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Flatulence: More Than Just a Fart

Flatulence is uncomfortable, but mostly harmless. Simple tips and home remedies often help to keep intestinal gases under control. In some cases, however, clarification is necessary. Because it could be symptoms of an illness.

Updated on: April 28, 2020

Every bean a tune - beans are the classic for flatulence. After the pea stew, the stomach growls and feels hard. These are usually the first signs of flatulence. It is actually normal for there to be gases in the intestines. They arise during digestion. Flatulence is when there are too many of these gases in the intestine. A few hours later, the ghost is usually over: the body absorbs the intestinal gases and excretes them.
There are two types of gas: flatulence and bloated stomach. The former describes the exit of the intestinal gases, commonly known as fart. In the case of a bloated stomach, however, the gases do not escape. They accumulate and inflate the stomach.

Uncomfortable and embarrassing?

Flatulence doesn't stop at anyone. Women and men are equally affected, as are the elderly and babies. Today's manners, however, require a discreet handling of the side effects of digestion. But that wasn't always the case - as the following funny quotes prove.

Cause from swallowing air to irritable bowel syndrome

The most common causes of gas are poor diet, medication, hasty eating, and stress. Those affected often describe a feeling of fullness and suffer from abdominal pain. Often, even simple measures bring improvement - such as avoiding hearty and sweet food. It can also help to remove certain foods from the menu. It is also important to eat in peace. Because those who eat hastily often swallow a lot of air. This can also lead to a bloated stomach.

But not all causes of gas build-up in the intestines are harmless. Illnesses can also lead to laborious and severe flatulence. Red flags can include weight loss, blood in your stool, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Most of the time the bowel itself is affected or the pancreas is not working properly. Symptoms can include signs of a tumor, irritable bowel syndrome, or an obstruction in the intestines.

Cycle affects digestion

Food intolerance or allergies can also cause flatulence. Most people affected can find it helpful to change their diet. If the microbiome is disturbed, this can also disturb the gas balance in the intestine. The microbiome comprises all bacteria that colonize us humans - most of them live in the intestines. A fungal infection, an overgrowth with intestinal bacteria, or treatment with antibiotics can upset the balance of these bacteria.

In women, the cycle can inflate the stomach anew every month. The reason for this is the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the muscles. Its concentration is particularly high after ovulation, about two weeks before the menstrual period. This means that the muscles in the intestinal walls also work more slowly and more gases accumulate.

What to do about flatulence

For flatulence that is not caused by an illness, simple adjustments and home remedies can often help. The following tips can alleviate the symptoms:

  • Avoid flatulent foods like legumes, cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke, and raw vegetables.
  • Drink enough still water or tea. This supports digestion.
  • Eat in peace.
  • Exercise daily. This stimulates the digestion.
  • Drink anise or fennel tea. That alleviates the discomfort.
  • If the cause of the bloated stomach is anxiety or stress, psychological treatment can help.

Have severe flatulence cleared up

Usually, gas will go away within a few hours or a few days. If you do not do that, you should have the flat stomach examined by a doctor. Likewise if the flatulence occurs together with other complaints. It is important to note that blood in the stool is not always visible to the eye. Therefore, this symptom can also appear unnoticed.

During the examination, the doctor palpates the abdomen and listens for intestinal noises with a stethoscope. The doctor may do a food intolerance test or a stool exam. If further examinations are necessary based on the results, a CT provides information about possible diseases of the intestine. In rare cases, a colonoscopy or tissue removal is necessary.

Are you suffering from laborious gas?

Perhaps changing your diet will help. The nutrition specialists at KSB will be happy to advise you. If that doesn't relieve the symptoms, check with our gastroenterology experts.

Tamara Tiefenauer • Checked by: Antonio Nocito, chief physician at the clinic for general, visceral and vascular surgery



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