Published: 01/30/2009 - Updated: 04/03/2019
The flatulence also known as bloating, aerophagia, feeling of abdominal fullness and abdominal gas. It is due to the presence of air or gas in the intestine that can be expelled through the anus, or sometimes expelled from the mouth in the form of belching.
Excess gases that accumulate in the intestines cause abdominal distention (swelling of the abdomen) and cause intestinal spasms.
The accumulated gas in the gut comes from two different routes, in part, of air that is ingested by swallowing food, but this gas may also be the product of fermentation carried out by bacteria in the intestinal flora. If these gases are produced in excessive or retained can cause abdominal pain, sometimes intense, usually acute (cramps) but on other occasions and mild persistent (heavy stomach).
Despite being a very annoying symptom is usually not due to major diseases. It can also occur without any change in the amount of gas as can cause abdominal pain by increasing the sensitivity of the intestinal mucosa approximately normal gases, as in certain intestinal diseases.
Preventing the occurrence of gas
Among the causes we frequently find:
- Eating quickly and thus swallowing air (aerophagia).
- Eating in excess fiber-rich foods, which are not digestible.
- In people predisposed to eating poorly tolerated as milk lactose intolerant people.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Pancreatic problems, pancreatitis.
- Intestinal malabsorption syndromes, are often secondary to other diseases.
- Alterations of the intestinal flora by antibiotic use.
Since the causes of excess gas are personal habits, only changing them may improve the problem:
- We must eat food with less fiber, mainly cereals, wholemeal bread, vegetables (cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, etc. ...).
- Eat slowly, chewing food well before you swallow, to avoid swallowing too much air while eating.
- Relax after the meal.
- Avoid chewing gum.
Phytotherapy for intestinal gas, flatulence
To combat excessive flatulence, it is advisable to use some medicinal plants for gases. These herbs help to digest food better and avoid that annoying bloat:
- The Melisa, Chamomile, and Passion flower are essential when the gases are caused by intestinal nerves. Fennel, Cumin, star anise, anise and Caraway are useful in all cases.
- The Mint, Poleo and the Boldo help us when digestions are too slow.
- Charcoal use of dietary or medicinal absorbs intestinal gas and excessive acidity of the gastrointestinal transit, expelling through the feces.
The case of legumes and pulses
It is well known that after tasting a good plate of chickpeas, lentils, beans, many people note abdominal swelling, a result that makes uncomfortable more than once in the nutrient pulses are rejected.
The cause of this excess gas has one of its components: the non-digestible oligosaccharides. These non-digestible oligosaccharides are resistant to gastric acid and the action of digestive enzymes, and therefore fall into the large intestine intact and are fermented by bacteria residing there. As a result of this fermentation gas is formed, which explains the problems of bloat and flatulence that appear after the intake of vegetables.
To prevent or reduce flatulence with consumption of pulses can be applied different techniques very simple:
- Breaking the boil while you are cooking the vegetables, removing the pan from the heat for several minutes or by adding cold water to the boiling water. This reduces the maximum gas-producing in oligosaccharides. This is what our grandmothers called "scare lentils," is that they already had much common sense.
- Take pureed vegetables or removing the skin. If mixed with vegetables or potatoes are soft and if they are added during cooking condiments as cumin, anise, rosemary, thyme and fennel, among others, facilitates digestion and reduces the accumulation of gases.
- Finish the meal with a digestive infusion, one of the plants mentioned above.