Also called flatulence, they are anal winds that may or may not produce sound and emit a foul smell. They are involuntary, but due to the presence of the anal sphincter (circular muscular structure that controls the degree of amplitude of the anus), in most cases it is possible to control its exit.
Popularly known as belch, it usually produces a typical sound and is expelled through the mouth.
Causes and risk factors
The ingestion and production of winds by the body are natural conditions, so anyone is prone to emit them. However, there are some factors that increase the intensity of the production of these gases:
Talking a lot, talking during a meal: increases the swallowing of air (aerophagia);
Chewing little or eating too fast: it makes the digestion process more difficult, especially in the case of carbohydrates, in which digestion begins in the mouth;
Having both chronic and temporary bowel problems such as diverticulitis, constipation (constipation), gastroenteritis, food intolerances or irritable bowel syndrome (chronic disease affecting the large intestine): the trapped stools are more fermented, producing more gases, which accumulate in the intestine, which can cause discomfort. In addition, people who have these complications tend to have a greater sensitivity to gases, that is, they have the feeling of having an excess of gases even though the amount of gases produced is not so uneven;
Sedentary lifestyle: sedentary people have a slower digestion, favoring the fermentation of food;
Use of antibiotics: as they act directly on the intestinal flora, they can cause imbalance and flatulence. However, these effects end when use is suspended; Use of diabetes medications.
In addition to these factors, there are some foods that favor greater intake or production of gases. The effect of food on the body varies from person to person. However, some foods tend to increase this production. As an example, we can mention fibers and
carbohydrates , which ferment a lot during digestion, as well as proteins and fatty foods, which take longer to be digested.
The foods that most often produce gases are:
Dwarf banana or gold;
Potato (especially sweet potato);
Meats (especially pork);
Wheat and derivatives;
Cold cuts and sausages;
Sorbitol (sugar alcohol);
Chocolate and chocolate products;
Mate tea and coffee;
Carbonated drinks (favor the consumption of air);
Milk and dairy products (especially wholegrain and high in fat).
The presence of sulfur in some foods does not necessarily increase the elimination of gases, but it is the reason for the fetid smell of flatulence. They are:
Symptoms that intestinal gases can cause
Excessive gases in the body can cause several discomforts. Symptoms vary according to the amount and sensitivity of each individual. In addition to the gas emission itself (flatulence and belching), the symptoms vary according to the category.
Read more: Can excess gas be a disease?
Symptoms that may indicate the presence of intestinal gases are:
Abdominal pain (may be prickly);
Belly hard or stuffed;
Symptoms that stomach gases can cause
Among some manifestations that can occur when there are excessive stomach gases are:
Loss of appetite;
Feeling of heaviness in the stomach;
Shortness of breathe;
Hooked in the chest, which, when very acute, can be mistaken for cardiac pain.
Intestinal Gases in Pregnancy
In pregnancy, the formation of intestinal gases is slightly higher. This is because, at this stage, there is an increase in
progesterone in the bloodstream, which relaxes all tissues in the body, including those in the digestive system, slowing digestion.
This increased production of gases does not harm the baby, but facilitates the appearance of more intense symptoms, such as distention and pang-shaped abdominal pain, noises in the belly and feeling of a full stomach.
Therefore, during the gestational period, even if the woman has no record of excess gas, it is interesting that she takes preventive measures to avoid these conditions, such as:
Avoid foods that are difficult to digest;
Avoid foods that cause gases;
Avoid carbonated drinks;
Drink plenty of water;
Practice some physical exercise;
Avoid chewing gum;
Avoid talking while eating;
Apply an enema (homemade therapeutic procedure that has the function of cleaning the intestine);
If, even taking these measures, the symptoms do not subside or the pain is very severe and intensifies, it is recommended that the pregnant woman consult an obstetrician, who can indicate a
In the case of babies, the foods to be avoided are the same as the mother’s. Therefore, when they are being breastfed, it is enough for the mother to reduce the intake for the gas and colic of the newborns to be reduced.
Producing gases is a common reaction of the human organism, so it does not indicate any disease.
However, if its abundance or insufficiency is a cause for discomfort and interferes with the patient’s quality of life, or if there is intolerable abdominal pain, excessive increase in the volume of the abdomen, bleeding in the stools, chronic
diarrhea , anemia and anorexia , it is indicated to look for the opinion of a general practitioner to carry out an appropriate treatment.
These symptoms can indicate medical problems, such as:
Irritable bowel syndrome;
Cancer of the rectum;
Celiac disease (immune system reaction to gluten intake);
Dumping syndrome (the lower region of the small intestine quickly fills with undigested food in the stomach);
Gastroparesis (condition that affects the stomach muscles and prevents proper emptying of the organ);
Inflammatory bowel disease;
Duodenitis (inflammation of the duodenum);
Home gas treatment
To reduce the elimination of gases, it is necessary to avoid foods and conditions that favor their ingestion and production.
Do not chew gum, eat slowly and in small meals, avoid talking during the meal and exercise, especially 15 to 20 minute walks, which stimulate the functioning of the intestine, can help.
Abdominal massages are also very recommended. The ideal is to do a circulatory movement that goes from right to left, for 5 to 10 minutes. Another recommended measure is to perform positions that favor the elimination of flatulence. There are two more suitable ones:
Get on your knees, sit on your feet and bring your head and torso close to the floor;
Lie on your back, bend your legs and press them against your belly. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
In addition, it is important to avoid foods that favor flatulence. However, as the effect of food varies from one individual to another, one tip is to eliminate one group of foods at a time and observe the results.
The foods best known for helping to eliminate gases are:
Light food based on soups, vegetables, legumes and fruits;
Dark green leaves;
Fruits such as apple, pear, lime orange, banana-apple, peach, nectarine, pineapple and papaya;
Laxative orange juice mixed with papaya and oats several times a day;
Eating natural yogurts with bifid or lactobacilli, bacteria that improve digestion;
Kefir, which stimulates the intestinal flora and detoxifies the body;
Cinnamon, which helps in the metabolization of fats;
Lactose-free milk, soy milk, soy juice
Toast, starch or low-fat biscuit;
Wholemeal, Syrian, Swedish and French breads without crumbs;
Lean cooked, roasted or grilled meats;
Seasonings such as olive oil, lemon, parsley, salt, vinegar and vegetable oil;
Two spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar in a glass with water. Take with or after meals;
Warm water solution with lemon: the acidity of the lemon stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid, which is necessary for the digestion of food in the stomach.
Read more: What are the benefits of cinnamon powder?
Gas teas: what are the natural options for flatulence?
Another common treatment is the consumption of teas with antispasmodic and calming properties, which alleviate intestinal irritation and involuntary bowel movements, decreasing gas production and pain:
Bilberry: Stimulates the liver to metabolize fats. Ingredients: 10 g of bilberry leaves and 500 ml boiling water. Preparation: Place the leaves in the water and let it rest for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink after meals or when symptoms appear;
Fennel: Stimulates the production of intestinal fluids, stimulating the digestive process and relieving gastric pain, feeling of stuffiness and belching. You can choose to chew the seeds. Ingredients: 1 spoon (dessert) of fennel and 1 cup of boiling water. Preparation: Place the seeds in the water and let it rest for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink after meals or when symptoms appear;
Peppermint: Decreases the natural movements of the intestine, reducing the production of gases, so it is not suitable for those suffering from constipation. Ingredients: 1 spoon (dessert) of peppermint leaves and 100 ml of boiling water. Preparation: Place the leaves in the water and let it rest for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink before meals or 10 minutes after eating;
Thyme and pennyroyal: Ingredients: 1 teaspoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of pennyroyal and 1 cup (tea) of boiling water. Preparation: Place the ingredients in the water, leave to rest for 3 to 5 minutes, then strain. Drink when symptoms appear;
Macela: Ingredients: 10 g of macela flowers, 1 tablespoon of fennel and 1 cup of boiling water. Preparation: Place the ingredients in the water, leave to rest for 5 minutes, then strain. Drink 3 to 4 times a day;
Green tea with mint: Stimulates the production of stomach acids. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon of dried mint leaves, 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves and 1 cup of boiling water. Preparation: Place the leaves in the water and let it rest for 5 minutes, then strain and drink;
Fennel, holy thorn and boldo: Clean the liver. Ingredients: 10 g of bilberry leaves, 10 g of holy thorn leaves, 10 g of fennel seeds and 1 liter of boiling water. Preparation: Place the ingredients in the water, leave to rest until evaporated. Take 1 cup 4 times a day;
Lemongrass and fennel: Helps combat constipation. Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of lemongrass, 1 tablespoon of fennel and 1 cup of boiling water. Preparation: Place the ingredients in the water, cover and leave to rest until warm, then strain. Drink 3 times a day;
Carqueja: Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of carqueja and 1 cup of boiling water. Preparation: Place the gorse in the water and let it rest for 15 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day;
Ginger: It also helps to fight nausea and vomiting. Ingredients: 2 cm of fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger and 1 liter of water. Preparation: Place the ginger and water in the pan, boil for 10 minutes, turn off the heat, cover, wait for it to warm, then strain and drink.
Chamomile, hops and fennel: Ingredients: 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers, 1 teaspoon of hops, 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds and 1 cup of boiling water. Preparation: Place the ingredients in the water and let it rest until warm, then strain. Drink 3 times a day;
Basil, anise, fennel, fresh mint: Ingredients: 10 g of basil, 1 anise star, 10 g of fennel, 10 g of fresh mint and 1 liter of water. Preparation: Bring the water to a boil and when it boils add the herbal mixture. Boil for another 5 minutes, leave to rest, then strain. Drink for 3 days;
Gentian: Regulates peristaltic movements and stimulates the production of gastric juice. Ingredients: 1 g of dried gentian roots and 200 ml of boiling water. Preparation: Place the gentian in the water and let it rest for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink several times a day, preferably before meals;
Avocado leaf: Diuretic and soothes the gastrointestinal system. It also helps in the treatment of bronchitis, diarrhea and elimination of kidney stones. Ingredients: 50 g of dried avocado leaves and 1 liter of water. Preparation: Boil the leaves for 5 minutes, turn off the heat, cover and leave to rest for another 10 minutes, then strain. Drink an hourly cup;
Cardomomo: Relieves symptoms of malaise, fatigue and swelling in the abdomen. Ingredients: 2 g of cardomomo seeds and 1 cup of boiling water. Preparation: Place the seeds in the water and let it rest for 10 minutes after straining. Drink after meals, avoiding very high doses, as they can cause vomiting;
Melissa: Ingredients: 10 to 15 melissa leaves and 1 cup of water. Preparation: Put the water to heat and, when it starts to release steam, add the leaves. Let it boil for another 2 minutes, turn off the heat, cover and let it rest for another 5 minutes, then strain. Drink then;
Lemongrass: Ingredients: 1 teaspoon of chopped leaves and 1 cup of boiling water. Preparation: Place the leaves in the water, leave to rest until cool. Drink 3 to 4 cups a day;
Caraway: Helps in the treatment of digestive problems. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon of crushed leaves and 1 cup of boiling water. Preparation: Place the leaves in the water and let it rest for 15 minutes, then strain. Drink 2 to 3 cups a day.
It is recommended that no sugar or honey be added to these teas, as they can ferment and hinder digestion.
The use of an enema, a therapeutic procedure that promotes intestinal cleansing, can also help. Its use is performed at home and very suitable for people who suffer
from constipation .
Read more: What is mint tea for and what are its benefits?
Medicines: what are the remedies to treat gases? Various medications can help eliminate gases, quickly reducing pain and discomfort. It is worth remembering that if flatulence is persistent or frequent, it is necessary to look for the causes and investigate the condition.
Dimethicone ( Luftal );
Activated charcoal ;
48 Almeida Prado;
Precious drops ;
Bismuth salicylate ;
NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.
Prevention: how to avoid gases?
Gases are natural to the body, so there is no way to prevent them, but there is a way to decrease their intensity.
Practicing some exercise, eating calmly, not chewing gum, avoiding foods that increase gas production and adopting a diet rich in foods that decrease their production, are measures that help to mitigate its elimination and its consequences.
Although the production of gases is a common response of the human organism, many people feel embarrassed to talk about it. However, gases can cause discomfort and even severe pain and, to avoid them, there are several habits that must be interrupted as well as admitted.