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What about flatulence? Use our tips!

Bloating (flatulence) is a symptom of excess gas in the intestines. In the intestines of a healthy person, the volume of intestinal gases is approximately 200 ml, and the average amount of air released from the gastrointestinal tract per day is approximately 600 ml. Air enters the digestive tract when swallowed while eating or drinking. Some of it comes back as a result of belching, while some goes to further parts of the gastrointestinal tract. The main gas in the human digestive tract is nitrogen (90%), mainly from the air introduced into the digestive tract by ingestion, the remaining gases are: oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane.

What is flatulence?

Bloating may be a symptom of functional digestive disorders – it is the so-called functional flatulence. It can also accompany other functional gastroenterological disorders as well as many organic diseases.

According to the Rome III Criteria, functional abdominal distension is defined as a recurrent feeling of bloating or visible enlargement of the abdominal circumference at least 3 days a month for 3 months.

People with excess gas often also suffer from other ailments such as abdominal pain, bad breath, anorexia, an early feeling of fullness after a meal, nausea, bowel cramps, constipation, and frequent gas emission, indicating a functional bowel disease. The resolution of ailments after defecation and gas passing speaks in favor of a functional disorder.

The causes of flatulence

– irritable bowel syndrome

– constipation

– diarrhea

  • An overgrowth of the bacterial flora

– niedrożność jelita cienkiego lub grubego

– uchyłki jelita cienkiego

  • An overgrowth of the bacterial flora

– lactase deficiency (lactose intolerance)

– fructose, sorbitol and starch intolerance

– eating beans and other legumes

– celiac disease (affects 1% of the population, most often children, flatulence results from an abnormal reaction to gluten)

  • Other reasons

– Hypothyroidism

– taking medications (anticholinergics, opiates, calcium channel antagonists, antidepressants). They lead to increased gas production due to delayed intestinal transit.

What about flatulence?

Diet

  • A proper diet can help reduce the symptoms of gas and gas. It is recommended to limit gas-generating products, such as: dark bread, bran, cruciferous vegetables, onions, legumes and some fruits.
  • People with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or fructose intolerance will experience relief of symptoms by following a low-FODMAP diet.

*dieta Low FODMAP – is currently the only diet documented in research that brings benefits in intestinal disorders, especially in irritable bowel syndrome. It is indicated in intestinal disorders, intestinal microflora disorders, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea as well as food allergies and hypersensitivity. FODMAP is an abbreviation of the first letters for short-chain carbohydrates (sugars), poorly digested, fermented by intestinal bacteria (Fermentation – Oligosaccharides – DisaccharidesMonosaccharides. The name Low FODMAP means less FODMAP. Oligosaccharides (products such as: wheat, rye, onion, garlic) legumes), Disaccharides (disaccharides, e.g. lactose) Monosaccharides (simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose, glucose-fructose syrups)

Flatulence diet

  • Meals should be small at regular fixed times, eaten unhurriedly, at the table.
  • Chew the food very carefully and slowly and avoid talking while eating.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks.
  • Food that is difficult to digest should be avoided – use baking and cooking instead of frying.
  • People intolerant to lactose are advised to eat yoghurt and other dairy products rich in lactase-producing bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium, which reduce the severity of flatulence.
  • People with celiac disease need to eliminate gluten.
  • It is helpful to keep a nutritional diary and on its basis observe and gradually eliminate products that cause flatulence.

Probiotics

  • They contribute to the colonization of the intestine by “good bacteria” that do not produce gas.

Peppermint oil

  • Natural agent, of plant origin. It has a relaxing effect on the muscles of the digestive tract and modulates visceral sensation, which is reflected in relieving abdominal pain and flatulence. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Medicines

There are many classes of drugs on the market that are used to treat people suffering from abdominal gas.

  • In the case of people with confirmed lactose intolerance, α-galactosidase preparations are registered. Supplementation with these preparations reduces the amount of gas released and reduces abdominal distension after consuming dairy products.
  • Activated charcoal – reduces the concentration of hydrogen produced by the fermentation of carbohydrates in the intestines and leads to the relief of symptoms.
  • Antimicrobial drugs – to change the intestinal microflora.
  • Rifaximin – in a randomized clinical trial, it was shown to alleviate the symptoms of flatulence also in patients with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
  • Simethicone is recommended for the treatment of flatulence, as well as dimethicone.

Herbal preparations

Herbal preparations and numerous herbal teas are a milder alternative than medications and sometimes it is worth reaching for natural methods of dealing with any gastrointestinal ailments first. What to choose for flatulence? Recommendable herbal preparations / teas are those that contain, among others:

  • mint leaf – has a diastolic and anti-inflammatory effect in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes and bile, reduces the gag reflex. It also has antibacterial properties. It is used in the case of indigestion, inflammation and spasms of the digestive tract and flatulence.
  • dandelion root – commonly used for digestive disorders. It has a cholagogic and choleretic effect, and relaxes smooth muscles of the digestive tract. It is a typical digestive aid.
  • yarrow – yarrow herb is a raw material with multidirectional action. It has an antispasmodic effect, which is of particular importance in diseases of the digestive system.
  • Hop cones – bitter acids present in the raw material increase the secretion of digestive juices. They are also antibacterial. Hop cones also reduce the tension in the smooth muscles of the digestive tract.
  • anise – reduces the feeling of satietyscratcher
  • scratcher – scratcher herb specific properties of the raw material result from the presence of knicin, which has an antibacterial effect, improves the digestive and secretory functions of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • black elderberry – relieves pain, reduces fever and cleanses. Elderberry flowers are rich in essential oils, flavonoids and tannins. They are also a source of vitamins and minerals. Elderberry can be combined with herbs that improve digestion and soothe the nerves.
  • chamomile, dill – eliminate gas.

Treatment of flatulence should be started primarily by changing the eating style, keeping a food diary to eliminate products that cause unpleasant ailments. The digestive herbs mentioned above also work well for flatulence. In the event of no improvement, appropriately selected drugs should be used.

Bibliography:

  • 1. NAJDA, Agnieszka. “Vegetable Volatiles – Essential Oils.” Episteme2 (2015): 65-77.
    2. Kiewlicz, Karolina. “Herb plants.”
    3. Słomka, Marta, and Ewa Małecka-Panas. “Bloating and belching.” Pediatrics and Family Medicine1 (2011): 30-34.
    4. GulbickaD, Paulina, and Marian GrzymisławskiE. “Abdominal bloating – the most common causes and procedures.”
    5. Eder, Piotr, et al. “Flatulence – an important and common clinical problem in everyday medical practice.”
    6. Kołodziej, Grażyna, et al. “The role of active ingredients contained in dietary supplements and probiotics used in the course of irritable bowel syndrome.” Farm Pol11 (2020): 611-618.
    7. Błecha, Krzysztof. “Phytotherapy and supplementation of diet in upper section of gastrointestinal tract diseases.” Advances in Phytotherapy (2019).
    8. Piskuła, Paulina, and Aleksander Astel. “The role of supplementation in balanced human nutrition. Part 2, Characteristics and ionic composition of tea extracts.” LAB Laboratoria, Aparatura, Research22 (2017).

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