Symptoms

An excess of trapped wind can create:

  • stomach cramps
  • burping
  • bloating
  • flatulence
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • pain when bending over, lying down or with physical exercise

Causes

  • Some foods can pass to the large intestine without being completely digested leading to gas production, such as:
    • baked beans
    • butter beans
    • lentils
    • starchy foods (such as pasta and potatoes)
  • Fizzy drinks contain carbon dioxide which adds to the overall level of gas in the body
  • Having meals at irregular times (too late in the day), eating too fast or foods that are high in fat can contribute to trapped wind (and indigestion and/or heartburn)
  • Re-heated starchy food can be more difficult to digest, which can lead to your digestive system producing more gas
  • High pressure on the stomach, such as excess weight, increases the risk of trapped wind (and indigestion and/or heartburn)
  • Taking antibiotics can disrupt the bacteria in the digestive system causing it to produce more gas than usual
  • Stress is also thought to be a potential trigger for bloating

If you regularly experience bloating, it could be due to:

  • trapped wind
  • constipation
  • swallowing air (from talking while eating etc.)
  • food intolerance
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • menopause

Describing the symptoms

There are many words different people use to describe the symptoms of bloating, such as:

Stomach pain, stomach cramps, tummy ache, or pain in the abdomen

These symptoms are often to do with trapped wind, however, anyone experiencing persistent or regular episodes of stomach pain should contact their GP.

Burping and belching

Wind or gas that is forced out of the mouth from the digestive system, usually with an embarrassing sound and sometimes an odour can be a sign of trapped wind or indigestion.

Gas, passing wind, flatulence, and farting

Passing wind or gas from the digestive system out of the back passage is a normal biological process. It can be embarrassing when accompanied by a noise and/or an unpleasant smell. Excessive flatulence can be due to an underlying health problem which affects the digestive system, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Heartburn, acid reflux

Heartburn, a burning chest pain or discomfort that occurs after eating, can accompany bloating and indigestion.

Indigestion

Indigestion can accompany bloating and heartburn and also refers to pain or discomfort in your chest or stomach, usually after eating or drinking.