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What Relieves Bloating Fast?

By 11th March 2024Bloating
What Relieves Bloating


Bloating is a common symptom of IBS and is rated as the most troubling symptom by 60% of those with IBS.

Bloating is also a gut symptom that can be present in the general population. This means that the other symptoms of IBS (pain and changes in bowel movements) don’t need to be present to experience bloating. [Source: PubMed]

Research also indicates that up to 30% of the general population experience bloating. 

For some, certain foods may trigger bloating and gas. For others, the bloating may be less predictable and appear without a clear reason. [Source: PubMed]

In both situations, ways to relieve bloating quickly can be important to improve symptoms. 

What causes bloating?

Bloating can be caused by several factors. These can be considered the underlying causes of this digestive symptom. 

When working to address and relieve bloating quickly, the underlying cause may alter the approach needed for a fast resolution.

3 main causes of bloating are commonly seen in the clinic.

  1. Microbiome imbalances
  2. Visceral hypersensitivity
  3. Constipation [Source: PubMed]

The Gut Microbiome and Bloating

Changes in the gut microbiome can lead to bloating. This can often be in the form of bloating that appears quickly after eating. This may be particularly true after eating higher FODMAP foods.

Due to the role the gut microbiome plays in digesting and fermenting foods, gut microbiome imbalances of overgrowths (eg SIBO) can lead to changes in the fermentation process. This can create more gas in the gut. [Source: PubMed]

Visceral Hypersensitivity and Bloating

Bloating can happen quickly after eating or develop gradually as the day progresses. While this can be due to changes in the gut microbiome, increased sensitivity of the nerves along the gut lining can also trigger bloating. This is referred to as visceral hypersensitivity.

Commonly with bloating, there is also distention. This refers to the fact that bloating is the sensation of increased pressure in the bowel, while distention in the increase is the size of the abdomen/belly.

What can indicate visceral hypersensitivity as a single underlying cause is the fact that bloating occurs in isolation. This means that there is the sensation of lots of gas and pressure, but the abdomen remains flat. [Source: PubMed]

However, commonly bloating and distention occur at the same time. [Source: PubMed]

Approaches to take into consideration when addressing visceral hypersensitivity include:

  • Peppermint and caraway oil [Source: PubMed
  • Probiotics [Source: PubMed]
  • Iberogast [Source: PubMed]
  • Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) [Source: PubMed]

Constipation and Bloating

Constipation can increase the sensation of bloating and gas. This can be due to the impaction of faeces (poo) in the bowel, leading to an increase in pressure in the gut.

It’s also possible for constipation to contribute to changes in the bacteria in the digestive tract, contributing to more gas being produced. 

For many, addressing constipation can improve bloating.

Considerations include:

  • Ensuring appropriate water intake
  • Considering introducing psyllium husks and prunes [Source: PubMed]
  • Probiotics to support bowel motility [Source: PubMed]
  • A SIBO breath test to assess methane levels [Source: PubMed]
  • A short-term low FODMAP diet to assess fibre tolerance [Source: PubMed]

What relieves bloating immediately?

When bloating appears there can be some methods that help to reduce the gas and calm the gut. 

While these can be helpful for many with these symptoms, some experimentation may be required to find the right approach.

  • Activated charcoal
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Simethicone
  • Iberogast
  • Peppermint Oil

While these approaches can help reduce symptoms of bloating when they appear, working to address the underlying cause of the boating can also be helpful over the long term.

Charcoal for Bloating

Various brands of activated charcoal can help to reduce bloating. This is due to the way charcoal can absorb gas and make it easier to expel from the body.

Charcoal is best taken at least 2 hours away from mealtimes due to its ability to also absorb nutrients. [Source: PubMed]

Digestive Enzymes for Bloating

Digestive enzymes help to provide additional support for the digestion of foods. These can be seen as providing more of the enzymes the gut naturally produces to provide more digestive capacity. [Source: PubMed]

Simethicone for Bloating

Simethicone is the active ingredient in products such as Wind-eze. This helps to break smaller gas bubbles down to make them easier to pass.

This can often be taken as required for bloating by following the dosing recommendation on the product label. [Source: NHS]

Iberogast for Bloating

Iberogast is no longer available in the UK, however, the combination of herbs in this product can help with bloating.

This can be due to the way it calms the nerves along the gut. For many with bloating, reducing this visceral hypersensitivity can reduce bloating and abdominal pressure.

Iberogast also contains herbs that support motility. This can support the movements of gas through the bowels. [Source: PubMed]

Peppermint Oil for Bloating

Peppermint oil has a range of beneficial properties that may be responsible for its ability to reduce bloating.

This can be due to:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Pain relieving
  • Antimicrobial [Source: PubMed]

Some of the research with the best clinical outcomes are when peppermint oil has been combined with caraway oil.

What drinks help with bloating?

Dehydration can lead to constipation which can be a cause or contributor to bloating. Therefore maintaining adequate levels of hydration is important for bowel regularity and avoiding bloating.

When bloating occurs, some drinks can be considered to help reduce this gut symptom.

The drinks that we find in the clinic to be most helpful include:

  • Apple cider vinegar, diluted in water
  • Fennel tea
  • Anise and caraway tea
  • Peppermint tea

These are often available as tea bags with several of these herbs in the same product.

In the case of fennel, these can be taken as seeds and made into tea (rather than using a packaged tea bag). 

It can also be helpful to chew fennel seeds following meals to help improve digestion and reduce bloating. [Source: PubMed]

What foods can debloat you?

When bloating is ongoing and appears to worsen after eating, assessing food reactions and tolerance can help to relieve bloating. 

While there are diets such as the low FODMAP diet that are commonly prescribed to reduce gut symptoms, for many these can be overly restrictive. 

This means that starting with removing the most common foods to trigger bloating can be the least restrictive approach.

  • The most common triggers include lactose-containing dairy products and wheat.

It is also possible to consider a short-term low FODMAP diet to assess for reactions and reduce bloating.

This can involve the removal of certain fruits, vegetables and grain.

High FODMAP foods include:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Apple
  • Wheat
  • Milk
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Beans and lentils

Low FODMAP foods include:

  • Tomato
  • Carrot 
  • Green beans
  • Parsnips
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Blueberries
  • Orange
  • Strawberry
  • Meats (chicken, beef, lamb)
  • Eggs
  • Melon [Source: PubMed]

Read more: Low FODMAP Diet Guide

Probiotics for Bloating 

A range of probiotics have been shown to help improve gut health and digestive symptoms such as bloating. There are also specific strains of probiotic bacteria that may be more effective.

These beneficial bacteria do not live in the gut, but they can support the body and the gut in ways that include:

  • Reducing gut inflammation
  • Lowering less beneficial bacteria
  • Improving the immune response
  • Supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria [Source: PubMed]

These factors can often be considered root causes that underlie bloating. Therefore, even without testing, this is why probiotics can be taken for patients with IBS and bloating symptoms. 

2 of the most commonly used strains of probiotic bacteria for bloating include:

  • L Rhamnosus GG [Source: PubMed]
  • L Plantarum 299V [Source: PubMed]


Several approaches can be used when bloating appears. These can help to reduce bloating via a combination of mechanisms. These include reducing gas production, helping with the elimination of gas and reducing the sensitivity of the gut lining.

While some of these approaches are only managing symptoms, rather than addressing the cause, they can be very helpful in the short term.

Alongside these short-term symptom management, other approaches work to address the underlying issue. This is where can be helpful to work with a registered gut health nutritional therapist who can guide and support you.