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Intestinal gas – causes, symptoms and treatment

Intestinal gas – causes, symptoms and treatment


Most patients with feelings of fullness and hoove (meteorism) have a higher content of intestinal gas. The typical content of intestinal gas is up to 150ml. The frequency of the passage of flauts is quite different and it depends a lot on the food type. It is pathological when the gas evolvement through the anus is often (24 or more times per day). The daily quantity of passage of flauts varies between 0,5 – 2 liters.

Intestinal gas

Intestinal gas


Causes for intestinal gas

  1. Absorption of air (aerophagia) and belching (eructation). With each swallowing act in the stomach goes 2-3ml of air. About 1-2ml may go into the stomach with one deep inhaling. Different foods also could contain air. Normally in the stomach fall up to 2-3 liters of air per day. Most of the gases in the stomach are brought out by belching, but just a little part is moving to the intestines. The transition time from the stomach to the anus is about 35 minutes. Pathological absorption of air is a consequence from increased frequency of swallowing and/or increased volume of air swallowed per gulp. The accumulation of air in the stomach leads to belching. It is relieved at left sideward position or when standing.
  2. The carbon dioxide which is contained in fizzy drinks is resorbed by the small intestine mostly and is excreted through the lungs.
  3. Formation of gases in the colon in carbohydrates metabolism from the bacteria. The volume of gas formation depends on the quantity of undigested carbohydrate (especially pulp and fiber) and from the food type. Fiber-rich foods like bread, fruits, and vegetables lead to increased gas formation in the colon. In the lactase deficiency, undecomposed lactose falls in the colon, which leads to formation of CO2 and lactic acid, and possibly to diarrhea. Sorbitol (in fruits and diabetic foods) is poorly resorbed and also stimulates the gas formation in the colon.


Reasons for increased intestinal gas:

1. Increased quantity of swallowed air (aerophagia) in:

  • Neurosis (the most common reason)
  • Emotional stress, fear
  • Increased salivation, when chewing gum for example
  • Dry mouth
  • Irregular eating habits
  • Fast eating and swallowing of liquids.

2. Intake of difficult resorbed carbohydrates (lactose, fructose)

  • Nutrition by using probe.
  • Gluten enteropathy
  • Lack of lactose.
  • Pancreatic insufficiency (bad smell of gases from the volatile fatty acids)
  • Accelerated gastro-intestinal passage
  • Infection with Giardia lamblia
  • Increased formation of CO2 in the duodenum

3. Reduced absorption of gases and hydrogen consumption from colonic flora:

  • Portal hypertension (in liver cirrhosis)
  • Right ventricular cardiac insufficiency
  • Intestinal atonia (intestinal paralysis)
  • Antibiotics treatment

4. Disorders of gastrointestinal motility (peristalsis)

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (the most frequent)
  • Intestinal paresis, stomach paresis


Symptoms of intestinal gas (meteorism)

  • Feeling of fullness and hoove
  • Clothes “feel” smaller
  • Rumbling sounds from the intestine (borborygmi)
  • Tension and/or pain in the left or right hypochondrium
  • Frequent belching
  • Frequently passage of flauts


Functional heart disorders from intestinal gas

  • Thoracic constriction in breathing
  • Unlocking of rhythm disorders (arrhythmia)
  • Unlocking breast pang complaints


Intestinal gas treatment

  • Removing any eventual hindrances in the passage
  • Treatment of an eventual lambliasis, the syndrome of “the blind stitch”
  • Gluten – free diet in gluten enteropathy
  • Low – lactose diet in lactase deficiency
  • Enzyme replacement therapy for external – secretory  pancreatic insufficiency
  • Normalization of the intestinal flora after antibiotic treatment.


Diet for intestinal gas

  • Avoiding gas formation foods and fizzy drinks
  • Slow and calm intake of food and liquids
  • Frequent small meals
  • To talk less during the process of eating
  • To do a walk after eating for good digestion
  • Avoiding of indigestible carbohydrates (stahiose, raffinose), and poorly resorbed and unabsorbed (lactose, fructose, lactulose, sorbit (ol).)


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Filed in: Small and large intestines

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