Practical tips to reduce bloating, belching and gas (2023)

Belching, gas and bloating: Tips for reducing them

Belching, gas and bloating can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Here's what causes these signs and symptoms — and how you can minimize them.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Belching or passing gas (flatus) is natural and common. Excessive belching or flatus, accompanied by bloating, pain or swelling of the abdomen (distention), can occasionally interfere with daily activities or cause embarrassment. But these signs and symptoms usually don't point to a serious underlying condition and are often reduced with simple lifestyle changes.

When belching, gas or bloating interferes with your daily activities, there may be something wrong. Find out how to reduce or avoid gas and gas pains, and when you may need to see your doctor.

Belching: Getting rid of excess air

Belching is commonly known as burping. It's your body's way of expelling excess air from your upper digestive tract. Most belching is caused by swallowing excess air. This air most often never even reaches the stomach but accumulates in the esophagus.

You may swallow excess air if you eat or drink too fast, talk while you eat, chew gum, suck on hard candies, drink carbonated beverages, or smoke. Some people swallow air as a nervous habit even when they're not eating or drinking.

(Video) Why am I bloated and gassy a lot?

Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can sometimes cause excessive belching by promoting increased swallowing.

Chronic belching may also be related to inflammation of the stomach lining or to an infection with Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium responsible for some stomach ulcers. In these cases, the belching is accompanied by other symptoms, such as heartburn or abdominal pain.

You can reduce belching if you:

  • Eat and drink slowly. Taking your time can help you swallow less air. Try to make meals relaxed occasions; eating when you're stressed or on the run increases the air you swallow.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks and beer. They release carbon dioxide gas.
  • Skip the gum and hard candy. When you chew gum or suck on hard candy, you swallow more often than normal. Part of what you're swallowing is air.
  • Don't smoke. When you inhale smoke, you also inhale and swallow air.
  • Check your dentures. Poorly fitting dentures can cause you to swallow excess air when you eat and drink.
  • Get moving. It may help to take a short walk after eating.
  • Treat heartburn. For occasional, mild heartburn, over-the-counter antacids or other remedies may be helpful. GERD may require prescription-strength medication or other treatments.

Flatulence: Gas buildup in the intestines

Gas in the small intestine or colon is typically caused by the digestion or fermentation of undigested food by bacteria found in the bowel. Gas can also form when your digestive system doesn't completely break down certain components in foods, such as gluten, found in most grains, or the sugar in dairy products and fruit.

Other sources of intestinal gas may include:

  • Food residue in your colon
  • A change in the bacteria in the small intestine
  • Poor absorption of carbohydrates, which can upset the balance of helpful bacteria in your digestive system
  • Constipation, since the longer food waste remains in your colon, the more time it has to ferment
  • A digestive disorder, such as lactose or fructose intolerance or celiac disease

To prevent excess gas, it may help to:

  • Eliminate certain foods. Common gas-causing offenders include beans, peas, lentils, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, whole-grain foods, mushrooms, certain fruits, and beer and other carbonated drinks. Try removing one food at a time to see if your gas improves.
  • Read labels. If dairy products seem to be a problem, you may have some degree of lactose intolerance. Pay attention to what you eat and try low-lactose or lactose-free varieties. Certain indigestible carbohydrates found in sugar-free foods (sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol) also may result in increased gas.
  • Eat fewer fatty foods. Fat slows digestion, giving food more time to ferment.
  • Temporarily cut back on high-fiber foods. Fiber has many benefits, but many high-fiber foods are also great gas producers. After a break, slowly add fiber back to your diet.
  • Try an over-the-counter remedy. Some products such as Lactaid or Dairy Ease can help digest lactose. Products containing simethicone (Gas-X, Mylanta Gas, others) haven't been proved to be helpful, but many people feel that these products work.

    Products such as Beano, particularly the liquid form, may decrease the gas produced during the breakdown of certain types of beans.

    (Video) 4 Ways to Battle Bloating

Bloating: Common but incompletely understood

Bloating is a sensation of having a full stomach. Distension is a visible or measurable increase in abdominal size. People often describe abdominal symptoms as bloating, especially if those symptoms don't seem to be relieved by belching, passing gas or having a bowel movement.

The exact connection between intestinal gas and bloating is not fully understood. Many people with bloating symptoms don't have any more gas in the intestine than do other people. Many people, particularly those with irritable bowel syndrome or anxiety, may have a greater sensitivity to abdominal symptoms and intestinal gas, rather than an excess amount.

Nonetheless, bloating may be relieved by the behavioral changes that reduce belching, or the dietary changes that reduce flatus.

When to see your doctor

Excessive belching, passing gas and bloating often resolve on their own or with simple changes. If these are the only symptoms you have, they rarely represent any serious underlying condition.

Consult your doctor if your symptoms don't improve with simple changes, particularly if you also notice:

  • Diarrhea
  • Persistent or severe abdominal pain
  • Bloody stools
  • Changes in the color or frequency of stools
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Chest discomfort
  • Loss of appetite or feeling full quickly

These signs and symptoms could signal an underlying digestive condition. Intestinal symptoms can be embarrassing — but don't let embarrassment keep you from seeking help.

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Jan. 06, 2022

  1. Gas in the digestive tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed Jan. 8, 2020.
  2. Abraczinskas D. Overview of intestinal gas and bloating. Accessed Jan. 8, 2020.
  3. Gas-related complaints. Merck Manual Professional Version. complaints#. Accessed Jan. 8, 2020.
  4. Feldman M, et al. Intestinal gas. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2016. Accessed Jan. 8, 2020.
  5. Cameron P, et al., eds. Peptic ulcer disease and gastritis. In: Textbook of Adult Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Elsevier; 2020. Accessed Jan. 9, 2020.
  6. Rowland I, et al. Gut microbiota functions: Metabolism of nutrients and other food components. European Journal of Nutrition. 2018; doi:10.1007/s00394-017-1445-8.

See more In-depth

See also

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Beating Ovarian Cancer
  3. Blastocystis hominis
  4. CA 125 test: A screening test for ovarian cancer?
  5. Celiac disease
  6. Cholecystitis
  7. Colon cancer
  8. Colon Cancer Family Registry
  9. Colon cancer screening: At what age can you stop?
  10. Colon cancer screening
  11. Colorectal Cancer
  12. Diabetic Gastroparesis
  13. Diarrhea
  14. Diverticulitis
  15. Endometriosis
  16. What is endometriosis? A Mayo Clinic expert explains
  17. Endometriosis FAQs
  18. Fecal incontinence
  19. Feeling gassy and a little embarrassed?
  20. Functional dyspepsia
  21. Gas and gas pains
  22. Gastroparesis
  23. GI Stents
  24. Giardia infection (giardiasis)
  25. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection
  26. Hiatal hernia
  27. Hirschsprung's disease
  28. Indigestion
  29. Intestinal ischemia
  30. Irritable bowel syndrome
  31. Lactose intolerance
  32. Median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS)
  33. Living with an ostomy
  34. Ovarian cancer
  35. Ovarian cancer: Still possible after hysterectomy?
  36. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
  37. Pap test: Can it detect ovarian cancer?
  38. Peritonitis
  39. Polycythemia vera
  40. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  41. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  42. Spastic colon: What does it mean?
  43. Symptom Checker
  44. Traveler's diarrhea
  45. How irritable bowel syndrome affects you


(Video) How to get rid of bloated stomach and remedies to stop bloating #shorts


Practical tips to reduce bloating, belching and gas? ›

Ginger. Ginger helps reduce fermentation in the stomach, which may relieve gas and bloating.2 You can drink ginger as a tea or take ginger supplements. The best way to consume ginger is in your food. Try adding it to savory dishes, or eat slices of pickled ginger.

How do you get rid of gas bloating and burping? ›

Beat The Bloat
  1. Eat slowly, and consume smaller, more frequent meals.
  2. Chew your foods well.
  3. Drink beverages at room temperature.
  4. Have your dentures checked for a good fit.
  5. Increase physical activity during the day.
  6. Sit up straight after eating.
  7. Take a stroll after eating.

What relieves gas and bloating fast? ›

Ginger. Ginger helps reduce fermentation in the stomach, which may relieve gas and bloating.2 You can drink ginger as a tea or take ginger supplements. The best way to consume ginger is in your food. Try adding it to savory dishes, or eat slices of pickled ginger.

Why do I burp so much gas and bloating? ›

Most of the time, one or more of these disorders—irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, or chronic constipation—are the cause of gas, bloating, and belching. Gas, bloating, and belching are not typical symptoms of cancer or other dangerous conditions, even if you also have abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation.

Why do I feel bloated all the time and my stomach enlarged? ›

Some people have a bloated stomach for a long period of time due to gastrointestinal tract disease, including gastritis, gastric ulcer, gastrointestinal or colorectal cancer, parasitic infection, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal dysfunction, and other system disorders such as thyroid and diabetes, which can ...

Does drinking water help with gas bloating? ›

One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce bloating is by drinking water. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help to flush out excess sodium and toxins in the body, which can contribute to bloating.

How do you release trapped gas? ›

Many home remedies can help prevent or release trapped gas.
  1. Let it out. Holding in gas can cause bloating, discomfort, and pain. ...
  2. Pass stool. A bowel movement can relieve gas. ...
  3. Eat slowly. ...
  4. Avoid chewing gum. ...
  5. Say no to straws. ...
  6. Quit smoking. ...
  7. Choose non-carbonated drinks. ...
  8. Eliminate trigger foods.
4 days ago

What is the home remedy for belching? ›

How to stop burping
  • Walk around or do light aerobics after eating. ...
  • Lie on your side or try a knees-to-chest position like the wind-relieving pose until the gas passes.
  • Take an antacid to neutralize stomach acid and prevent heartburn, which can cause burping. ...
  • Take an anti-gas medication like simethicone (Gas-X).

What is Meganblase syndrome? ›

Meganblase syndrome causes chronic belching. It is characterized by severe air swallowing and an enlarged bubble of gas in the stomach following heavy meals. Fullness and shortness of breath caused by this disorder may mimic a heart attack. Gas-bloat syndrome. Gas-bloat syndrome may occur after surgery to correct GERD.

What is a home remedy for burping gas? ›

Ways of making yourself burp include drinking fizzy drinks, moving around, chewing gum, swallowing air, and taking antacids. A person can also activate their gag reflex, but this should be a last resort.

What could be the cause of constant gas? ›

Causes of excessive farting

swallowing more air than usual. eating foods that are difficult to digest. conditions affecting the digestive system like indigestion or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) some medicines like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), statins and some laxatives.

Why do I have so much gas all of a sudden? ›

Too much upper intestinal gas can come from swallowing more than a usual amount of air. It also can come from overeating, smoking, chewing gum or having loose-fitting dentures. Too much lower intestinal gas can be caused by eating too much of certain foods or not being able to fully digest certain foods.


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