Trapped Wind – Causes and Symptoms | Rennie

Trapped Wind: Causes, Symptoms & Relief

What is

Two glasses of fizzy cola drink

Trapped wind is a very common condition causing pain or discomfort around the digestive system, usually due to a build up of pressure in your stomach or abdomen.

You can suffer from trapped wind in different parts of your digestive system, causing a range of symptoms including a bloated stomach, bloated abdomen, burping and flatulence.

Because we’re all very polite, flatulence is not often talked about, but everyone passes wind, on average 5-15 times a day.

Passing wind is entirely natural, but can be an annoying and sometimes painful process, caused by bacteria in our gut. In a process of fermentation which releases gas and heat, colonic bacteria break down indigestible fibre and starches which haven’t been absorbed in the small intestine. This gas is usually made up of carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and methane. Certain foods can lead to the production of gases containing Sulphur, too. Most of this gas is absorbed into your blood stream, and the rest is released as flatulence.

What does

Common symptoms of trapped wind are:

  • A bloated stomach or abdomen
  • Flatulence or burping
  • Feeling uncomfortably full after eating
  • Rumbling or gurgling noises in your stomach
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Pain when you bend over, lie down or during exercise
  • Pain that moves around the body; behind the ribs or up the back or even in to the shoulder
trapped wind causes and symptoms

What causes

Colander full of brussel sprouts

When we swallow air when we eat or drink, we release most of it as a burp. Any remaining gas will go in to the large intestine or colon, where bacteria are already working on breaking down undigested food - a process which also produces gas. It all eventually comes out as flatulence.

Wind can be caused by eating too fast, which leads us to gulp down air, or by drinking fizzy drinks or eating when stressed. Wearing tight clothing around the waist can contribute to the problem, as can any change to your diet, for example going abroad.

Not everyone reacts in the same way to the foods or drinks they consume, but these are the most common culprits:

such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, onions and brown rice, if you are not used to them


if these bother you, you could be lactose intolerant, which is an inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk

a sugar that passes undigested in to the colon and therefore needs a lot of breaking down (so try to go easy on the fruit juice)


some carbs cannot be digested in the small intestine because of a lack of the enzymes that help their digestion

Suffering from trapped wind? Read some treatment tips to help relieve the symptoms of trapped wind

Treating Trapped Wind >


Rennie Heartburn, Indigestion & Wind Relief

Rennie Heartburn, Indigestion & Wind Relief