Increased gas formation is a symptom of many pathologies of the digestive system. At the same time, a person may complain of bloating, pain and discomfort. Often, increased gas formation appears sporadically and passes quickly, but in some cases this ailment poisons the patient’s life for years. The causes of bloating and gas formation are often quite unobvious.
What is increased gas formation?
Increased gas formation is also called flatulence. In medicine, flatulence is understood as a symptom of gastrointestinal diseases characterized by excessive release of gas in different parts of the intestine.
Most often, increased gas formation is associated with the activity of intestinal bacteria. Overfilling of the intestines with gas is accompanied by bloating, pain and discomfort.
Flatulence can be of two types: with gas discharge and without gas discharge. The first type is characterized by the active release of gas from the rectum. The second type is characterized by increased bloating.
Gas formation in the intestine is a common physiological process. The greatest contribution to this process is made by intestinal bacteria that emit gas at different stages of metabolism. Undigested foods enter the human colon, which the bacteria feed on. The normal microflora of the large intestine secretes a moderate amount of gas, but if the balance of bacterial colonies is disturbed, flatulence may develop. Intestinal gases can consist of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane, nitrogen and sulfur dioxide. The last chemical component gives the gas an unpleasant smell. Such a gas is usually a byproduct of the enzymatic breakdown of carbohydrates by bacteria.
Excessive gas formation may be associated with several pathological conditions:
- The proliferation of bacteria in the small intestine due to the abandonment of the contents of the large intestine.
- The appearance of pathogenic bacterial colonies in the large intestine. Harmful bacteria can release gas more actively by digesting food substrates.
- Increased ingestion of air during food consumption.
- Colonized gut bacteria are not exclusively harmful. Many microorganisms of the colon help a person to absorb vitamins and fiber. Individual groups of bacteria simply inhabit the intestines and do not bring benefit or harm.
Causes of bloating and gas formation
Causes of bloating and gas formation Bloating is often found in infants Bacterial intestinal disorders are only one of the conditions for excessive gas formation.
For the occurrence of flatulence, it is also necessary to eat certain foods that provoke the activity of the intestinal microflora.
Bacteria release gas during the digestion of residual polysaccharides (starch, cellulose), proteins and some simple carbohydrates.
There are two important features of the appearance of flatulence. If pathogenic bacteria are active in the colon, then for the occurrence of flatulence, it is necessary for undigested food residues to enter this part of the intestine.
If pathogenic bacteria have colonized the small intestine, it is enough to consume even small portions of provoking foods.
The first feature may be associated with certain digestive disorders, in which incomplete decomposition and assimilation of food occurs in the upper intestine (for example, with pancreatic insufficiency).
Syndrome of excessive bacterial growth in the intestine
Bloating can be accompanied by diarrhea, SEBG is a fairly common cause of excessive gas formation in the intestine. This syndrome is associated with an increase in the number of bacteria in the duodenum, jejunum and proximal ileum.
Previously, it was believed that the upper part of the intestinal tract is a sterile environment, but new data indicate the presence of a small number of bacteria in this department.
These bacteria have been living in the human gut since birth. The role of intestinal microorganisms is considered extremely important for the formation of a child’s immunity.
Various anatomical and microbiological pathologies can alter the composition of the intestinal microbiome and cause bacterial overgrowth syndrome.
This disease can be asymptomatic or manifest itself as nonspecific symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders. The main symptoms are bloating and diarrhea. There are also side symptoms:
- Stomach pain;
- Weight loss.
SEBG is diagnosed using laboratory tests. Usually doctors prescribe a xylose or hydrogen breath test that determines the metabolic activity of bacteria.
SEBG cannot be detected by stool analysis or gastroscopy.
Treatment of the syndrome is possible with the help of various intestinal antibiotics. To alleviate the patient’s condition, various dietary regimens and medications for bloating are recommended.
Ways to get rid of bloating
Flour products can provoke flatulence
Compliance with preventive measures will help to significantly alleviate the condition. It is necessary to abandon the provocateur products. Food with a small amount of simple carbohydrates will not provoke flatulence.
You need to add dried fruits, lean meat, nuts and eggs to the diet. The most harmful products are confectionery, fruit juices, soy, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Drinks with a high fructose content can also cause bloating. It is also very important to understand that each patient has individual provocateur products, so it is necessary to independently determine a safe diet.
It is important to gradually reduce fiber intake. Food rich in fiber helps prevent constipation, but with chronic flatulence, dietary fiber provokes unpleasant conditions.
It is necessary to determine the minimum consumption of fiber, at which there is no pronounced increase in gas formation. It is not recommended to eat fresh bread (especially rye), pastries and bread with bran.
It is important not to completely exclude fiber from the diet, as this can cause additional digestive disorders. It is useful to soak the beans before cooking.
Soaking raw beans for three to five hours will remove the excess of some water-soluble carbohydrates that cause gas formation. After soaking, you need to simmer the beans over low heat and then drain the water.
You need to chew food carefully and slowly. Poor-quality chewing of food can provoke flatulence with pancreatic insufficiency, since the intestine contains too few digestive enzymes.
Constipation should be avoided. The retention of feces in the large intestine increases fermentation and gas formation.
Many sugar substitutes increase gas formation. It is necessary to avoid the use of dietary sweets containing sorbitol, xylitol or other sugar alcohols. Bacteria digest sweeteners to form gas.
Symptomatic remedies are not an option. Simetikon and similar drugs simply break the gas bubbles in the intestine into smaller ones, which does not cause relief from flatulence.
Chronic flatulence (especially against the background of SEBG) is extremely difficult to treat symptomatically. Diet is an optimal and long-term means of getting rid of unpleasant symptoms.
Non-compliance with dietary measures leads to exacerbation of intestinal disorders and regular flatulence.
Home methods of getting rid of flatulence
Folk remedies can help If bloating could not be avoided, you can alleviate the condition with the help of traditional medicine methods. Effective means:
- Decoction of dill seeds. This remedy contains natural carminative components that improve the evacuation of gas from the intestine. A decoction or tincture of dill seeds can be bought at a pharmacy.
- Punch. It is also a fairly common remedy for bloating. You can pour parsley with warm water and insist for an hour.
- Mint and chamomile. These herbs improve the functional state of the digestive tract and facilitate the course of flatulence. The funds can be consumed in the form of tea, tinctures or decoctions.
- Lime juice. To prepare the remedy, add one tablespoon of juice to a glass of water. The remedy can be drunk several times a day to relieve the condition.
Not all folk remedies can be effective for a particular patient, so it is necessary to try different ways to alleviate the condition.
When to see a doctor?
Chronic flatulence may be associated with dangerous pathologies that require medical supervision. You should consult a doctor if the following symptoms appear:
- Significant weight loss.
- Pallor of the skin, constant weakness, dizziness, loss of appetite (symptoms of anemia).
- Constant diarrhea.
Diagnostics can reveal the most unexpected causes of pathological conditions. Thus, the causes of bloating and gas formation are usually associated with the peculiarities of the intestinal microbiome.