Gas can be embarrassing and extremely uncomfortable. And, if you happen to have gas, it’s understandable to want to fix the situation as soon as possible, or even sooner.
Get into the best posture for gas relief. While the best way to relieve gas discomfort is to do everything you can to avoid gas in the first place, there are certain movements that can help you feel better during gas attacks.
“Physical activity in general has been shown to aid in the clearance of intestinal gas, especially in patients with bloating,” said Lukasz Kwapisz, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
The basic idea, he explained, is that when you move, the gas moves faster in your body — and then leaves the place. OK, so what are these movements and poses to relieve gas? A gastroenterologist breaks down how to fart fast (and ease the discomfort).
Postures and movements to relieve gas
Once gas appears, there are a few things you can do to relieve it. Try these expert-approved moves.
“Walking removes gas,” said gastroenterologist Ellen Stein, MD, associate professor at Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine. “This is due to movement and movement of the legs — which helps move gas from the higher parts of the digestive tract to the rectum, where it can be released.”
Walking also “stimulates gastrointestinal motility,” says Randy Meisner, MD, a gastroenterologist at Spectrum Health. Meaning, it gets your gut muscles moving — which can help push gas out.
Lie down on your side
Sleeping on your side is a simple thing you can try at home, says Dr. Kwapisz. “We have about 15 feet of small intestine and 3 feet of large intestine encased in our belly,” he said. “That’s a lot of turns and twists that pack all of that inside of us.” Because of that, poop and gas can get trapped in some of those turns, he said.
“Laying on your side helps to allow gravity to work on one side of you and change the position of our bowels within the abdominal cavity,” says Dr. Kwapisz. He recommends lying on your side for 15 minutes, moving your knees up and down toward your chest a few times, then flipping to the other side to do the same.
Dr. Meissner says this is actually the act of moving the knee toward the chest. “It helps with excretion,” he explained. This movement helps stimulate the way you should poop and can also help push out gas. “It’s about letting your colon relax into a more natural position,” he said.
Try doing 15 squats at a comfortable pace and see what you can get.
Child’s Pose, if you’re not familiar, is a yoga pose where you kneel on the ground with your toes together, knees hip-width apart, and bend forward so that your torso is between your knees and your arms are stretched out in front of you.
“This helps relax the pelvic floor, the muscle network that holds everything,” Dr. Stein said. When you fart, your pelvic floor is involved in the process, and relaxing it can help ease things. Get into the pose and hold for about 30 seconds. Then, try again.
Another yoga pose, Pigeon Pose involves sitting on the ground and bending your right leg toward your left hand. Straighten your left leg behind you, lower your hips toward the ground, and keep your hips flat. If you can, lean forward and bend your torso over your right leg. Then, switch over and do the move on the other side.
“It also helps to relax your pelvic floor,” says Dr. Stein. And, ultimately, it helps the gas get out of your body. You can also try holding this movement for 30 seconds to a minute and see if it helps.
What causes gas?
Before we discuss gas-relieving postures, it’s important to understand what causes gas in the first place. Once you have this knowledge, you can do your best to reduce your risk of gas and have to deal with its consequences.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), gas typically enters your gastrointestinal tract when you swallow the air and bacteria in your large intestine break down undigested carbohydrates. The NIDDK states that the following foods are the biggest potential gas makers.
certain fruits, such as apples, peaches, and pears
vegetables, especially broccoli, cauliflower, canola, and kale
dairy products, such as milk, ice cream, and yogurt
whole grains, such as whole wheat
Beverages containing high fructose corn syrup
Candy, chewing gum, or other products that contain sweeteners ending in “-ol”, such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, erythritol, and maltitol.
This can lead to symptoms such as hiccups, bloating, and discharge.
When to see a doctor for gas problems
It must be noted that some gas is normal. “Everyone has gas, and everyone poops,” Dr. Stein said.
But when the gas interferes with your daily life, you can’t control it or hold it, and it’s painful, that’s a problem, she said. Dr. Meissner recommends reviewing your diet and eliminating foods that are known to cause gas (see our list above).
And, if that doesn’t help you get relief, it’s time to talk to your doctor. They can do a range of different tests to check for conditions such as celiac disease, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and food intolerances, Dr. Kwapisz said.
He added: “If there are concerns, I would definitely recommend seeing a doctor.