5 Moves to Relieve Gas

There are lots of reasons a person experiencing intestinal gas would want to get rid of it. Gas can be uncomfortable (even painful) and cause bloating and belly rumbling. And if it escapes via a burp, belch, or fart, gas can be noisy and smelly.

It's also an unavoidable product of the digestive process. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the average person produces one to three pints of intestinal gas a day—and lets it out one way or another as many as 14 to 23 times.

There are all sorts of home remedies and over-the-counter products for getting rid of gas, but there also are simple movements you can try.

Get On Your Feet

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Taking a walk can sometimes be all it takes to relieve gas and bloating in the short-term. Long-term, regular physical activity can help to eliminate gas from the intestinal tract frequently (and discreetly) so that it's less likely to build up and cause bloating and flatulence, according to the Cleveland Clinic. At least 30 minutes of exercise three or four days a week should be plenty to keep the bloating and burps at bay.

Lie on Your Side

Young woman sleeping on sofa

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This simple move may be especially effective in releasing gas trapped in the lower intestine. On a bed, sofa, or the floor, lie on one side (whichever is most comfortable) and gently draw both knees toward your chest. If you don't get relief after several minutes, try slowly moving your legs down and up a few times. If you're limber enough to do this comfortably or without causing more pain, try using your hands to pull your knees closer to your chest.

Lie on Your Back

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While in this position, bend one knee and use your hands to pull it toward your chest. Hold it there for a few seconds and then switch legs. Repeat several times until you feel some relief. (Note that this exercise is also a good stretch for relieving low back pain.) While you're on you're back, you might also bend both knees, place both feet flat on the floor, and do a set (15 to 20 repetitions) of abdominal crunches. Besides tightening your belly and strengthening your core, crunches can further help move stubborn gas out of the intestinal tract.

Squat

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Squats are good for more than building strong thighs and gluteal (butt) muscles: Lowering yourself into this position can help relieve gas. Start with your feet hip-width apart and facing forward. Put your hands on your hips or hold on to the back of a sturdy chair, then slowly bend your knees until your rear end is close to the floor.

Place your hands on the tops of your thighs (or continue to hold onto the chair) and stay in this position until you feel the gas start to move. Note: This position may cause the need to have a bowel movement so make sure you can easily get to a bathroom if necessary.

See a Doctor

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Intestinal gas is rarely a sign of a medical problem. Again, it's a normal by-product of digestion. But there are a handful of conditions that are associated with an increase in gas. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), among these are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), lactose intolerance, and celiac disease.

For this reason, the NIDDK advises seeing a doctor about gas if:

  • It really bothers you.
  • It becomes more frequent or intense or changes in some other way suddenly.
  • It's accompanied by other symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, or weight loss.

Otherwise, measures such as changing your diet to exclude foods known to cause gas, such as milk, beans, and cruciferous vegetables, kicking the habit (if you smoke), giving up chewing gum and drinking through straws (both of which introduce air into the body), and getting more exercise, should help to keep the amount of gas you experience each day to a minimum.

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