A large proportion of people, living an unhealthy lifestyle, have experienced uncomfortable swelling sensations in the stomach, accompanied by belching, heartburn, and mild colic.
This phenomenon is known as meteorism, which is usually indicated by excessive flatulence. The accumulation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract happens due to impaired excretion caused by digestive disorders (like dysbiosis).
Even though this condition further complicates our lives, numerous patients are embarrassed to report it to their medical physicians.
Swallowed air, accumulated gas within the colon, and the deposition of gases from the blood are the primary causes of the build-up of flatulence in the intestine. The gastrointestinal tract contains approximately 200 ml of gas at a time, and healthy people release about 600 ml of gas every day.
The gas is mainly composed of compounds such as indole, skatole, hydrogen sulfide, which all give it an unpleasant smell. The process of intestinal microflora decomposing undigested portions of food, in the gut, forms these compounds.
As the gases accumulate in the body, it produces a mucous foam that covers the wall of the intestine with a thin layer of mucosa. This process complicates parietal digestion, thereby reducing the effect of essential digestive enzymes and disrupting the assimilation of nutrients.
Healthy individuals who occasionally overeat, have frequent meals or eat certain types of food can increase the rate of flatulence.
Excessive flatulence can stimulate the appearance of extraintestinal symptoms like heartburn, bad moods, mild insomnia and minor fatigue.
Several medical and genetic problems, such as celiac disease (gluten intolerance) or intestinal inflammation, can also cause the accumulation of excess gas in the gut. In these cases, numerous anatomical abnormalities of the intestinal wall significantly slow down the processes of food digestion and gas absorption.
Flatulence, in the intestine, has a chance to stimulate the nervous system to release stress hormones and cause mild mood swings, which is a process that is known by some experts as ‘bowel depression.’ Both mental depression and ‘bowel depression’ show the same levels of hormonal imbalance in the body when they happen.