspoon of the seeds to find relief. One traditional Persian remedy suggests that you mix 1 teaspoon ground fennel and cumin seeds each with ½ teaspoon of ground anise, and soaking them in 1 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes.
6. Try the knee-to-chest yoga pose
Yoga stretches are an excellent option for helping the trapped gas be expelled from the intestines. There are several yoga poses that target this specific concern. We discuss 6 of such poses in this article - 6 Yoga Stretches to Relieve Bloating. But if you’re looking for just one simple option that you can even when you’re experiencing abdominal discomfort and pain, apanasana is probably the best choice. This yoga stretch is literally translated as “wind-relieving pose” from Sanskrit. Here’s how to do it:
1. Lie down on your back, legs and arms extended.
2. Bend the knees and place your hands on the knees.
3. Use the hands to guide your knees up and towards the chest. Your knees and chest don’t have to touch, but you should feel a gentle stretch in the back body.
4. Lift the head and neck off the ground and move towards your knees, engaging your core muscles. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for 20 seconds. Then return to the initial position. Repeat if necessary 2-3 times.
In summary, trapped wind can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. But the good news is that it’s highly treatable using home remedies and lifestyle tweaks. If the tips we mentioned didn’t help or you’re experiencing other symptoms, make sure to consult your doctor to rule out any serious health conditions and find a treatment that works for you.
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