Passing gas is easily one of the most unpleasant bodily functions, and it’s certainly one of the most embarrassing as well. Still, it’s there for a reason, and like it or not, we do have to go through with it, on average about 13 to 21 times a day. However, sometimes we find ourselves unable to, and often this temporary inability will cause discomfort and even pain. So the question that we all have to face at some point in our lives is: how to relieve gas pains?
What Causes Gas Pains?
When you eat, you naturally swallow a bit of air with your food. The food that reaches the large intestine undergoes a kind of breakdown process, a side effect of which is – more gas. You’ll let a part of the air out through your mouth before it goes through your intestine. However, once the air gets to the large intestine, the only way out is through the other side.
Unfortunately, not everything goes so smoothly all the time. For various reasons, your body will trap the gas. When enough of it accumulates, it’ll start giving you grief. You’ll start bloating, getting cramps, and feeling a kind of pressure in your abdomen. So, what can you do to deal with the problem? Here are some ideas.
1. Let It Go
The simple truth is that farting is not something you’d do in polite society. It would be mortifying. And yet, that is exactly what you need to do when you feel the need. Obviously, you should try to find a more appropriate place to do it, but in case of emergency, just embrace your inner Elsa and let it go. The awkwardness won’t last long, and it is far less likely to leave longer-lasting consequences than holding it in for a prolonged period. Don’t worry too much, though – holding it in isn’t likely to make you seriously sick, only really uncomfortable for a while.
However, sometimes you’ll find yourself unable to pass gas, even if you want to. If that is the case, try some of the following pieces of advice.
2. Do Yoga
We all know how wonderful yoga is and what benefits it can provide. Still, I’d bet you never thought of it as a tool for passing gas. Some yoga positions can help you relax your intestines and bowels, and that can be enough to help you pass gas. This is a good solution for temporary blockage, and it can offer immediate relief.
Here are some asanas you might want to try:
- Ananda Balasana, also known as happy baby pose, will stretch your inner groin as well as your lower back;
- Balasana, i.e. child’s pose, can aid in relaxing your hips, legs, and lower back;
- Pawanmuktasana, or (very descriptively) wind-relieving pose, which can help you relax your abdomen and thighs.
3. Adjust Your Diet
Yoga and exercise in general can provide temporary relief, but if gas pain is a common occurrence, you might need to consider changing your diet. Some foods produce more gas in the digestive system than others. Foods that are high in fiber are the most common cause of an increase in gas. Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, apples, pears, prunes, and other fruits and veggies are incredibly healthy, so you shouldn’t remove them from your diet completely. Rather, you should try to limit your intake of those for a couple of weeks, and then gradually re-introduce them into your diet.
Dairy products are another possible cause of your discomfort. Opt for lactose-free versions of your favorites, and restrict your intake of the rest. The cutback should ameliorate your symptoms. Sweet, fried, and fatty foods, as well as overly spicy dishes and carbonated beverages, are likely contributing to and increasing your problem. Avoid all of them as much as you can.
Finally, don’t forget to increase your intake of water, because it’ll prevent possible constipation.
4. Try Out Some Home Remedies
In addition to adjusting your diet, you can speed up the process by using some known home remedies. Firstly, you can try peppermint or chamomile tea. Have a cup with or before your meals, and they should ease the symptoms. Both are great for digestion and bowels, and they taste great, so what’s there to lose?
Other easy fixes you can try are apple cider vinegar and activated charcoal. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a warm glass of water, and drink it before meals. It should alleviate gas pain quickly, and it will help your digestion in general. Taking activated charcoal before and after a meal can prevent trapping gas in your system. A word of caution: make sure you introduce the supplement into your diet gradually to avoid side effects such as nausea and constipation.
Heating your stomach may help as well because it encourages your muscles to relax. This can help pass gas, which in turn can ease your discomfort.
5. See a Doctor
Several health conditions might be making it difficult for you to pass gas. Intestinal disease and overgrowth of bacteria in your digestive system are possible causes. Food intolerance and constipation are other possibilities. Therefore, if everything else fails, you should schedule a visit to your doctor.
To help the doctor diagnose you correctly, make sure you are ready to present your case. What do you normally eat and drink? Have you started eating something new recently? Do you feel better after you pass gas? Do you take any medicines or dietary supplements? Have you lost a lot of weight recently? Have you noticed any changes in your bowel movement? All of these are the questions that your doctor will likely ask, so observe your state closely and be ready to answer.
Going Out with a Bang
If you’re suffering from this issue, the question of how to relieve gas pains may not be an easy one to answer. Some exercise and adjustments to your diet and lifestyle are likely to work well. However, If they don’t, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your doctor. And, of course, don’t hold it in if you can help it – let it go out with (or without) a bang.