While it might sometimes be embarrassing, passing gas is a normal bodily function and just another part of the digestive process.
On average, we pass gas between 5-15 times a day. Whether passed as a burp or flatulence, this usually happens when we swallow a small amount of air when eating or when the digestive system breaks down our food.1
However, there can be times when we are excessively gassy. Passing more gas than usual can become tricky to manage, especially in social situations, and might become a real worry. If you’re wondering how to stop being gassy, we’ve got everything you need to know below.
Reasons you might be gassy
Like we mentioned above, passing gas is a normal part of life. However, being extra gassy could be down to an extensive range of reasons. Remember, everyone is different and what’s normal for you might be different for someone else.2
Some causes of excessive gas might include3:
- Swallowing air when eating, chewing gum, or smoking
- Changes in your diet, especially more cruciferous vegetables and carbs
- Health conditions, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, intolerances, or stomach illnesses
- Anxiety or stress
Provided your gassiness isn’t a symptom of a health condition, passing excessive gas isn’t usually a serious problem. However, it can affect your quality of life and may become embarrassing if you find it difficult to control.4
How to stop being gassy
Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop being gassy.
The first step is to decide what the root cause of your gassiness could be. Monitor your symptoms over time and make a note of particular foods or triggers that influence your flatulence. Dietary changes often make the most difference, although there is a range of other options you could try too.5
These might include6,7:
- Eating smaller meals more regularly
- Reducing the speed of eating
- Increasing exercise
- Drinking peppermint tea
- Cutting back on gas-producing food
- Reducing your intake of carbonated drinks
- Cutting out gum
- Quitting smoking
- Taking activated charcoal tablets
If you can’t find a reason for your symptoms or making changes to your lifestyle doesn’t work, it could be worth investigating further.
When to see a doctor about being gassy
While passing excessive gas is usually not a severe problem, it still might be worth going to see your doctor if you are concerned. If you find that your symptoms are painful, persistent, or severe, you should speak to your medical professional to find out more.
You should also monitor other symptoms, like weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, or blood in your stool. These all could be a sign of an underlying health condition, so it will be essential to get medical advice from your doctor.8
Last updated: 19 March 2021
Author: Bhupesh Panchal
Joined Holland & Barrett: April 2019
Qualifications: Masters Degree in Toxicology, BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry
Bhupesh started his career as a clinical toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products. After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
Bhupesh specialises in vitamins & minerals nutrition, health benefits & safety of botanicals and traditional herbal medicines.
In his spare time, Bhupesh likes to cycle and has been learning to speak Korean for several years.
Author: Bhupesh Panchal