Diseases

Flatulence

Intestinal disease

Flatulence is an excess of gases in the intestines, leading to the passage of more winds than normal. We usually pass some ten to twenty-five winds per day in order to release gases from the intestines. Flatulence is nasty, because a person has little control over it. It often creates a sense of shame. But the condition is harmless.


Cause

The gases in the intestines are made up for ninety-nine percent of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. These gases end up in the intestines by the ingestion of air, by the natural bacteria in the intestines and via absorpsion from the blood. These mechanisms normally work the other way as well. For example, we burp occasionally to get rid of swallowed air, some bacteria consume particular gases and blood also absorps gases from the intestines. If this balance is disrupted and more gases enter the intestines rather than leaving, then the nasty excessive flatulence is developed.

It’s not always clear what the cause of additional gas development is. Symptoms of flatulence can be caused by:


Symptoms

The main symptom of flatulence is the excessive release of winds. The winds are difficult to control. Flatulence is accompanied by bloating, intestinal problems and abdominal pain. There is often also rumbling in the abdomen.

To get rid of the extra intestinal gas, winds are released for sometimes up to thirty or forty times a day. The symptoms will be worse if the winds are withheld. Additional gas development is usually harmless. Flatulence is rather troublesome than dangerous.


Diagnosis

For flatulence, a visit to the general practitioner is usually not necessary.


Treatment

There is no cure for flatulence. It is advisable to take time for the meal. Chew the food well and try not talking too much, in order to reduce swallowing of air. Additionally, changes in the diet are possible. It’s wise to reduce or stop drinking carbonated beverages, such as soft drinks and beer. The spices turmeric and cumin help to reduce gas development.


Prognosis

Flatulence has in most instances a harmless cause. You can usually remedy flatulence by yourself by applying a number of changes, particularly in diet.


Considerations


Facts


Synonyms

Gas, Wind, Farting


See also

Coeliac Disease

Constipation

Crohn's Disease

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Stress

Carbohydrate

Fiber

Healthy Food

Smoking

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