Trapped wind, which can lead to stomach cramps and bloating, is a very common but sometimes embarrassing problem. It can be caused by swallowing too much air while eating, drinking, or swallowing saliva.
Bloating also happens when your bowel doesn’t empty properly and gas gets trapped, or when too much gas is produced as a reaction to food.
What are the symptoms of trapped wind?
• A bloated stomach
• Flatulence and burping
• Feeling very full after eating
• Rumbling noises in your stomach
What are the causes of bloating?
If your stomach often feels bloated or you suffer other symptoms, it could be down to excess or trapped wind, or swallowing air (for example by talking while you are eating). Alternatively it could be:
• A food intolerance
• Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• Coeliac disease
Treating & preventing bloating & trapped wind
• Cut down foods that are hard to digest and commonly cause wind and bloating (such as beans and sprouts) – but be sure to still consume five portions of fruits and vegetables each day
• Drink plenty of fluids and exercise regularly to avoid constipation
• Don't drink too many fizzy drinks
• Make sure you’re sitting up straight while eating
• Avoid chewing gum
• Chew with your mouth closed and don't talk while eating to avoid swallowing air
• Keep a diary of your symptoms and what foods you eat to try to spot patterns and potential triggers
• Speak to your pharmacist about treatment options – they may be able to recommend certain medicines
• If your bloating symptoms are severe, consult your Doctor to rule out more serious conditions
Coeliac disease, food intolerance & IBS
Coeliac disease is a common autoimmune disorder where your small intestine can’t absorb gluten found in wheat, barley or rye. Coeliac disease can trigger bloating, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fatigue (tiredness). If you think you may have coeliac disease, discuss it with your Doctor. They may recommend you have a blood test or a biopsy to check if you have it.
The foods most commonly associated with intolerances are wheat, barley and rye products or dairy foods. If you think you might have a food intolerance, seek your Doctor's advice. The best way to identify an intolerance is to keep track of how you feel when you cut certain foods out of your diet.
People with IBS generally experience bloating, especially in the evening. You can manage the condition by identifying and avoiding the foods that trigger symptoms, by managing everyday stress and taking regular exercise. Speak to your pharmacist or Doctor about treatment options suitable for you.
• Take measures to help prevent bloating, such as avoiding foods that trigger your symptoms, eating plenty of fibre, and try not to swallow air when you eat
• Speak to your pharmacist about treatment options and medicines that could help to manage your symptoms
• If symptoms persist or are severe, consult your Doctor who can rule out more serious conditions