Yoga poses like child's pose can help with gas and IBS symptoms.
Yoga poses like child’s pose can help with gas and IBS symptoms.

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  • Home remedies to get rid of gas include taking probiotics, exercising, using peppermint oil capsules, and applying heat.

  • Gas happens when partially digested foods ferment in your large intestine and produce air bubbles, which come out as gas.

  • Yoga poses like child’s pose and seated twist can also help you relieve gas.

  • This article was medically reviewed by Rudolph Bedford, MD, a gastroenterologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Gas is a normal part of how your digestive system functions. In fact, most people pass gas around 14 times per day. But in some cases, too much gas can build up in your intestines and you may experience bloating or have stomach cramping

Most of the time, gas will clear up without treatment, but if you’re looking for faster relief there are several methods you can try at home to ease your symptoms. Here are some of the science-backed methods to relieve gas.

How do you get gas? 

There are three main ways that gas enters your digestive system:

  1. Basic digestion: Gas is created when the bacteria that live in your large intestine break down certain foods. Carbohydrates, in particular,  take longer to break down and can reach your large intestine without being fully digested. These partially digested foods sit in your large intestine and go through a fermentation process that produces air bubbles, which come out as gas. 

  2. Swallowing air: Gas can also get into your digestive tract when you swallow air while eating and drinking. You may swallow even more air than normal while chewing gum, drinking carbonated drinks like soda, or smoking.

  3. Food intolerance: You may also have more trouble with gas if you have any type of food intolerance, says Kyle Staller, MD, MPH, Director of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Motility Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “A good example of this is when people have lactose intolerance,” Staller says. “Part of the milk sugar doesn’t get completely absorbed so it is happily used by bacteria to make gas.”

In some cases, gas may pass out of your system with no issue, but if you are struggling with bloating or gas pain, you can try one of the methods below for relief.

1. Take probiotics

Probiotics can help reduce gas and relieve stomach discomfort from excess gas. Though not all probiotics are created equal.

“There are so many different types of probiotics that it can be difficult to identify the right product for the right person,” Staller says. However, research indicates that the strain Bifidobacterium could be useful.

In a small study published in 2020 in Nutrients, researchers tested 63 healthy individuals. For the first three days, the participants consumed a high fiber diet to induce gas. Then for the next 28 days, they added a half cup of probiotic milk product containing Bifidobacterium animalis twice per day with their regular diet. They then ingested the same high fiber diet for three days at the end of the study.

Results showed that after four weeks of the probiotic food, participants had a much less severe reaction to the high fiber diet, feeling less bloated and passing gas fewer times during the day.

Stellar agrees that for people wanting relief from excess gas, probiotics containing Bifidobacterium are likely to be the most effective.

2. Get exercise

Research shows that exercise can help decrease the feeling of being bloated. This is because when your exercise, your intestines are stimulated to move gas more quickly through your digestive system.

Some of the most effective exercises to help relieve gas include:

  • Lying on your back and moving your legs in a bicycle motion through the air.

  • Taking a short walk after eating.

  • Certain yoga poses may help you pass gas and relieve your symptoms. More research is needed, but studies show that yoga can help with some irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Two examples of gas relieving poses are:

  • Child’s pose: 

  • Start by kneeling on the floor with your big toes touching behind you and your knees about hip’s width apart. 

  • Sit back onto your heels and fold forward over your knees, letting your head drop. 

  • Reach your arms forward to place your hands on the floor

  • Seated twist: 

  • Start by sitting on the floor with your right leg bent in a cross-legged position. 

  • Cross your left leg over your right knee and place your foot on the floor so your left knee points upward. 

  • Gently turn your body toward the left side and hook your right elbow on the outside of your left knee. 

  • Repeat on the opposite side.

  • You can find a more comprehensive guide to helpful yoga poses for digestion here

3. Try peppermint oil

There is evidence that peppermint oil can improve symptoms of IBS, like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and excess gas. This is because peppermint has antispasmodic qualities, meaning that it stops your colon from having involuntary muscle contractions that can contribute to  gastrointestinal distress.

A review published in 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that across 9 studies, IBS patients who took peppermint oil saw a significant improvement in their stomach pains, compared with other participants.

You can get peppermint oil in capsules and take one about an hour before eating a meal. 

4. Apply heat

There is evidence that using a heating pad can help treat stomach pain caused by gas. Researchers at University College London found that placing a heating pad of 104 degrees Fahrenheit on your stomach can help relieve pain for up to an hour. This is because when your body “switches on” heat receptors, some of your pain receptors are deactivated, which works similar to a numbing agent [if true].

Though this study did not evaluate gas pain specifically, Staller says that, “many of my patients with excess gas and bloating do feel better when placing a heating pad against their abdomen.”

The bottom line

The uncomfortable symptoms of excess gas can often be treated using home remedies. But if you find yourself having bloating or gas pains regularly, you should contact your doctor to discuss making changes to your diet and to make sure there is no serious underlying cause of your symptoms.

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