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Gas

Updated 04.04.2022
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Gas, also known as wind, farting or flatulence. Gas is normal, it happens when gas builds up in the digestive system. People pass wind an average of 15 times a day. If farting happens excessively, continuously, or is associated with a bloated feeling or tummy discomfort, it can be a sign of a more serious condition, but this is much less common.

How can I improve symptoms?

It might be a good idea to keep an eye on any changes in your diet or lifestyle by keeping a diary of things that you are eating and drinking, and link any patterns to your symptoms.  Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and making sure you take your time to chew and digest your food properly can be helpful. Exercising regularly helps improve your digestive system.  Try to avoid things that increase the amount of air you swallow such as smoking, drinking fizzy drinks and chewing gum. Peppermint tea and probiotics can be helpful in reducing your symptoms.

What foods cause gas?

Vegetables are common culprits, including broccoli, cauliflower, onions and Brussels sprouts. Other common causes are pulses like beans and lentils and dried fruit like raisins. Carbonated drinks, milk and beer can also cause flatulence.

What else causes gas?

Flatulence can be associated with a number of digestive issues such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, coeliac disease, reflux disease and lactose intolerance. It can be a side effect of certain medications such as laxatives or antifungal medicines. So, it is important to speak with your local pharmacist or doctor if you are on any medications that you think might be causing your symptoms.

When should I see my doctor?

If your symptoms are worrying you, or you have any more noticeable symptoms alongside your flatulence then you should speak with your doctor. These include symptoms like heartburn, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation or abdominal pain. Speak to your doctor urgently if there is any unintentional weight loss, blood in your stool, swollen tummy or changes in your bowel habits for more than six weeks.

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