Can someone get sick from strong winds

Flatulence

Flatulence (meteorism): Excessive filling of the stomach and intestines with air and other gases. The typical complaints are a feeling of fullness, intestinal noises and a frequent discharge of winds. Most of the time, flatulence is not a disease. The causes are varied, temporary flatulence often results from the consumption of food, which leads to increased gas production. Flatulence also occurs with an irritable stomach or bowel; Sudden gas and gas are rarely a sign of serious illness.

Changes in behavior are usually sufficient to treat chronic flatulence. If there is an underlying disease, it must be treated. If the person concerned suffers only from heavily accumulated wind leaks, the doctor speaks of flatulence; 24 winds per day are still considered normal.

Leading complaints

  • Feeling of fullness, bloating
  • Increased loss of winds
  • Occasional pressure or pain, especially in the upper right or left abdomen
  • Rumbling intestinal noises.

When to the doctor

The same day if

  • sudden flatulence with vomiting and abdominal pain occur.

In the next few days, at

  • unexplained weight loss
  • Blood in the stool
  • severe impairment of quality of life.

The illness

Flatulence is widespread and usually disappears quickly. But there are also people who constantly suffer from a bloated stomach and who feel strongly impaired in their daily life and in their social contacts by the frequent uncontrollable, often audible and unpleasant smelling winds. But the flatulence is seldom caused by a serious illness.

Causes and Risk Factors

Swallowing air. Most of the gas in the intestine comes from the air that you subconsciously swallow while eating and drinking. With each swallow, 2-3 ml of air enter the stomach. In stressful and anxious situations, with hasty eating and drinking, excessive consumption of carbonated beverages, with dry mouth and also with increased saliva formation (chewing gum), the proportion of air swallowed is much higher. Even if you inhale deeply, air can enter the stomach, and last but not least, many foods contain air.

Eating habits. Intestinal bacteria form large amounts of gas in the large intestine when hard-to-digest carbohydrates (e.g. beans, lentils, peas, onions or cabbage) have been eaten, these have largely passed through the small intestine and get into the large intestine. In addition, some ready meals and canned foods promote the tendency to flatulence if they are prepared with flatulent ingredients. Even those who suddenly switch to whole grain products sometimes have to struggle with flatulence because the intestines first have to adjust to the fiber.

Indigestion. In diseases such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance, certain carbohydrates are not digested in the small intestine and reach the large intestine, where they are broken down by the intestinal bacteria with gas formation. Other digestive disorders that often cause flatulence are irritable bowel syndrome and the insufficient release of digestive enzymes by the pancreas (pancreatic insufficiency).

Disruption of the porridge transport. If the food is transported too slowly through the gastrointestinal tract, gas will also result. Causes of such transport disorders are, for example, an intestinal obstruction due to paralysis of the bowel movements, adhesions after an operation in the abdominal area or tumors in the intestine, such as B. a colon cancer (colorectal cancer). Also in the pregnancy the porridge transport slows down. This is due to the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which relaxes the muscles of the abdominal organs and thus ensures that the uterus is not contracted and can grow with the child. But it also relaxes the intestines and thus slows down digestion - the result is often flatulence.

Other causes. Part of the air swallowed and the gas formed in the intestine is normally absorbed through the intestinal mucosa and transported away via the blood. Some diseases, e.g. B. a portal vein hypertension (in cirrhosis of the liver) or a right heart failure, impede the gas uptake. If more gases remain in the intestine as a result, they finally reach the outside via the anus as a wind outlet.

Diagnostic assurance

At suddenly When the flatulence begins, the doctor feels the stomach and checks the intestinal noises with the stethoscope. To clarify the cause, he arranges various examinations such as abdominal ultrasound, empty abdomen and CT.

Even with chronic flatulence, the doctor examines the patient thoroughly. He asks questions about eating habits, possibly he also lets the patient keep a diary about the food they eat and the symptoms that arise as a result. If a food intolerance is suspected, various tests provide clarity (e.g. a lactose tolerance test). Sometimes a blood and / or stool test can also help (e.g. if you suspect a pancreatic disease or celiac disease).

Differential diagnoses: Flatulence has numerous natural or pathological causes. The most important differential diagnoses are colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, food intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome.

treatment

If the flatulence is a symptom of an illness, it must be diagnosed and treated. After ruling out a pathological cause, it is the doctor's task to inform those affected about the harmlessness of their symptoms. Chronic flatulence often makes those affected fear that they might be suffering from a serious illness.

If the flatulence is particularly persistent, drugs such as simeticon (SAB simplex®, Lefax®) are used; however, their usefulness is little. In the case of painful "pinched winds", short-term relief agents such as butylscopolamine (e.g. Buscopan®) help. However, with frequent use, these cause gas themselves.

forecast

Flatulence is annoying, but can usually be contained well if you follow the self-help tips. Chronic flatulence should always be clarified by a doctor and an underlying condition treated.

Your pharmacy recommends

What you can do yourself

Avoid swallowing air. Excessive ingestion of air can be avoided by eating calmly and with pleasure, taking small bites and chewing thoroughly. It can also be helpful to eat many small meals, speak as little as possible while eating and take a digestive walk after meals.

Avoidance of flatulent foods. Avoid foods that cause gas such as cabbage, onions, garlic, beans, apricots, cherries, berries and carbonated drinks (e.g. mineral water, beer, sparkling wine).

No chewing gum, no cigarettes. Refrain from chewing gum and quit smoking.

Herbal anti-inflating teas. For acute flatulence, tea infusions with caraway seeds, peppermint, fennel, aniseed or ginger provide relief. Likewise, caraway oil or peppermint oil (e.g. combined in Enteroplant® capsules) are traditionally used to relieve flatulence.

Warmth. Placing a hot water bottle or heating pad on your stomach will help relax the bowel and thereby relieve gas. Tormenting "trapped" air in the intestine is released by gentle circular abdominal massages in a clockwise direction. Another trick is to lie on your back and pull both legs up to your chest.

Authors

Dr. med. Arne Schäffler, Dr. Bernadette Andre-Wallis in: Health Today, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Revision and update: Dr. med. Sonja Kempinski | last changed on at 09:55


Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.