Flatulence may be considered a humorous subject by some people but, for many, trapped wind can be distinctly unfunny and embarrassing, particularly for those who suffer severe and repeated bouts. It can be uncomfortable or painful, sometimes even being mistaken for appendicitis or gallstones.
If you are one of these people, don’t try to ignore the problem because you feel ashamed to talk about it – flatulence is a natural part of being human and trapped wind is nothing to feel humiliation over. Here Rennie offers you some advice on a few home remedies you can try in the comfort of your own home.
Manage your symptoms with your diet
Trying to manage your diet and avoiding foods that cause you to bloat is a common method to manage any discomfort in the long-term. You can find which foods lead to your trapped wind by keeping a food diary; note what you eat, when you eat, and when you experience bloating. Systematically reducing or withdrawing certain foods from your diet for a period of time will allow the food diary to show you which foods may be contributing to your trapped wind. Some of the foods you should look out for are:
- Dairy products
- Fried food
- Artificial sweeteners
- Cruciferous vegetables (those from the cabbage family) such as broccoli or cauliflower
- Garlic and onions
- High-fat foods
Remember you should still aim to eat your 5 fruit and vegetable portions per day and consume a balanced diet. Since many of the problem foods still possess other health benefits, try reducing them rather than eliminating them altogether.
Reduce the gas you put in
If there’s less gas entering your stomach it’s less likely to cause flatulence later. So, if trapped wind is an issue for you, try to avoid carbonated drinks.
Sometimes taking in too much air when you eat can also contribute to trapped wind. You can help to reduce the air that enters your stomach by eating more slowly, avoiding drinking from straws or bottles, or trying not to talk whilst eating. Stopping smoking and avoiding chewing gum can also help to reduce the amount of air that you swallow throughout the day.
Gentle exercise is great for digestion as it moves the intestines, encouraging gas to pass through your body more swiftly. Post-dinner walks or yoga are gentle forms of exercise that could help to keep things moving in the digestive tract.
Relax your body
The pain from bloating is frequently the result of muscles going into spasm. You can help to manage these spasms with ginger and peppermint. Both are naturally antispasmodic, meaning they relax your muscles and can ease the pain. You could try drinking peppermint or ginger teas, or taking them as supplements.
Relaxing your gut is also vital, as this allows gas to move through it more easily. This can be achieved by holding a hot water bottle against your stomach or by sipping warm water.
These are a traditional folk remedy for trapped wind, bursting with fibre, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. As a result, fennel seeds are believed to help manage trapped wind. Eating a teaspoon of fennel seeds is thought to help when you’re feeling bloated. However, you should be aware that the flavour is not to everyone’s taste.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Another popular home remedy said to assist digestion is apple cider vinegar diluted in water. It is believed to aid the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes, so that digestion can occur faster, ultimately causing food to spend less time fermenting and releasing gas into your gut.
If you find the home remedies aren’t working for you there are many over-the-counter treatments for trapped wind and bloating, such as Rennie Deflatine.
Of course, if your symptoms are persistent and causing you worry, then you should always seek advice from a pharmacist or doctor on the best course of action. There’s really no need to feel embarrassed – they regularly help patients with such conditions and you can speak to them discreetly if you wish.
Rennie Deflatine for trapped wind and bloating. Always read the label.