If you have wind

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

Pelvic radiotherapy (to the lower tummy area) can cause wind. This is because the pelvic floor muscles can become weaker. Some types of bowel surgery may cause problems with wind. Constipation and some types of medicines can also cause wind. If you find wind difficult to cope with, talk to your doctor or specialist nurse. If passing wind becomes painful, tell your doctor.

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 and pulses, 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. You can sweeten this with sugar. Or you could try peppermint tea.
  • You could try taking charcoal tablets, which you can buy from the chemist.
  • Gentle exercise, especially walking, can improve wind.
  • Try to ensure you have a poo regularly – wind can be a sign of constipation.
  • Your GP can prescribe peppermint oil capsules that may help.

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