8 Ways to Relieve Gas Pain Fast

Whatever gas symptoms you experience—burping, passing gas, belly pain, or bloating—while unpleasant or even embarrassing, know that these are all normal bodily functions. In fact, the average person passes gas up to 23 times a day. However, if you find your gas is particularly bothersome, there are simple, fast-acting tips that can help. Keep in mind, though, if you cannot get gas relief promptly, or your gas symptoms are associated with worrisome symptoms like weight loss or persistent constipation or diarrhea, be sure to contact your doctor.

While gas production is a normal consequence of eating and digestion, some health conditions (for example, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, gastroenteritis, irritable bowel disease, Crohn's disease, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) cause more gas than normal. In these cases, addressing the underlying "why" behind your excessive gas (under the care of a healthcare professional) is key to ultimately obtaining relief. For example, you may need a lactase supplement if you have lactose intolerance.

Quick Tips for Gas Pain Relief
Illustration by Joshua Seong. © Verywell, 2018. 

1) Don't Suppress Passing Gas

If you are sure that your symptoms are definitely related to trapped gas, now is not the time to think about modesty. Go to a private place, let out a big burp, or find a bathroom and relieve yourself. The less gas there is in your system, the less likely it will be that you will be in pain.

2) Move Your Bowels

If you are able to have a bowel movement, do so. Don't wait until you are in the comfort of your own home. In the end, having a bowel movement will help in two ways:

  • You will speed up the movement of the muscles lining your large intestine, which will help to encourage the gas to make its way out of your system.
  • A ​bowel movement empties the rectum of any stored stool, freeing up the passage of the trapped intestinal gas.
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3) Try Tea

Peppermint, ginger, and anise teas all have gas-reducing reputations. That said, avoid anise if you are prone to chronic diarrhea as it appears to have a mild laxative effect (this can, however, be beneficial to you if you believe constipation might be contributing to your gas pains).

4) Chew Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds have a reputation for reducing intestinal gas. A safe amount appears to be approximately one teaspoon. Try chewing some seeds and assess if they are helpful for you.

Note: There is mixed information regarding the safety of ingesting extra fennel when pregnant or breastfeeding. If that applies to you, it would be best to play it on the safe side and choose an alternative gas-relieving option.

5) Apply Heat

Besides being very soothing psychologically, heat helps to relax the muscles in your gut and inhibits pain sensations. You can use a heating pad, a hot water bottle or, if you are at home, you can try a hot bath.

If you use a heating pad or hot water bottle, be sure to protect your skin from a burn with a layer of clothing. If you are prone to recurrent gas pain attacks, it might be wise to make sure that a heating pad is available to you for use when you are at work.

6) Move Your Body

Gentle exercise can be helpful in easing the gas pain. Walking is the easiest option since you can do it practically anytime, anywhere.

Walking helps to relax the muscles in your abdomen, with the effect of helping trapped gas make its escape.

Yoga is another great option if you have space and the privacy. Several yoga poses, such as child's pose (Balasana) and happy baby (Ananda Balasana), have been associated with easing the passage of intestinal gas. 

7) Take Some Deep Breaths

Deep diaphragmatic breathing may help to ease the pain, but only if this is something you practice on a regular basis. Since this type of breathing is so effective for stress reduction, it's worth taking the time to learn it. You can then use this breathing technique as needed for future gas attacks.

8) Head to the Drugstore

Some people, but not all, find they get gas relief from over-the-counter products, such as simethicone and activated charcoal. Of the two, simethicone is considered to be the better option, although experts are not quite sure how it works. Brand names for simethicone include Maalox Anti-Gas, Mylanta Gas, Gas-X, and Phazyme.

Be advised that activated charcoal may result in unwanted gastrointestinal symptoms, such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, and its use is somewhat controversial within the medical community. Moreover, if you decide to try activated charcoal, you may find that it turns your stool black, but this is not something to be concerned about.

As with any over-the-counter product, check with your doctor before use. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid these products.

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Prevention is Key

Once you have gas relief, it's a good idea to consider what might have been the cause so you can avoid future episodes.

The most common culprit of gas buildup is swallowing too much air.

To prevent excessive air swallowing, try avoiding these practices in the future:

  • Chewing gum
  • Drinking soda and other fizzy drinks
  • Eating or drinking too fast
  • Talking while eating
  • Drinking through a straw
  • Smoking

Modifying your diet can also help prevent gas problems. Limiting high-fiber foods is a great start, but it's important not to eliminate them from your diet completely, as they contain essential vitamins and minerals. Moderation is your best bet.

Some examples of high-fiber foods include:

  • Vegetables (especially asparagus, artichoke, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, corn, and potatoes)
  • Lentils
  • Kidneys beans
  • Peas
  • Certain fruits (for example, apples, peaches, pears, bananas, raspberries, and strawberries)
  • Whole grains

You may also consider taking an over-the-counter product, called Beano, which is an oral solution of alpha-galactosidase, the enzyme that helps your gut digest high-fiber foods. Talk to your doctor, though, before trying it, especially if you have diabetes (Beano can raise blood sugar levels).

Other foods and drinks that may produce excess gas include dairy products such as, milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt, as well as fruit juices and sugar-free candies that contain sorbitol, mannitol, or xylitol.

In the end, it's a good idea to keep a food diary, considering that certain foods may be more "gassy" than others for different people.

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A Word From Verywell

For the occasional bout of gas, these tips can certainly help you relieve the pressure. Keep in mind, though, what may seem like gas pain is not always gas pain. So, if these simple measures are not soothing your symptoms, seek medical attention. Your doctor may need to rule out a malabsorption problem, or a more serious condition like an infection or bowel obstruction, especially if you are experiencing severe or persistent pain, fever, or rectal bleeding with your gas symptoms.

Causes of Intestinal Gas and What You Can Do About It
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