Remedies for aerophagia
How to get rid of stomach gas
The most common gastrointestinal complication that causes negative effects on our health is stomach gas. Did you know that our body produces several litres of gas every day? Although we count on enough mechanisms to remove and absorb excess gas, sometimes the so-called ‘Digestive balance’ can be disturbed.
Why is stomach gas produced?
Most of gas produced in the intestine is due to the air we swallow (aerophagia or air swallowing). Gas is also naturally produced by the bacteria in the intestinal flora.
Gases manifest most commonly as tympanites. This is when classic problems arise, such as abdominal distension or bloating, belching, flatulence (release of gas from colon), abdominal pain and cramps.
What causes the excess of gas?
It’s important to highlight that this kind of pain in some people does not occur because they have more gas in their intestine, but because it is difficult for the gas to pass through the intestine or these people are more sensitive, which causes referred pain when small increases in volume take place.
Most common situations causing excess gas
- Most people produce more gas after meals and less while they are sleeping.
- Pregnancy, some surgeries or general ageing can lead to changes in the activity of pelvic muscles, which control the release of gas.
- Some disorders, such as acute and chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, gastritis, gastric ulcers or Crohn’s disease can also involve gas accumulation.
- Everyone is aware that there are many foods that can cause gas when eaten, such as:
- Legumes: kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, broad beans and peas.
- Vegetables: cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, lettuce, artichokes, turnips, Swiss chard, peppers, cucumbers, asparagus and spinach.
- Wholegrain products, which are a good source of fibre but are not recommended for people who suffer from tympanites, such as cereals, rice, whole-wheat bread.
- Fizzy drinks, especially cola drinks, beer or red wine.
- Other vegetables: potato, radish and raw onion.
- Fruit: raisins, apricots, plums, and bananas.
General recommendations to avoid air swallowing
- Eat slowly, chew food well before swallowing and try not to talk while eating.
- Do not drink a lot of liquid with meals and opt for non-fizzy drinks.
- Avoid drinking directly from the bottle or drink with a straw.
- Avoid chewing gum or sucking sweets.
- Maintain a balanced diet, which is low in fat and carbohydrates.
The food supplement Neocarbon with activated charcoal, green anise (Pimpinella anisum L.) and mint (Menta piperita L.), can be really useful. Activated charcoal is a great natural absorbent, which is capable of binding many substances, such as bacteria, toxins and gases; it also rapidly and effectively reduces aerophagia. Mint and anise help with their antispasmodic and relaxing effect.