If you have wind

How to cope with wind

The amount of wind we produce depends on how healthy bacteria and digestive enzymes in our bowel combine with the foods we eat.

After radiotherapy, some people have more wind because their pelvic floor muscles are weaker. Pelvic radiotherapy may also cause an overgrowth of healthy bacteria in the small bowel, which can cause wind. Some types of bowel surgery may result in problems with wind. It can also be caused by constipation and some medicines. If you find the wind difficult to cope with, talk to your doctor or specialist nurse. If passing wind becomes painful, tell your doctor.

Here are some helpful tips for coping with wind:

  • Eat and drink slowly. Take small mouthfuls and chew your food well.
  • Avoid food that you think gives you wind. Beans, pickles and fizzy drinks commonly cause problems.
  • A popular natural remedy is to drink two teaspoons of peppermint water dissolved in a small cup of hot water. This can be sweetened with sugar.
  • You could try taking charcoal tablets, which you can buy in the chemist.
  • Gentle exercise, especially walking, can bring some relief.
  • Try to ensure your bowels are opening regularly – wind can be a sign of constipation.
  • Your GP can prescribe peppermint oil capsules that may help.