What if you get wind?

What is wind?

Wind, flatulence or farting is the release of intestinal gas through your stoma.

What can cause wind?

  • Swallowing air whilst eating or talking.
  • Fermentation of food by bacteria, a natural process of digestion.
  • Some food and drinks.
  • Some laxatives.
  • Long periods without food.
  • Smoking.

Hints and tips

  • Eat regularly.
  • Don’t eat and drink at the same time.
  • Don’t talk and eat at the same time.
  • Try not to smoke.
  • Don’t chew gum.
  • Sit down to enjoy your food in a relaxed and calm environment.
  • Try not to eat large meals late in the evening.

The foods and drinks listed below are some of the most common wind causing culprits, and you may wish to limit your intake of these.

  • Green beans, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, sprouts.
  • Parsnips, turnips.
  • Baked beans, peas, sweetcorn.
  • Onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber.
  • Some fresh or dried fruits such as banana, apricots etc.
  • Eggs.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Foods high in insoluble fibre.
  • Grains.
  • Fizzy drinks, beer and lager.

Introduce any of the these foods and drinks into your diet gradually. Not everything listed will cause you to have wind problems. Keep a food diary to identify the foods or drinks that could be causing you to have an increased amount of wind. The food and drink listed below can help you avoid wind.

  • Peppermint tea or peppermint oil in hot water.
  • Fennel to eat or drink.
  • Cinnamon to eat or drink (but not if you are pregnant).
  • Charcoal tablets or biscuits.
  • Probiotic yogurts or drinks.
  • Always drink plenty of water.

If you have been prescribed laxatives do not stop taking them without first discussing it with your doctor or stoma care nurse.

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