Excess gas can feel extremely painful when it gets trapped in the stomach or intestines.
There are many home remedies to release abdominal pain caused by gas, from baking soda, to special yoga poses, herbs, teas, and more.
In this article, I’ll go over some of the most common home remedies. I’ll also explore common causes of gas and bloating, symptoms, and how to prevent gas buildup in the first place.
Home Remedies for Gas
When gas is trapped in the stomach, it can feel like a sharp stabbing pain.
It can also feel like a dull ache or indigestion. In some cases, gas pains can be so sharp or sudden that they can send people to the emergency room.
Gas is a normal part of the digestive process, but it should move efficiently through the gastrointestinal tract. When it doesn’t pass through easily, gas pains can develop.
The following home remedies can help to alleviate gas pains and bloating.
Walking around after meals or when you feel pain can help move gas through the digestive system.
Using a gentle massage technique can help trapped gas move through the GI tract.
- Lie down on your back in a comfortable position.
- Start on the right side of the stomach, by the pelvis bone. Using circular clockwise motions, rub lightly up the right side until you reach the ribs.
- Move to the left side and continue using circular massage from the left ribs down to the hip bone. From there, continue massaging upward toward the belly button.
- Spend about 1 minute on each trajectory, then repeat each section for up to 10 minutes.
Stretching the body can help to move gas through the digestive system. Start by lying on your back.
With your feet together, raise your legs straight up. Bend the knees and put your arms around them, drawing the knees into the chest.
Raise your head to touch the knees. Hold the pose for 20 seconds or longer and repeat as needed.
Alternatively, you can also lie on your left side, knees curled into your chest, to help encourage gas to transit through the GI tract.
If you experience gas pains or flatulence, avoid carbonated beverages. Instead, sip on warm liquid, like peppermint, chamomile, fennel, or ginger tea.
Cooking spices in your kitchen could be the remedy you need for painful gas. Get a glass of warm water and mix one of the following spices into it, then drink:
- Fennel seeds
Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water and drink it.
This can help reduce acid and bubbles in the stomach. Be cautious about following this carefully, as consuming too much baking soda on a full stomach could lead to stomach rupture.
Apple cider vinegar
While there is no scientific evidence to support apple cider vinegar as a gas remedy, it is safe to try and is frequently used as a traditional remedy.
Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm or room temperature water and drink it.
Over-the-Counter Remedies for Trapped Gas
If home remedies don’t work or you want faster, more proven options to provide relief, there are OTC remedies for gas pain.
If gas pains are caused by problems digesting and breaking down food, enzyme preparations can help to reduce gas.
Lactose intolerance is a common source of gas and bloating.
OTC products that can help provide relief include:
- Dairy Relief
- Digest Dairy Plus
If legumes or beans cause the gas symptoms, alpha-galactosidase can help prevent it from developing. Beano is a popular OTC enzyme medicine.
These work best when taken preventively but may also work to dispel symptoms after these foods are eaten.
Adsorbent medications work by breaking up gas bubbles and allowing them to pass through the digestive system.
Simethicone is a popular over-the-counter gas remedy. Products that contain this active ingredient include:
- Alka-Seltzer Anti-Gas
- Mylanta Gas
Causes of Gas
Gas can be caused by many different things, from eating too quickly to consuming foods your body has trouble digesting and beyond.
Digestion begins in the mouth and continues in the stomach and small intestine. Each part has a specific enzyme and process, but many things can disrupt this.
Gas and other digestive symptoms can occur when digestion happens too rapidly or lacks the necessary enzymes.
How your body is able to digest food is impacted by:
- How well you chew your food
- How quickly you eat (and how much air you swallow when you do)
- Specific foods that you consume
When you eat many foods known to cause gas, like beans and broccoli, your gas symptoms may be a normal part of digestion.
But if you avoid foods that typically cause gas and still experience gas pains, you may not be chewing your food properly, eating too fast, or lacking the necessary enzymes to complete the digestive process.
When you eat foods that you are intolerant to, like dairy products, your body lacks the enzyme to break it down fully. This results in gas and other digestive symptoms.
People who have Celiac disease or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity may also experience gas problems among other symptoms.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a digestive condition that happens when bacteria that should remain in the large intestine start colonizing the small intestine.
This leads to painful gas, excessive bloating, and other digestive problems.
Diets containing insufficient fiber or water can easily lead to constipation.
When this happens, bowel movements become hard and dry. If constipation is a persistent problem, the intestines can become impacted, which is a severe form of intestinal obstruction.
Constipation is defined as having less than 3 bowel movements per week, but uncomfortable symptoms can be felt if a person cannot have daily bowel movements.
When stools cannot easily be eliminated, gas also becomes trapped.
Many seemingly harmless habits can lead to gas buildup, including the following:
- Chewing food quickly
- Drinking from a water bottle or straw
- Talking while eating
- Chewing gum
- Sighing frequently
- Eating too much food
- Chewing hard candy
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
- Consuming sugar alcohol or sugar substitutes (xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol)
Underlying health conditions can also cause problems with gas.
Consult a healthcare provider if gas pains become chronic or do not resolve with home care.
It could be a sign that you have a digestive condition. With treatment, all of the following conditions can improve:
Symptoms of Gas in Stomach
Gas pains can come on suddenly. Gas in the stomach can produce symptoms such as:
- Sharp, stabbing pains
- Extreme feeling of fullness
- Pain on the middle or lower left side of the abdomen
- Pain on the middle or lower right side of the abdomen
- Feeling like you need to pass gas but cannot
Preventing Trapped Gas
You can reduce the risk of having gas pains in many ways:
- Avoid foods that you are intolerant to
- Take digestive enzymes
- Chew food thoroughly
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid carbonated drinks
- Drink room temperature or warm liquids
- Avoid foods that commonly cause gas
- Do not use sugar substitutes or sugar alcohol
- Do not chew gum
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
- Get regular physical activity
When to Seek Medical Attention for Trapped Gas
If you have recurring gas pain, check in with a medical provider.
If your gas pains occur with other symptoms, be sure to tell a healthcare professional, especially if you experience any of the following:
- Unexplained or unintended weight loss
- Blood in the stool
- Black or tarry bowel movements
- Inability to defecate
- Frequent heartburn
- Frequent nausea or vomiting
- Frequent diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
Frequently Asked Questions
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
Gas production after reaction of sodium bicarbonate and hydrochloric acid. (1984).
Treatment for Gas in the Digestive Tract. (2021).
Lactose intolerance. (2022).
Does Beano prevent gas? A double-blind crossover study of oral alpha-galactosidase to treat dietary oligosaccharide intolerance. (1994).
Gas and bloating. (2006).
Digestive enzymes. (2010).
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. (2022).
Definition and facts for constipation. (2018).