Help if you’re passing wind more often than usual and finding it uncomfortable

Passing wind is a normal bodily function – on average, people pass wind about 15–25 times a day. If you find you’re passing wind more often than usual, this may be caused by:

  • Pelvic radiotherapy affecting your bowel
  • Bowel surgery
  • Constipation
  • Certain medications
  • Your cancer stopping you from digesting and absorbing your food properly (malabsorption)

What can help?

Foods to avoid

Some people find that these foods can cause wind so you might want to consider whether these foods affect you. If they do, try avoiding them or reducing the amount you eat:

  • Beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, sweetcorn, cauliflower, onions
  • Pickles
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Some artificial sweeteners, including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol

Other tips

  • Try to eat little and often. Chewing your food well and sipping slowly may also help.
  • You could try common remedies such as peppermint water, capsules or tea, fennel tea and baby’s gripewater.
  • Gentle exercise could help to get your bowel moving.
  • The advice on managing constipation might also help.

Tell your doctor if passing wind becomes painful or if symptoms don’t get better.