The feeling of air in the stomach is expressed in abdominal pain, flatulence and a feeling of fullness. Often the symptoms occur after a long meal. Sometimes air in the abdomen can also be the symptom of a disease. What causes and what you can do about it, this article reveals.
Natural causes of air in the stomach
Air in our stomach and intestines is quite normal because the entire gastrointestinal tract is a hollow organ. If we eat fast, it can happen that we swallow a lot of air, which is perceived as unpleasant - you feel "bloated".
The physiological bacteria of the intestinal flora, such as the Lactobacilli and Bifidokeime, produce air in the intestine. Your task is to decompose the porridge. This produces digestive gases. How much air in the digestive process depends on the composition of the food and how easy or difficult it is to digest. Foods high in fiber, such as cereals, are barely decomposed by stomach acid and enter the colon almost undigested, which means there is more to do for the intestinal bacteria.
Normally, the resulting air is simply exhaled, enters the blood or is excreted through the rectum, which sometimes manifests as flatulence. At the latest half an hour after its formation, the air has left the body on the said paths again. However, if the intestinal passage is disturbed, the air accumulates and causes abdominal pain and a feeling of fullness.
What is the cause of the many air in the intestine?
The natural bacterial flora of the intestine can easily get out of balance. Through direct contact with the outside world, the intestine is often the first target for infections. To ward off these, the intestinal bacteria exert a barrier function. If this is weakened, foreign bacteria can multiply. These "bad" bacteria produce fermentation and putrefaction gases, causing abdominal pain and diarrhea.
The intestinal flora is also unbalanced by certain medications, improper diet and chronic diseases. In the latter case, one should especially think of a dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and gallbladder. Dangerous and suddenly occurring is an intestinal obstruction (ileus). He may be associated with vomiting and abdominal pain.
Food intolerances can also lead to air in the stomach. Such intolerances cause severe indigestion, abdominal pain and nausea. Common are intolerances of gluten, fructose and lactose.
Bloating stomach due to wrong diet
Anyone who frequently has discomfort due to air in the stomach should consult a doctor. Since there are many different causes of abdominal air, some tests need to be done.
First of all, it should be investigated whether certain eating habits could possibly cause the problem. Oily food, especially fast food, often causes accumulation of air in the intestines, as the large amount of fatty acids is processed into intestinal gases. But even supposedly healthy foods, such as raw vegetables or whole grains, can easily cause flatulence caused by the dietary fiber.
Examination of the abdomen
Before invasive examinations are performed, the abdomen should first be scanned and bugged. The bowel sounds can already provide information about whether there is a lot of air in the abdomen. Also a rectal examination is necessary, in order not to overlook any restrictive processes of the rectum.
To rule out organic causes, a blood picture must be taken. Among other things, the checked values provide information about the functional efficiency of the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. It can also be determined whether there is an inflammation.
A stool scan can reveal an infection with parasites or bacteria. You should be clairaudient when finding blood in the stool, as this may be an indication of serious diseases such as colon cancer. An imaging study shows structural changes in the gastrointestinal tract. These include, for example, ultrasound, colonoscopy or computed tomography. If there is a suspicion of food intolerance, an appropriate test can be carried out.
Air in the stomach - what to do?
- Rethinking nutrition: Avoid bulky foods such as raw vegetables or greasy meats. Also from carbonated drinks is not recommended. Eat five small meals a day, drink at least two liters a day and take your time eating.
- Exercise expels air from the intestine: A short walk after eating stimulates the digestion and facilitates the removal of the air. Relaxation exercises such as yoga and autogenic training can help with hyperinflation.
- Warmth: A warm cherry stone bag or a hot water bottle on the stomach soothes an overstretched intestine. The heat also helps against stomach ache.
- Helpful herbs: Herbal teas such as caraway, fennel, anise and chamomile have a relaxing effect on the gastrointestinal tract.
- Get medical advice: If all else fails, you should consult a doctor. Prolonged gastrointestinal complaints must be clarified to exclude organic causes.
Treatment of air in the stomach
If home remedies and diet change do not work, medicines can also help with air in the stomach. For example, defoaming preparations that are taken in the form of chewable tablets. Spasmolytic and prokinetic medications help with cramped intestinal musculature.
If organic causes are at fault, they must be eliminated. This may mean that vitamin or enzyme replacement preparations must be taken in order to assist the damaged organ in its function.
In the case of intolerance, a change in diet may be necessary to avoid absorption of the substance causing the complaint.