Stomach Pain From Flatulence: What Helps?

As embarrassing as it may be in public, it is completely normal for air and intestinal gases to occasionally leave the body with more or less noise. However, if particularly strong flatulence causes abdominal pain, there is a need for action. But where does painful flatulence come from and how do you counteract it?

paralysis is an uncomfortable thing. Whether it’s the uncontrollably loud noises, the possibility of unappetizing odors, or the mere association with a very intimate part of the body, hardly anyone really likes to talk about the air in their stomach and its release.

Unfortunately, the fact that this is such a taboo subject often means unnecessarily long suffering for those affected. In most cases, the causes of painful flatulence are quickly found and eliminated – all it takes is the right information.

What is flatulence anyway?

Flatulence can manifest itself in many different ways, so it is first important to distinguish between two medical terms related to flatulence. These terms are:

Flatulence: excessively frequent discharge of intestinal gas, often due to increased development of intestinal gas
Meteorism: Bloating of the intestines and abdomen due to excessive accumulation of gas, no escape of the gases
In colloquial language, flatulence in particular is referred to as “bloating”. Neither flatulence nor meteorism is a cause for concern in most cases.

They are not to be understood as diseases in their own right, but rather as side effects with various and mostly harmless causes. They often go away on their own after a short time. For example, doctors only speak of pathological flatulence if there are more than 24 gas leaks within 24 hours.

What causes bloating?

Basically, flatulence occurs when too much air or intestinal gas accumulates in the intestine. As widespread as this phenomenon is, its causes are just as varied. One of the most common is the so-called “aerophagia”, the swallowing of air. This occurs when eating, eating too quickly, or talking a lot while eating.

Fizzy drinks and foods that trap air, such as bread and cream, also cause excess air in the abdomen. Anyone who eats an unusual amount of flatulent foods such as cabbage, legumes or particularly greasy food also risks severe flatulence. Then the enzymes of the intestine can no longer digest the food completely and gas-forming fermentation occurs through bacteria.

But although flatulence and the associated abdominal pain are of course very closely linked to food intake, digestion is also influenced by various other factors. For example, lack of exercise makes the intestines sluggish and increases the risk of bloating. Pregnancy can also have a similar effect in women, since the sex hormone progesterone slows down digestion.

And that’s not all: Psychological factors such as severe stress are also a common cause of severe flatulence, as are the effects of the aging process. Last but not least, various diseases can also affect digestion and lead to painful flatulence. These include:

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • food allergies
  • Lactose and gluten intolerance
  • Disorders of the intestinal flora
  • liver cirrhosis
  • colon cancer
  • intestinal obstruction

Why does flatulence cause abdominal pain?

Flatulence alone is extremely uncomfortable, even in terms of embarrassing moments in public. However, mere flatulence is hardly ever painful, provided that air and intestinal gases can leave the intestines without any problems – by whatever means.

In most cases, it only becomes painful if meteorism does not occur, i.e. the bloating of the intestines and abdomen without gas leakage. If the intestinal gas is trapped in the numerous convolutions of the intestine, severe abdominal cramps, so-called wind colic, can be the result.

Why does the risk of flatulence increase with age?

The intestine, the longest part of the human digestive tract, is a muscular tube. This moves the food pulp in the right direction through precisely coordinated muscle movements while it is gradually broken down and the body absorbs nutrients and water.

However, as we get older, our muscles lose strength and the gut is no exception. The result: Elderly people are increasingly struggling with digestive problems such as constipation, a feeling of fullness and flatulence. Although this is not a disease and does not pose a threat to life, it is associated with a sometimes high level of suffering for those affected.

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