What is flatulence
About half a liter of gas circulates in the intestines of a healthy person per day. These are hydrogen and methane, which are formed as a result of the breakdown of food, carbon monoxide is the result of the interaction of the secretion of the pancreas and gastric juice, and the air that is swallowed with food. During normal operation of the gastrointestinal tract, gases are removed from the body, but sometimes they accumulate in the intestines, causing discomfort. Most often, the stomach increases in volume, a feeling of fullness appears, sometimes flatulence is accompanied by pulling pains or colic. In addition, a swollen belly can put pressure on the diaphragm, which leads to unpleasant sensations in the chest, shortness of breath, and even tachycardia.
Why flatulence occurs
1. Food is one of the main factors provoking bloating. Some products enhance the fermentation processes in the body, as a result of which gases are formed faster and in a larger volume (about these products – below). A protein diet and a fair amount of fiber-rich foods can also cause flatulence if you don’t follow the water regime.
2. In women, flatulence can occur during PMS – due to an increased level of progesterone, which relaxes the smooth muscles of the internal organs, including the intestines, which slows down the movement of food and the removal of gases from the gastrointestinal tract (this is called the “passage of flatulence”).
3. Intestinal infections, the same rotavirus, or a violation of the intestinal microflora (for example, due to foreign bacteria entering the gastrointestinal tract) are also quite common causes of bloating.
4. Finally, flatulence can be one of the symptoms of numerous diseases of the digestive system: gastritis, colitis, cholecystitis, thrombosis of the intestinal wall, Crohn’s disease and others.
What foods cause flatulence
Legumes, sweets, chips, semolina, starchy foods, fruits and vegetables – all this contains a large amount of sugars (fructose, sucrose, raffinose), which are resistant to digestive enzymes of the intestine. They are slowly digested and, as a result, create a favorable environment for the reproduction of bacteria, which produce methane, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.
Fatty foods, sausages, meat, canned food – everything that is digested for a long time and, accordingly, is longer in the digestive tract, provokes the processes of fermentation and gas formation.
Carbonated drinks (water with natural mineralization is an exception), especially those with a lot of sugar. “The liquid is absorbed quite quickly in the digestive tract, and the carbon dioxide with which it was aerated remains, which also causes bloating.”
What to do if you have bloating?
Take the examination. “With constant bloating, you first need to check the condition of the mucous membranes of the stomach and colon, as well as the intestinal microflora. Many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract can provoke increased gas formation. For example, if the inflammatory process is localized in the stomach or in the duodenum, for example, with peptic ulcer, then peristalsis weakens, all products are in the stomach longer than usual, and the fermentation process begins, which contributes to an increase in the amount of gas in the digestive tract. ”
Drink more water. “It is better to start in the morning: immediately after waking up, drink a glass of cool water. This activates the motility of the digestive tract and prepares it for eating. During the day you can drink water at any time – up to two liters per day. Contrary to popular belief, it does not slow down the digestion process – on the contrary, a glass of water before eating also starts the entire digestive chain and also fills the stomach, avoiding overeating. ”
Reduce the number of provocateurs. This applies primarily to raw vegetables and fruits. “With minimal inflammation (it can be accompanied, for example, by heartburn, which we often do not pay attention to), a large amount of fiber causes active gas formation. Therefore, vegetables are best eaten in processed form – ideally stewed. If a person is healthy and the microflora of the colon is in order, raw vegetables, on the contrary, are useful: dietary fiber perfectly stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and promotes peristalsis. ”
Call a doctor or an ambulance: if bloating has not passed within 72 hours and the condition worsens – diarrhea, vomiting, plaque on the tongue, acute pain appear – you should immediately consult a doctor.