How to Get Rid of Gas: 5 Simple Steps To Do at Home

Clinical review: Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
April 2022

There are many ways you can eliminate trapped intestinal gas. Some simple methods you can try are drinking fennel tea with lemongrass and walking for several minutes, as both of these stimulate intestinal movement, which will help to eliminate gas.

In cases where it is not possible to get rid of gas by just drinking tea, you can try massaging the abdomen to help move along any accumulated gas. Sometimes trapped gas can cause sharp pain, which can even be confounded with a heart attack.

Some excellent ways to get rid of trapped gas are:

1. Contracting the abdomen

To get rid of gas trapped in the intestines quickly, you can try contracting the abdomen. Lay on your back and bend your knees up to your chest. Wrap your arms around your knees and press them into your chest contract your abdomen. This is also a good way to eliminate gas in babies and children, as this exercise poses no risks to health.

2. Abdominal massage

Another very efficient alternative is to massage the abdomen. Massage should be soft and circular, working from the top of the abdomen to the bottom. This aids with pushing the gas out of the body.

3. Drink gas-eliminating teas

Taking lemongrass tea with fennel throughout the day is a good option, as this tea contains anti-spasmodic properties. This means the tea will not only help with getting rid of gas, but also reduce any sharp pains felt in the belly. The tea can also serve to hydrate the bowels, which will help to loosen up the intestines so that gas can pass. Ginger tea is another good option. See our article about different tea recipes you can try to treat excess gas.

4. Drink a laxative smoothie

Drinking a smoothie with papaya juice, natural yogurt, plums and oats in the morning is a good way to start the day and relieve constipation. All you need to do is add these ingredients to a blender, mix well, and drink, without any added sweeteners necessary.

Orange juice is also a good option to drink throughout the day. You can opt to just eat fruit for the day to stimulate intestinal movement, however you should not do this for more than a day as this is a very restrictive diet.

5. Over-the-counter medication

Another way to get rid of gas is to use over-the-counter medication from pharmacy. Some options include simethicone, activated charcoal or Gas-X. Each of these should be taken as indicated on the product label or as directed by the pharmacist.

If you continue to experience gas even after trying the above methods and if you also have constipation, you can also try performing an enema at home to eliminate both the trapped gas and stool. Enemas can be purchased at the pharmacy, and should some with a bottle of laxative liquid. This liquid is introduced into the anus and should result in a bowel movement within minutes. This will help to relieve symptoms quickly and efficiently. 

Eliminating gas when pregnant 

The accumulation of gas due to constipation is a common finding at the end of pregnancy. In this case, you can try the above-mentioned methods, and additionally take a laxative or perform an enema under medical guidance. You can also engage in light exercise and opt for fruit with laxative effects as a way to get of gas and relieve any associated pain.

You should also eat smaller, more frequent meals and avoid drinking large amounts of water when eating (as this can lead to increased swallowed air). You should also opt to eat food with lower sugar and carbohydrate content when you are eating protein, like meat.

Maintaining an active lifestyle by exercising every day, or at least 3 times a week, and engaging in activity that promote muscular contraction (like gardening) may be good options for avoiding prolonged inactivity. Sitting or lying for too long can also affect digestion and lead to the build-up of gas.

What can cause excess gas

Gas is constantly being produced in the intestines and is naturally eliminated, however some foods can cause more gas than usual and constipation. This can result in a hard, swollen belly, which causes discomfort and abdominal distension.

When this occurs, you should avoid foods that cause gas and opt for foods with high fiber content. You should also drink plenty of water to help with the elimination of build-up gas and stool. Intestinal gas will build-up in high volumes due to the following reasons:

1. Poor diet

Food that is not completed digested ends up fermenting within the digestive tract for longer than usual. Fermentation occurs due to the naturally-occurring bacteria found within the intestines.

Eating more carbohydrates at once than usual, like eating at a buffet for example, can cause increased intestinal gas and can result in sharp abdominal pain. This can cause significant abdominal bloating. 

2. Constipation

With constipation, stools are harder than usual and can cause discomfort, as they also block the elimination of gas. Treating the constipation will ideally help to resolve pain associated with trapped gas.

Medication, teas, water and food that is rich in fiber can all be used to treat constipation. In some cases, an enema may be a good option.

3. Excess fiber intake with little fluid

Eating a lot of fiber is helpful to stimulate bowel movements, but it is necessary to drink lots of water along with the fiber. This will help to soften the stool and help it pass through the intestine more easily.

Eating large amounts of fiber without drinking water will lead to stool staying for longer periods in the intestines. This leads to longer fermentation time, resulting in increased gas and abdominal discomfort. Examples of food with high fibre content include papaya, oats, whole wheat, fruit with the peel, and vegetables.

4. Illness

Some illnesses like celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity an other intestinal problems can also cause abdominal distension and excess gas. These abnormalities can be diagnosed at any phase of life. Assessment by your family doctor or a gastroenterologist may be beneficial, particularly if the gas is frequent and interfering with activities of daily living.

Testing may be ordered to evaluate the functioning and health of the digestive tract. A consult with the nutritionist can also be helpful to understand whether your current diet is appropriate for you.

How to know if you are having excess gas

The body is constantly producing gas that is naturally eliminated when sitting on the toilet to urinate or poop. Gas can also pas with contraction of the abdomen or with walking. Most times, gas does not have a strong odor. It is normal to pass gas at least 20 times a day.

Excess gas is characterized by the frequency at which it occurs and if it accompanied by a strong odor. Both of these qualtiies can indicate an intestinal abnormality and require medical assessment.

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em April de 2022. Clinical review por Tatiana Zanin - Registered Dietitian, em April de 2022.

References

  • NASERI, Mohsen et al. Bloating: Avicenna’s Perspective and Modern Medicine. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. Vol.21, n.2. 154-159, 2016
  • SOCIEDADE BRASILEIRA DE MOTILIDADE DIGESTIVA E NEUROGASTROENTEROLOGIA. Gases Intestinais. 2019. Available on: <http://www.sbmdn.org.br/gases-intestinais/>. Access in 03 Dec 2019
Show more references
  • FEDERAÇÃO BRASILEIRA DE GASTROENTEROLOGIA. O importante papel das dietas para a saúde digestiva. 2019. Available on: <http://www.hospitalsantalucinda.com.br/downloads/saude-digestiva.pdf>. Access in 03 Dec 2019
  • MARI, Amir et al. Bloating and Abdominal Distension: Clinical Approach and Management. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. Vol.21, n.2. 154-159, 2016
Clinical review:
Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
Graduated in Clinical Nutrition in 2001 and has a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Licensed to practice under the CRN-3 in Brazil and the ON in Portugal