14th May, 20204 min read

How to treat bloating and gas quickly

How to treat bloating and gas quickly
Medical reviewer: Healthily's medical team
Author: Alex Bussey
Last reviewed: 15/05/2020
Medically reviewed

Bloating causes can be uncomfortable and irritating, and it can also affect your self-confidence.

There’s no ‘miracle cure’ for bloating, but there are things you can do to reduce your symptoms and provide some welcome relief.

There are a few natural ways to relieve bloating in the longer term, but if you want results fast, here are some quick fixes for a bloated tummy.

Exercise

Gentle exercise may help to relieve symptoms of bloating and indigestion.

If your tummy feels tight or swollen after a big meal, why not try going for a short 15 to 20-minute walk?

It’s recommended that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week for general health, and you should aim to be physically active every day.

This will limit the amount of time you spend lying down and help prevent gas from building up in your small intestine.

Charcoal capsules

Activated charcoal capsules are sometimes used to remove unwanted toxins from your body after a case of poisoning or a drug overdose, for example. But activated charcoal may also help to remove some of the waste gases that cause bloating.

Clinical evidence to support this idea is limited, but it may be worth trying activated charcoal if you’re feeling bloated and need instant relief.

Note: Activated charcoal can interfere with prescription medications. If you’re taking other medicines, check with a doctor before taking any charcoal-based products.

How to ease bloating and gas

Peppermint oil capsules

Peppermint oil is a natural plant extract that’s thought to help with a number of digestive problems, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), tummy pain and gas.

Some studies show that taking a peppermint oil capsule may provide short-term relief from bloating and indigestion. This may be because peppermint oil encourages the movement of the gut, easing pain and allowing digestive gases to pass through your intestines more easily.

However, clinical evidence is limited, and peppermint oil can cause allergic reactions and heartburn.

If you’re thinking of taking this remedy to reduce symptoms of bloating, talk to a pharmacist first. They can discuss its possible side effects with you and make sure it’s safe for you to take.

Simeticone

Simeticone is a type of medicine that’s used to treat trapped wind and indigestion.

It works by bringing the small gas bubbles in your gut together to form bigger bubbles, making it easier for trapped air to pass through your system - this can provide quick relief from symptoms of bloating or tummy pain.

You can buy simeticone from most pharmacies and some supermarkets, but always check that you can take simeticone before buying it. Although it’s safe for most people, it can interact with some of the drugs used to treat thyroid problems.

Simeticone can also cause symptoms of nausea and constipation, so make sure you read the label carefully and check with a pharmacist if you’re worried.

What to do if these quick fixes don’t work

If these remedies don’t help to relieve your bloating, or the problem persists, you should see a doctor.


References:

Stomach ache and abdominal pain [Internet]. Nhsinform.scot. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

Knott D. Trapped Wind (Gas & Bloating) Symptoms, causes and treatment [Internet]. Patient.info. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

Exercise [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

Poisoning or overdose - NICE CKS [Internet]. Cks.nice.org.uk. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

TOXBASE - poisons information database for clinical toxicology advice [Internet]. Toxbase.org. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

UpToDate [Internet]. Uptodate.com. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

Peppermint Oil [Internet]. NCCIH. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

Complementary Health Approaches for Irritable Bowel Syndrome [Internet]. NCCIH. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

Allen H. Peppermint oil capsules - Colpermin, Mintec, Apercap [Internet]. Patient.info. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

Simeticone: antiflatulent used to treat wind (flatulence) [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

Simethicone Side Effects: Common, Severe, Long Term - Drugs.com [Internet]. Drugs.com. 2020 [cited 16 March 2020]. Available here.

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Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.

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