What is Trapped Gas or Trapped Wind?
Trapped gas or trapped wind is quite a common condition in human beings and this problem can choose to occur at the worst possible times! This condition has been experienced by everyone at some point in their lives, but very few admit to it, as they find it embarrassing. Trapped gas or trapped wind causes discomfort or pain from the pressure in the stomach. This makes a person feel bloated with a need to pass wind. Passing gas or flatus is normal and is not a serious condition; however, it can be socially embarrassing for that person.
There are various factors, which can trigger trapped gas or trapped wind, such as eating very rapidly, wearing tight or ill-fitting clothes around the waist etc. Symptoms experienced from trapped gas or trapped wind include flatulence, gurgling noises and bloating. Intestinal gas or trapped wind or constipation can cause trapped gas pain, which occur from accumulation of gas in the intestines. It is common to pass gas at least 10 times daily for a person. Making some simple lifestyle modifications and using some home remedies helps in reducing the production of gas along with alleviating discomfort, pain and embarrassment.
What Causes Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain?
When there is fermentation of undigested carbohydrates in the colon by bacteria, this leads to formation of gas. Some of the main culprits are high-fiber foods, which are actually good for a person's general health. High-fiber foods help in keeping the digestive system in a good working condition and also help in controlling the levels of cholesterol and blood sugar. However, the downside of fiber is that it can cause formation of gas. Some of the high-fiber foods, which produce gas and gas pain are: Vegetables, fruits, whole grains beans and peas (legumes). Fiber supplements, which contain psyllium, such as Metamucil, also tend to cause similar problems, especially if it is added to the diet rapidly. Carbonated drinks, such as beer and soda also produce gas. Some of the other causes of trapped gas pain or trapped wind include:
Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain Caused as a Result of Swallowed Air: A person swallows air every time upon drinking or eating. A person can also swallow air when he/she is nervous, eats very rapidly, sucks on candies, chews gum or drinks through a straw. Some of this air passes to the lower digestive tract.
Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain Caused Due to Food Intolerances: If someone experiences bloating and gas after consuming dairy products, then it means that he/she is lactose intolerant, i.e. the body is not able to break down the lactose or sugar in the dairy foods. People can also develop other types of intolerances to food, such as gluten, which cause production of excessive gas, leading to pain from trapped gas, diarrhea and sometimes weight loss.
Other Medical Problems That Can Cause Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain: Excessive gas can also be a symptom of a more chronic and serious conditions, such as diverticulitis or an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Excess bloating and gas can also be a symptom of overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine from medical conditions like diabetes.
Constipation: This condition causes difficulty in passing gas resulting in discomfort, bloating and trapped gas pain from the trapped wind.
Artificial Additives: Sometimes, a person's body or digestive system cannot tolerate artificial sweeteners, such as mannitol, xylitol and sorbitol, which is found in sugar-free foods, candies and gums and it leads to diarrhea and gas production/accumulation and trapped gas pain when such sweeteners are consumed.
Other Causes: Some of the other factors, which can cause trapped gas pain or trapped wind include: Eating very fast or eating on the move, taking supplements for dieting, overeating, smoking, stress and obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, bacterial infection, improper digestion, talking when eating, regular habit of having excess condiments and sauces, malfunctioning of intestines and eating spicy food.
What are the Risk Factors of Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain?
Factors which increase the risk of trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain are:
- Being gluten or lactose intolerant.
- Consuming a lot of carbonated beverages.
- Having a chronic intestinal condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
- Consuming a high fiber diet comprising of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains.
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain?
The signs and symptoms of trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain are very obvious and include:
- Patient suffering from trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain experiences symptoms of sharp, jabbing cramps or pain in the abdomen. These pains can be felt anywhere in the abdomen and the location of the pain or cramps shifts rapidly. The pain from trapped wind can also pass away quickly.
- There is involuntary or voluntary passing of gas. This can be either as flatus or belching.
- Patient suffering from trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain can also have excessive hiccups.
- Bad breathe or halitosis is also a sign of trapped gas or trapped wind and in general digestive problems.
- There are also symptoms of swelling and tightness in the abdomen, which is known as bloating. Patient's abdomen feels tense and gassy.
- Patient has a 'knotted' sensation in the abdomen.
- Patient suffering from trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain feels uncomfortably full after a meal.
- Patient can also have a coated tongue.
- Patient has gurgling or rumbling noises in the abdomen or stomach.
- In some cases, the trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain can be constant or becomes so severe that it feels that it can be from something serious.
- Trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain can also be mistaken for a heart condition, appendicitis and gallstones.
Serious Symptoms of Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain
It is normal for a person to pass gas as flatus around 10 to 15 times in a day. If the patient has the following symptoms, then it is important to seek prompt medical attention:
- Blood in the stools.
- Prolonged or continuous pain in the abdomen.
- Weight loss.
- Change in the frequency or color of the stool.
- Chest pain.
- Recurrent or persistent nausea or vomiting.
Diagnosis of Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain
The cause of the trapped gas or trapped wind and its pain is diagnosed by taking the patient's medical history, reviewing the dietary habits of the patient and conducting a physical exam. The doctor also checks the patient's abdomen to see if it's distended and auscultates to listen for a hollow sound, which usually indicates the presence of excess gas. Further tests are also carried out to find out if the cause of the patient's symptoms is a more serious condition, such as partial bowel obstruction. If the pain is caused by some other health problem and not from the trapped gas or trapped wind, then treating the underlying medical problem relieves the pain. Otherwise, making changes in the diet, lifestyle modifications, over-the-counter medications and home remedies help in relieving the trapped gas or trapped wind and its pain.
Remedies to Get Rid of Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain
Dietary Modifications for Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain
Making the following changes in diet helps in reducing the amount of gas the body produces or helps in passing of the gas quickly through the body or digestive system:
- Patient should try and identify the foods, which are causing the problem of trapped wind or gas and avoid them. Common foods, which cause this problem include beans, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, artichokes, cauliflower, asparagus, apples, pears, prunes, peaches, sugar-free chewing gum and candies, bran cereals, whole-wheat bread, milk, cream, ice cream and carbonated beverages, such as beer and sodas.
- Fried and fatty foods in diet should be avoided, as these also can cause bloating and trapped wind. Fat slows down the stomach emptying and increases the sensation of being full.
- High-fiber foods should be reduced temporarily till the problem has resolved. They can be added back gradually over a period of several weeks.
- Same goes for fiber supplements; the amount of fiber supplements should be cut down and their intake gradually increased. If the symptoms persist, then patient should try a different type of fiber supplement. Always take fiber supplements with a glass of water. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Consumption of dairy products should be reduced to ease the problem or prevent the problem of trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain. Low-lactose dairy foods should be used instead, such as yogurt in place of milk. Products which will help with the digestion of lactose can be used, such as Dairy Ease or Lactaid.
- If milk products are at all to be consumed, then they should be done in small amounts or should be taken with other foods so it makes their digestion easier. However, in some cases, complete elimination of dairy products is required for relief.
Over-the-Counter Medicines to Ease Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain
- Lactase supplements, such as Dairy-Ease and Lactaid can be taken to digest lactose if someone is lactose intolerant. Dairy products which have reduced lactose or are lactose-free should also be used.
- Beano can be added to vegetables and beans to help reduce production of the gas or wind. Beano is most effective when it is taken with the first bite of food and functions best when patient has only a small amount of gas in his/her intestines.
- Simethicone is found in over-the-counter products, such as Gelusil, Gas-X, Mylicon, Mylanta, Mylicon etc. will help in breaking up or dispersing the bubbles in the gas. However, these products haven't shown to relieve gas pain.
- Activated charcoal in the form of charcoal tablets, such as Charcoal Plus, CharcoCaps etc., taken before and after a meal can also help. However, like simethicone, there is not conclusive evidence that charcoal helps in relieving gas. Other than this, charcoal will also stain the inside of the mouth and clothing if it touches the clothes.
Lifestyle Modifications for Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain
- The food should be eaten and chewed slowly and thoroughly and should not be gulped down hastily. If you are finding it difficult to slow down, then try putting your fork down between each bite.
- Always eat regular meals and try eating smaller portions. Most of the foods, which produce gas and cause trapped wind pain are unfortunately a part of a healthy diet. So, it is better to eat smaller portions of high fiber foods, so that the body can digest it slowly without producing excessive gas.
- Sucking on hard candies, chewing gum, and drinking through straw should be avoided as these activities causes swallowing of excessive air.
- Quit smoking, not only it is harmful to your health, but smoking also increases the quantity of air swallowed.
- Limit the consumption of alcohol.
- Poorly fitting dentures also cause excessive swallowing of air when eating and drinking.
- Avoid wearing tight fitting clothes around the waist.
- Exercise is important to avoid trapped gas/wind and its pain, as doing some sort of physical activity helps in moving the gas through the digestive tract.
- Avoid stress as much as possible and try to de-stress before eating.
- To avoid the bad odor from the flatulence; foods which are high in sulfur, such as brussels sprouts, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, high in protein foods and beer should be avoided to prevent the distinctive odor of the trapped gas. Underwear or pads that contain charcoal also help in absorbing the unpleasant odors from passing the gas/wind/flatulence.
- Fasting; like everything, our stomach also needs rest. If it is pressurized or overworked a lot, then it starts to function improperly. Fasting is a good remedy that provides the much needed rest to our stomach. Fasting for a couple of days helps in detoxification of our body and in removing the trapped gas in our intestines and stomach.
- Colon Cleanse. Undergoing a colon cleanse for a week helps in eliminating various health problems, including gastric issues. After the week long colon cleanse, oxygen colon cleanse should be done about twice or thrice a week. This helps in detoxifying the body.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Trapped Gas Pain or Trapped Wind Pain
Warm Lemon Water: Drinking a glass of warm lemon water, as soon as you get up in the morning, is a great home remedy as it helps in easing the trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain. The acidity of the lemon helps in stimulating the production of HCL, which is responsible for breaking down our food and this will help in relieving the bloating and gas. The glass of warm lemon water also flushes the digestive system and keeps it moving smoothly. Not only this, the lemon water also helps with detoxification of the entire body.
Peppermint Tea: Peppermint tea is a very beneficial home remedy in getting rid of trapped gas pain and soothing the churning stomach. It contains menthol, which acts as an antispasmodic on the smooth muscle of the digestive system. Peppermint tea also helps in soothing nerves, hence helps in soothing the upset stomach from stress and nervousness. Drinking a cup of peppermint tea after dinner is also recommended.
Alternatively, chewing on some fresh peppermint leaves also provides instant relief from trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain.
Another home remedy is adding 2-3 drops of peppermint oil in half-a-cup of water and drinking this twice or thrice a day.
Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea is also a good option as a home remedy for trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain if you do not like peppermint tea. Chamomile has antispasmodic properties and helps in relaxing the pain from trapped gas or wind and relieves gas from indigestion and heartburn.
Pour boiling water in a cup with a chamomile tea bag and cover it and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Honey or lemon juice can be added if desired. Do not add milk, as it triggers gas production.
Dandelion Tea: Dandelion tea prepared from dandelion roots helps in treating trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain problems. Alternatively, dandelion can also be used in food as a spice.
Ginger: Ginger is famous for relieving all kinds of stomach problems like nausea, indigestion, stomach flu etc. Ginger in any form helps in calming the upset stomach. Ginger helps in alleviating any inflammation and relaxing the intestinal tract making it one of the most effective home remedies for trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain. The complete ginger root acts as a carminative, which prevents formation of excessive gas and also helps in expelling it. Chop a clean ginger root and place it in a mug. You can add honey or lemon if you so desire. Pour boiling water over the ginger slices. Cover and steep it for about 10 minutes. You can drink this ginger tea before or after meals to help with digestion.
Alternatively, a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger can be munched before meals to help with the digestion and the problem of trapped wind or gas.
Caraway Seeds: Caraway seeds have been used for centuries as a home remedy for relief from trapped gas or trapped wind in the digestive system. Munching on a small amount of caraway seeds or caraway crackers helps in easing the bloating by passing the gas as flatulence. A small amount of caraway seeds can be consumed every morning before meals daily.
Pumpkin: As mentioned before, trapped gas or boating occurs due to improper digestion of food. Even healthy foods like high fiber foods tend to cause bloating, trapped wind or gas. When the high fiber foods do not digest properly in the small intestine, it is eaten by the natural bacteria resulting in production of various gases, as their by-product. Consumption of pumpkin helps in decreasing the amount of gas produced. Pumpkin can be taken along with your meal to prevent problems with trapped gas or wind. A cup of pumpkin, which has been baked, broiled, steamed can be taken with meals to ward off trapped gas.
Cloves: Chewing on a few pieces of cloves helps in getting relief from trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain. Clove oil can also be used and is a useful home remedy to keep bloating at bay and reducing trapped gas pain.
Anise Seed: Anise seed also has anti-spasmodic properties, which help in relaxing the digestive system and getting rid of the pain from the trapped gas or trapped wind. Abdominal cramps are also relieved if present. Anise seed also acts as a carminative, i.e. it helps in expelling the accumulated gas and relieves the bloating.
Garlic: Garlic is the best home remedy option to get relief from gas. Garlic has heating and pungent qualities, which helps with digestion. Consuming fresh garlic soup helps in relieving trapped gas pain and bloating. Grind some garlic cloves and boil them in water. Add some black pepper and cumin seeds to it and strain it and allow it to cool. Drink this solution three times a day to relieve yourself from trapped gas pain.
Buttermilk: Buttermilk which is freshly churned is one of the best home remedy for indigestion. It is not only good for health, but also helps in relieving digestive problems.
Adding a pinch of salt and roasted powdered cumin seeds provides more benefit.
Black Pepper: Black pepper also is known to help with indigestion and acidity. It helps in increasing the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Powdered black pepper mixed with jaggery helps in curing gastric irritation.
Alternatively, having a teaspoon of a mixture of ginger powder, black pepper, dried mint leaves and coriander seeds in equal quantities, after grinding them, about twice a day are also beneficial.
Black pepper can also be mixed with buttermilk and then consumed.
Asafoetida: Asafoetida can be added to a glass of warm water and this solution should be taken three times daily for benefit from trapped gas/wind pain.
Alternatively, asafoetida paste can be made by adding some water and this paste can be applied directly on the stomach to get relief from trapped wind/gas and its pain.
One more remedy is mashing a completely ripe banana and adding some quantity of asafoetida to it and consuming this twice a day.
Cardamom: Cardamom is one of the spices that are beneficial in boosting the digestion process. Cardamom powder can be added when cooking rice or vegetables.
Alternatively, chewing on some pods of cardamom a couple of times a day also helps in eliminating the trapped gas or trapped wind naturally.
Drinking tea made of few pods of cardamom seeds, fresh ginger and a teaspoon of fennel seeds also helps with bloating.
Fennel: Chewing on some fennel seeds gives instant relief from trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain. Other than this, fennel tea is also beneficial. Add crushed fennel seeds and tea leaves to some boiling water and let this steep for some minutes. Jaggery syrup can be added to it before drinking.
Apple Cider Vinegar: To a glass of warm water, add 2-3 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Let this cool and drink it. This solution helps in soothing the pain from the trapped gas or trapped wind. In case apple cider vinegar is not available, then normal vinegar can be used in its place.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is also one of the beneficial spices which also has medicinal qualities for treating trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain. Drinking a cup of warm milk to which a teaspoon of cinnamon powder has been added is beneficial in relieving trapped gas/wind pain. Honey can also be added to it. Cinnamon can also be used in tea to relieve gastric problems.
Baking Soda & Lemon: Squeeze the juice of one fresh lemon into a glass of water. Add some baking soda to this. You can see some bubbles appear. Add one more cup of water with baking soda to it. Stir this solution, till baking soda is dissolved. Drink this to get relief from pain from the trapped gas/wind.
Carom Seeds: Carom seeds are another home remedy that helps in curing nausea, indigestion and other gastric problems. Crush half-teaspoon of carom seeds and mix it with salt and asafoetida. You can chew this mixture or swallow it with water for relief from trapped gas pain.
Gooseberry: Gooseberry is rich in vitamin C and has been used for ages for curing various problems related to stomach, hair, skin, heart etc. Gooseberry juice taken on an empty stomach helps in relieving constipation and acidity.
Potato Juice: Grind some potatoes and squeeze them to remove their juice. Drink this potato juice before meals thrice a day for relief from trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain naturally.
Turmeric Leaves: Turmeric is well known for its medicinal properties and is an effective home remedy as well for trapped gas pain or trapped wind pain. Grind some turmeric leaves and mix them in a glass of warm milk and drink this to alleviate pain from the trapped gas/wind.
Guava Leaves: Boil some guava leaves in water and strain them and drink it after it has reached room temperature. This solution will help in relieving bloating and other digestive problems.
Dill (Lao Coriander) Oil: Dill is one of the best herbal/home remedy for trapped gas/wind. Consuming a teaspoon of honey to which one drop of dill oil has been added is beneficial for pain from the trapped gas/wind. It is important to note here that pregnant women should not use dill oil.
Brandy: Brandy can also be used for gastric troubles. Add two teaspoons of brandy to a glass of warm water and drink this before going to sleep for relief from gastric problems.
Celery Leaves: Chewing on some celery leaves helps in giving relief from gastric irritation and pain including from trapped gas or wind.
Activated Charcoal: Charcoal helps in drawing the excessive gas from the intestines. Take one charcoal tablet before and after a meal to relieve trapped gas/wind and bloating.
Onion: Onion juice is a remedy for many health problems including gastric troubles. Extract some juice of onions and drink this for relief from trapped gas/wind pain.
Coconut Water: Coconut water possesses plenty of nutrients and proteins; and is beneficial in relieving gastric problems. Coconut water should be consumed regularly to provide the body with regular proteins.
Parsley: Eating fresh parsley aids in digestion. It can be taken as freshly minced parsley or a dried spice added to the food to prevent accumulation of gases in the intestines.
Herbal Tea: Tea made up of mint, raspberry, chamomile and blackberry helps in improving as well as speeding up the digestive process.