Causes of flatulence in adults
Flatulence is an excessive accumulation of gas in the intestines. It is manifested by bloating, swelling, bursting pain in the abdomen. Often accompanied by a profuse (explosive) release of a large number of digestive gases.
Flatulence is a fairly common phenomenon in which a lot of gases accumulate in the digestive organs. However, flatulence is not always a manifestation of the disease. It happens that a person who does not suffer from any disease, having eaten a lot of heavy food, begins to suffer from flatulence. In the event that the proportion between the appearance of gases in the digestive organs and their removal, and absorption is disturbed, flatulence also begins to bother. In this case, the gas is collected in the digestive tract and brings discomfort to a person.
Sometimes in this condition, up to 3 liters of gas formation per day is possible. When there are too many of them, they line the entire intestinal mucosa in a thin layer and interfere with its normal functioning. The enzymatic ability is suppressed, the absorption of nutrients is impaired, the digestive function suffers.
Normally, a person has about two hundred milliliters of gas in the digestive organs. However, not all gases released from the body have an unpleasant odor. The smell of gases depends on various odorous substances synthesized in the intestines. It can be hydrogen sulfide, skatole or indole. Such substances are released when microorganisms in the large intestine attack poorly processed food debris.
In the gastrointestinal tract, gases look like foam, which is based on mucus. This substance tightly closes the inner lumen of the intestine, while further assimilation of food is difficult. Enzymes begin to be produced poorly, metabolism is disrupted. The person begins to be bothered by a bursting feeling in the abdomen, uneven pain, vomiting or belching are possible. The person has no appetite, diarrhea or constipation may appear.
It should be understood that flatulence is not an independent disease. This is only a consequence of an improper lifestyle, or a symptom of a gastrointestinal disease.
- Causes of flatulence in adults
- Symptoms of flatulence
- Answers to popular questions:
- What to do if flatulence begins?
Causes of flatulence in adults
There are many reasons due to which a lot of gases accumulate in the intestines.
The causes of flatulence in adults are very different, among them:
- Disruption of the enzyme system. If a person has a lack of certain enzymes, then a large amount of undigested food residues will enter the intestine from the upper gastrointestinal tract. This food will help start the processes of decay and fermentation, which leads to the release of gases. In adulthood, enzymatic deficiency is a consequence of an unbalanced diet.
- Intestinal dysbiosis. If the causes of flatulence are graded by the frequency of their occurrence, then intestinal dysbiosis will be in second place after the insufficiency of the enzymatic system. When the microflora of the terminal sections of the digestive tract is not disturbed, most of the intestinal gases are absorbed by the bacteria that exist in the intestine. They are necessary for microorganisms for normal functioning. However, when the balance between bacteria, producing gases and bacteria absorbing gases is disturbed, flatulence develops.
- Postponed operations on the abdominal cavity. The third most common reason for the development of flatulence is surgical interventions that were performed on the abdominal cavity. The intestinal wall is stretched, since the motor activity of the intestine decreases after surgery. All operations on the digestive tract always lead to a decrease in the motility of the terminal parts of the digestive system. As a result, the normal movement of food through the intestines is disrupted, the processes of decay and fermentation are triggered, which leads to flatulence. In addition, after operations, adhesions of the abdominal cavity are often formed, which also leads to difficulty in the process of digesting food and provokes flatulence.
Diseases of the digestive system. The intestine is part of the general system of the digestive system. Therefore, any of their diseases will contribute to the fact that his work is disrupted, which means that flatulence will occur.
The main diseases of the digestive tract and the associated causes of flatulence, experts identify the following:
- Gastritis, in which the acidity of the stomach is disturbed, which leads to a malfunction of the protein breakdown process. In a semi-decomposed form, they enter the intestines and cause flatulence.
- Cholecystitis. With inflammation of the gallbladder, there is a violation of the outflow of bile, it is not enough for the normal functioning of the duodenum, which ultimately causes flatulence.
- Duodenitis. In this case, the duodenum is involved in the inflammatory process. The digestive enzymes produced by it are produced in smaller quantities, they are not enough to break down food. As a result - the development of fermentation processes and flatulence.
- Pancreatitis Flatulence occurs due to the failure of the enzymatic function of the pancreas.
- Enteritis. Flatulence is a consequence of the impaired function of absorption and digestion of food by the small intestine, which occurs due to dystrophic changes in its mucous membrane.
- Colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine that is often dystrophic. This disease not only disrupts the process of food digestion, but also provokes an imbalance in the intestinal microflora. As a result of pathological disorders, the development of flatulence occurs.
- Cirrhosis of the liver. Flatulence occurs against the background of insufficient bile secretion, due to abnormalities in the liver. Its lack leads to incomplete digestion of fats, as a result of which an increase in gas production in cirrhosis is always observed after eating fatty foods.
Various intestinal infections, pathogens of which enter the intestines with food. As a result, its work is disrupted, peristalsis deteriorates, food is not absorbed, flatulence occurs.
- Intestinal obstruction causes flatulence due to a violation of his motor activity - it either decreases or increases. The cause of obstruction can be a tumor, foreign body, parasites.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In this case, functional disorders occur in the large intestine associated with a change in the sensitivity of its parietal receptors.
- Intestinal atony, leading to a decrease in the speed of movement of feces. This contributes to the accumulation of gases in it.
- Diverticula, which can be either congenital or acquired. One of the striking symptoms of this pathology is flatulence.
The nature of the food consumed. Human health directly depends on the quality of food. Often, people look for the causes of flatulence in diseases, and they hide in the food they consume daily. The most powerful provocateurs of excess gas formation are: legumes, foods rich in coarse fiber, lamb. Strongly carbonated drinks, including kvass and beer, contribute to flatulence. Kombucha, Borodino bread causes fermentation in the intestines. If there is lactose intolerance, then milk consumption will contribute to flatulence. A diet that is fortified with cellulose is also a powerful provocative factor.
- Stress. Emotional shocks can cause spasm of the intestinal muscles and slow down its work. Therefore, the causes of flatulence may lie in nervous disorders.
- Senile flatulence. This pathological condition concerns people over 65-70 years old. Most often it occurs against the background of the process of atrophy of the intestinal muscle layer. Also, the causes of flatulence in old age can be: lengthening of the intestine, deterioration in the functioning of the glands that produce digestive enzymes.
- Pregnancy. If a woman is carrying a child, then increased gas formation may occur in her when the intestines are clamped by the growing uterus. The movement of food masses slows down, as well as the process of absorption of nutrients from them.
Symptoms of flatulence
Symptoms of flatulence are manifested by the following intestinal disorders:
- Pains, both paroxysmal and cramping (sometimes they can give in the sternum, resemble aching heart pains, in the lower back, right hypochondrium);
- Stool retention, or, on the contrary, diarrhea;
- Decreased appetite;
- An increase in the volume of the abdomen, a feeling of discomfort that appears in it;
- Enhanced discharge of gases;
- Rumbling and overflow of intestinal contents;
- The resulting feeling of increased intra-abdominal pressure;
- Feeling of discomfort in the epigastric region.
It has been established that the symptoms of flatulence can manifest themselves in extraintestinal disorders:
- From the heart: disturbances in its rhythm and a burning sensation in the chest area;
- Deterioration in mood and performance;
- Sleep problems;
- General weakness.
Bloating with flatulence
Bloating with flatulence is one of the most striking manifestations of an increase in the amount of gas in the intestines. It is impossible not to notice it, since bloating is accompanied by pain and a feeling of pronounced discomfort.
The abdomen increases in size due to the overflow of the intestines with gases. In this case, their discharge does not occur, since the colon is spasmodic. Therefore, intestinal distention and pressure on it from the inside is characterized by people as bloating and is one of the clinical variants of the course of flatulence.
Answers to popular questions:
- Is flatulence dangerous? Flatulence in itself cannot pose a threat to human life. However, the danger of this pathological condition of the intestine is that it can indicate serious illness. These are pathologies of the stomach, gallbladder, liver, intestines, an oncological process is not excluded. Therefore, with frequent flatulence, which does not depend on the diet, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
Can you drink kefir with flatulence? Most experts are inclined to believe that the use of kefir has a positive effect on the functioning of the intestines. This drink helps to normalize the balance between the microbes that inhabit it. It is especially useful for flatulence triggered by dysbiosis. However, with increased gas formation, it is necessary to use kefir in small quantities for a long time. The drink must be fresh (no more than three days from the date of production).
What to do if flatulence begins?
To understand what to do if flatulence has begun, it is necessary to determine the cause that provoked it. This will eliminate the increased gas formation in the intestines, restore the quality of life.
- If it is established that flatulence is the result of an irrational approach to nutrition, then the existing errors should be eliminated. It is important to eat regularly, even snacks between breakfast, lunch and dinner should be done in a relaxed environment. Doctors recommend including fermented milk products in the diet. If they are taken regularly, the metabolic activity of the microflora will normalize, and the motor function of the intestine will be restored.
If flatulence is a consequence of a disease, then efforts should be made to eliminate it. Only a specialist should deal with the treatment of diseases.
- If you are lactose deficient, it is important to follow an appropriate diet that is low in calories and excluding milk sugar.
- For a while, it is necessary to reduce the amount of foods containing coarse vegetable fiber if flatulence is provoked by irritable bowel syndrome. It is important to consult a psychologist and a neuropathologist. Antispasmodics, such as Duspatalin, can be used to reduce pain caused by bloating.
- With dysbiosis, probiotics are prescribed. It can be Linex, Rioflora Immuno, Hilak forte, Bifidumbacterin, etc. These drugs help to normalize the intestinal microbial balance.
- To relieve a person of the symptoms of flatulence, drugs belonging to the antifoam group may be recommended to him. They contain such an active ingredient as simethicone. It has no side effects and no age restrictions. The drugs with simethicone include: Meteospazmil, Gestid, Maalox plus, Disflatil, Espumisan.
- Additional means that help alleviate the patient's condition are adsorbents. It can be: Polyphepan, preparations containing bismuth, aluminum phosphate, activated carbon. However, the effect of Activated charcoal is delayed in time and very short-lived, and other means help to slow down the passage of feces through the large intestine. Together with gases, they also remove vitamins, beneficial microflora and mineral compounds from the body.
- It is also advisable to take pancreatic enzymes, since flatulence almost always occurs against the background of indigestion. Such drugs can be: Creon, Pancreatin, Pancreoflat (enzymes in combination with simethicone).
The author of the article: Gorshenina Elena Ivanovna | Gastroenterologist
Education: Diploma in the specialty "General Medicine" received at the Russian State Medical University named after N. I. Pirogova (2005). Postgraduate studies in the specialty "Gastroenterology" - educational and scientific medical center.