When is flatulence associated with an illness?
We all fart. Still, most people feel embarrassed by gas, which is why they suppress it and only do it quietly or alone. Eating always gets air into the intestine. The germs located there produce hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and methane when digested. The mixture of air and gases travels through the intestine until it escapes through the anus as “pups”. Abdominal pain may also occur with large accumulations of gases. Sometimes flatulence also indicates illness. We show when a doctor's visit is advisable.
Why does some flatulence stink so unpleasantly?
It can be extremely embarrassing if we have to pee in public. Especially when other people are present, a stinky fart is difficult to hide. In such situations we are naturally ashamed. But there are ways to reduce the strong smell. Researchers found out why some winds stink so bad.
Diet greatly affects the smell of pups
Scientists found in our research that our diet is responsible for the different types of wind-blowing smells. Some foods lead to stinky flatulence, other foods reduce bad smells. Farts are a mixture of 59 percent nitrogen, 21 percent hydrogen, 9 percent carbon dioxide, 7 percent methane and 4 percent oxygen.
The oxygen is created either by swallowed air or by chemical reactions in the intestine. Monash University researchers in Melbourne have found that a product called cysteine is the primary cause of malodorous farts. Cysteine is mainly found in dairy products, meat and eggs.
What causes starchy food in the stomach?
Consuming starchy food forces the human stomach to process starch first. This shifts the focus away from the protein, which ultimately reduces hydrogen sulfide production. "In principle, flatulence is a sign that the intestine is working," says Dagmar Mainz, spokeswoman for the professional association of resident gastroenterologists. On average, we have to let winds go eight to ten times a day. Why is Pupsen often loud? The greater the pressure on the sphincter, the louder the pups.
Quiet, loud, smelly or neutral, it depends on what we ate. "Raw food in the form of fruit and vegetables, muesli and milk products can promote flatulence," explains Mainz. Flatulence also causes foods like legumes, cabbage, fresh bread and onions. "Large quantities of carbonated drinks can also cause an increased gas content in the intestine," says Ursula Hilpert-Mühlig from the Association of German Alternative Practitioners. Whether we have stress, eat too hastily or move too little - all of these can also encourage frequent winds.
How many pupils are (still) normal?
Quite a few people suffer from a flatulent belly. They think that they are constantly bloated and have to let go of lots of bumps. Anyone who puffs more than 20 times and also has abdominal pain should see a doctor. In some people, the bloating can be so pronounced that they get a heartache. Physicians refer to this phenomenon as "Roemheld Syndrome". It is not uncommon for those affected to think that they are having a heart attack. It is the air that presses on the diaphragm and causes the symptoms.
However, there may also be an intolerance. "There may also be an intolerance to milk sugar or fructose, for example," explains Mainz. Milk sugar is found in cream, curd cheese or ice cream. Fructose in fruit.
Irritable bowel or intolerance sometimes cause
Another option is the so-called irritable bowel. Around 30 percent of Germans suffer from different forms of irritable bowel syndrome. So far, drugs have been of little or no help. In the long run, patients have to change their diet and find out which foods are responsible. Patients usually experience flatulence, diarrhea - sometimes constipation - and cramp-like pain in the intestine. But symptoms such as feeling of fullness after eating, stomach pain, heartburn as well as nausea and vomiting can also appear in the stomach and esophagus. In many cases, food is the trigger for the symptoms. Individuals can then help those affected.
Disturbed intestinal flora
But it is also possible that the intestinal flora is disturbed. In this case, the trillions of bacteria in the intestine have lost their natural balance. Symptoms are constipation, diarrhea, bloated stomach. Then only helping to avoid foods that bloat. Exercise can get the intestines going again and ensure that stuck winds go off. If there is a lactose intolerance, this can be quickly determined with a test by the doctor. Those affected also notice when the flatulence increases after eating curd cheese or other dairy foods. Lactose intolerance is unfortunately not curable. However, the discomfort can be alleviated by giving up and taking lactate. It makes sense to avoid food with milk sugar. "It is best not to do this on your own, but only after a doctor has checked whether the diagnosis is actually correct," explains Bettina Sauer of the Stiftung Warentest in Berlin. The same applies to fructose intolerance.
Simple home remedies for flatulence can help reduce the discomfort caused by the bloated stomach. Warm, moist envelopes have proven to be helpful. These are placed on the stomach so that the intestine can calm down. It also distracts from stomach ache. Hilpert-Mühlig recommends four-wind tea for flatulence. Caraway and fennel seeds, peppermint leaves and chamomile flowers are included. The teas are available in health food stores. The tea should steep for 10 minutes, then pour through a sieve. "Four cups of this should be drunk daily until improvement occurs," says Hilpert-Mühlig. Food should be chewed well and not eaten hastily. Less stress and a lot of rest and relaxation also help.
Does a digestive drink help with flatulence?
Alternative practitioner Carsten Reimer advises against this: It is not recommended to drink a so-called "digestive schnapps" after eating. "A schnapps only numbs the stomach nerves and thus only temporarily relieves the feeling of fullness." However, alcohol strains the digestive tract "because the liver now has to break down additional fat."
Changes in behavior against flatulence
Even small changes in behavior can prevent flatulence. If you take the time to eat, chew slowly, eat a sufficiently healthy diet and, if possible, do not speak much when eating, you can successfully prevent flatulence. Because with quick meals and a lot of talking, large amounts of air are swallowed, which then gets into the digestive tract. A walk after eating also helps digestion. If you also take care to eat more vegetables and high-fiber foods, you can't really go wrong. It is also advisable to drink enough liquid, even while eating. In addition, it is advisable to drink enough liquid, even while eating.
Movement can be very useful in order to avoid disturbing winds and pinching the abdomen. Those who exercise regularly or even exercise have fewer problems with the intestine. (sb)