Severe flatulence: causes and treatment

Starke Blähungen: Ursachen und Behandlung

Let's be honest, we all know this uncomfortable feeling. Strong flatulence to contend with. Sometimes after eating, sometimes because you ate something that caused bloating, and maybe you've had bloating for a while without knowing where it's actually coming from. You are definitely not alone with this problem.

Severe flatulence can have different causes. For example, certain foods can be the cause of severe flatulence. But there are treatments that you can use.

Both medicinally and with resources that you probably have available at home. In addition, severe flatulence can also often occur in pregnant women or even babies. How you can best solve these and the previously mentioned problems can be found in our following guide.

the essentials in brief

  • Excessive bloating is common and, in most cases, not a cause for concern. Pregnant women and babies also often have to struggle with flatulence, because the probability that too much air is created in the intestines is quite high for those affected.
  • Wrong eating habits are the main cause of severe flatulence. In some cases, chronic intestinal problems, such as a narrowing of the intestines, can also lead to chronic flatulence.
  • However, these can be alleviated and prevented both with medication and with certain home remedies. Do without or eat less foods rich in fiber and protein, such as legumes, whole grains or nuts. Over time, eating too much of this kind of food can lead to severe flatulence.

Definition: What is flatulence?

Flatulence (also known as meteorism) is the purely subjective sensation of a bloated stomach or abdomen.(1) This so-called bloated stomach occurs when there is too much air in the intestines. This can occur in connection with food intake or by swallowing too much air, for example when eating too frantically.(2)

woman has stomach ache

A bloated stomach is caused by too much air or gas in the intestines. The sensation causes an uncomfortable feeling of bloating in most people. (Image source: Anastasia Gepp / Pixabay)

However, there are also certain foods that promote gas formation. Gas in the gut can also develop in some people because they contain many gas-forming bacteria in the gut. That is, in some cases, the breakdown of food components in our gut is dependent on our gut flora.(3)

Background: What you should know about severe flatulence

Before we help you find the best remedies for severe flatulence, we first want to explain where severe flatulence comes from and how it manifests itself. For this purpose we have answered the most frequently asked questions in a few paragraphs in order to ultimately get a good overview of the problem.

What are the causes of severe flatulence?

As already mentioned, flatulence usually occurs when too much gas builds up in the intestines during digestion. It can sometimes lead to an uncomfortable feeling or pain, since the drainage could be prevented. Aside from poor dietary habits, intestinal conditions such as a narrowing of the intestines or an abnormally long colon can also lead to severe gas and bloating.(4)

The main cause for most people is poor eating habits.

In healthy people, diet is the main cause of bloating. Digestion can also be influenced by psychological stress. Severe flatulence can actually also be caused by psychological factors such as stress, depression or anxiety.(5)

What are the symptoms?

Those who suffer from flatulence usually have to contend with cramping pain and rumbling in the lower abdomen in addition to increased "air leakage" from the intestine. There is often a feeling of fullness, intestinal noises, heartburn and frequent belching.

onions and garlic

Raw onions and garlic are known causes of bloating, but not everyone does. (Image source: Robert Owen-Wahl / Pixabay)

The stomach feels uncomfortably bloated and tense. Occasionally there are other digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation or nausea. All these symptoms eventually lead to a general malaise. In addition, most sufferers feel embarrassed about flatulence.(6)

Which foods cause severe flatulence?

Many foods can be the cause of severe flatulence. The best known are legumes, onions and garlic. However, there are many more that promote annoying flatulence. These include:

  • beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Meat
  • milk
  • eggs
  • Nuts, such as walnuts or peanuts
  • cabbage
  • unripe fruit
  • Whole grain bread
  • linseed
  • Leek
  • Fast food
  • Coffee
  • Fatty sweets
  • raw food
  • Fizzy Drinks (7)
  • Excess of protein foods (8)

How can severe flatulence be treated?

If the symptoms of severe flatulence can be traced back to a medical condition, it must be examined and treated urgently by a doctor. In most cases, bloating is harmless and the doctor should tell those affected. Because chronic flatulence is often accompanied by the fear that those affected are suffering from a serious illness.

Medicines are used for very stubborn flatulence. Medicines recommended by doctors and pharmacists here are simeticon (e.g. Lefax) or butylscopolamine (e.g. Buscopan®). However, it must be mentioned here that taking it too often can also lead to flatulence.(9)

However, there are a few ways you can do it yourself:

Avoid foods that cause gas

Avoid overeating on foods that cause gas, such as onions, garlic, cabbage, beans, or fruits like berries or cherries. Instead, you can find out more about fruit with little sugar in our guide and fall back on it. Drinks such as mineral water, beer or sparkling wine should also be avoided as they contain a lot of carbon dioxide.(9)

Avoid swallowing air

Eat with relish and in peace, without cramming everything into yourself hectically and quickly, because that only promotes an unnecessary air intake in the stomach. Otherwise, try eating several small meals and going for a walk after meals when you can digest your food.(9)


The wonderfully versatile hot water bottle can also help with flatulence. It can help to relax the intestines and relieve flatulence accordingly. Some other tips could be doing gentle circular abdominal massages or lying on your back and pulling both legs to your chest. Try this. These simple methods can work wonders.(9)

herbal teas

If you are struggling with acute flatulence, some herbal teas can provide relief. Probably the most famous type of tea here is peppermint. But tea infusions with caraway, fennel, anise or ginger can also relieve your pain.(9)

What can you do against severe flatulence during pregnancy?

Bloating is also a common problem during pregnancy and causes problems for many pregnant women. Due to the corpus luteum hormone progesterone, more intestinal gases are formed and make the intestine more sluggish. However, the intestine can be treated with natural remedies.(10)

Severe flatulence during pregnancy is normal and can be treated with a few tips and tricks.

Avoid foods like onions, legumes, and prunes during pregnancy to prevent bloating. Try to move a lot to get your digestion going. It can also help to wear clothes that fit loosely, especially during mealtimes. This will prevent your stomach from being squeezed, which will allow digestion to work better.

Herbal teas can also have a calming effect on flatulence during pregnancy. Cumin or fennel tea have a relaxing effect. But heat, such as a heat pad or a warm bath, can also relieve flatulence during pregnancy. However, the water temperature should not exceed 39 degrees. Finally, we recommend talking to your doctor about other remedies that may be right for you.(11)

How to reduce bloating in babies?

In the first few months of the baby's life, flatulence can often occur. These are also caused by too much air in the intestine. It is possible that the disruptive gases form in large quantities as a result of breakdown or conversion processes in the gastrointestinal tract, or that the baby swallows too much air when drinking.

baby while sleeping

Babies also often suffer from severe flatulence. However, you can fix this problem with some simple home remedies. (Cheryl Holt / Pixabay)

The air then often accumulates in the baby's intestines because the body was not able to eliminate the accumulation of air fast enough. You can also solve this problem yourself. Some home remedies you can use include:

  • Warmth from a warm bath or warm pads
  • Abdominal massage by gently stroking clockwise around the navel; or with oils containing digestive agents such as fennel, anise or cumin
  • "Release air" by slowly pushing your legs up towards your upper body (squat position)
  • Aviator hold by positioning the baby lying down on the forearm and the hand grasps one thigh with the head pointing towards the crook of the elbow
  • Teas made from fennel, anise or caraway

And if home remedies don't help either, you can get medication from the pharmacy. Caraway suppositories, defoamers (simethicone) or homeopathy can relieve your baby's flatulence.(12)

Severe flatulence: The 5 best home remedies for severe flatulence

Now that you have an overview of what causes, symptoms and treatment methods can be used, there are additional remedies that you can most likely find in your household.

In the following we would like to introduce you to these home remedies so that you are well informed about what could help you.


Ginger has long had digestive benefits, relieving gas and the feeling of a full stomach.(13)


The bitter substances contained in sage are beneficial for the stomach and intestines. Heavy food can be digested well because sage stimulates the production of digestive juices. Sage also helps against diarrhea.(14)


Although rosemary is a well-known spice, it is also suitable for gastrointestinal complaints. You can use rosemary as a tea, juice, or oil to relieve gas.(15)

Caraway seeds

Caraway is traditionally used to treat digestive problems such as flatulence, mild abdominal cramps and a feeling of fullness. While this hasn't been scientifically proven, many people have long reported that cumin can relieve their digestive problems. In addition, at least laboratory tests and some studies show that caraway seed oil can relax the smooth muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.(16)

aloe vera

Aloe is a homeopathic gastrointestinal remedy and is used in the form of plant juices from certain types of aloe on the gastrointestinal system. Juice can be obtained from the aloe vera plant, which you can get at the pharmacy if you don't have the plant at home.

With a daily intake of 20 milliliters, you can stimulate your digestion and alleviate and prevent flatulence. If the juice causes you diarrhea, reduce the dose to 10 milliliters. And it's best to get advice on this from the pharmacy.(17)


Severe flatulence is usually not a cause for concern. They occur when there is too much gas in the intestines. For most people, the main trigger is diet, because an excess of certain foods can lead to severe flatulence. A high-fiber or protein-rich diet can, among other things, cause severe flatulence in the long term.

Pregnant women and babies are also often prone to bloating, but again, there are many foods and methods you can use to counteract and relieve bloating. Above all, heat, herbal teas and medicinal plants in various forms are well-known and effective treatments for severe flatulence. In the case of chronic flatulence, however, we recommend that you consult a doctor, because the doctor knows best about your individual needs.


  1. Harder, Hermann, Harder-Hernando, Ana C. and Singer, V.Manfred (2005): Meteorism - causes and targeted therapeutic approaches Source
  2. Editorial team PraxisVITA (2021): How does flatulence develop? Source
  3. Arens, Mari, Practice Doniec Birkner Heits Source
  4. German Family Insurance (2019): Bloating Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Source
  5. Kahle, Charly (2019): Flatulence (Meteorism) Source
  6. DAK Health: Bloating-How to Get Relief Source
  7. Baumann, Sarah, Preuk, Monika (2021): Bloating food peanuts, leeks, eggs & Co. Source
  8. Neutsch, Juliane (2020): Flatulence due to too much protein causes and tips Source
  9. dr medical Arne Schäffler, Dr. Bernadette Andre-Wallis (2014): Flatulence Source
  10. Pharmacy review: bloating, air in the stomach causes Source
  11. PraxisVITA editors: What to do if you have flatulence during pregnancy? Source
  12. Dr. Wendler, Nicole (2018): Flatulence in babies Source
  13. Dr. Martina Melzer (2019): With ginger against pain and nausea Source
  14. Lindert, Julia (2019): Sage - natural power against indigestion Source
  15. Prof. Dr. Schilcher: Rosemary for flatulence, stomach upset and Co. Source
  16. dr Martina Melzer (2020): Caraway helpful against flatulence Source
  17. Editorial team PraxisVITA, Trautmann, Mona (2019): The best home remedies for flatulence Source
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