What is it?
Meteorism is one of the most common gastrointestinal annoyances in our society, together with additional symptoms such as belching, flatulence and disorders of the alteration of the hive.
It is characterized by a frequent state of swollen belly, due to excess gas in the intestine, accompanied by spasms and abdominal distension.
Meteorism can be embarrassing and make you feel uncomfortable around others.
At the base of meteorism there are several causes:
- Bad digestion;
- Voracity in eating with accumulation of air in the belly;
- Irritable bowel syndrome;
- Ulcerative colitis;
- Crohn’s disease;
- Food poisoning;
- Gastrointestinal viruses;
- Gluten intolerance;
- Lactose intolerance;
- Celiac disease;
- Allergy to histamine;
- Frequent diarrhea;
- Intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.
The main symptoms of meteorism are the following:
- Abdominal swelling
- Abdominal pain;
- Abnormal bowel movements
- Contraction of the intestinal muscles;
- Bad digestion.
In general, the patient suffering from meteorism can go to a gastroenterologist or family doctor for a visit. He will report his symptoms and the professional will direct him towards a more targeted examination.
The exams required in case of meteorism are:
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Pancreatic enzymes;
- Breath test;
- Celiac disease genetic test;
- Hepatologist control;
- Dysbiosis test.
Pharmacological treatment against meteorism is very rare, in most cases it is implemented only if the conditions are very serious.
In any case, among the most used drugs we have the parasympathomimetics, defined in this way as they increase the activity of the parasympathetic system in the gastrointestinal tract, favoring peristalsis and therefore the remission times of meteorism, even if they can involve strong side effects at the level gastrointestinal.
- Among this type of drugs we find neostigmine methyl sulfate and bethanechol, drugs that relax the abdominal muscles, fighting the feeling of a bloated abdomen.
There are several natural remedies that give us the possibility to fight meteorism:
- Vegetable charcoal, obtained from the dry distillation of birch, willow or poplar wood, from which a powder is obtained, with absorbent properties acting like a sponge that absorbs intestinal gas.
- Herbal teas based on fennel or anise, with carminative action, which reduce abdominal swelling, thanks to molecules that limit anaerobic fermentation.
- Cumin facilitates digestion when taken after a meal.
- Lemon balm and mint as an infusion with antispasmodic properties;
- Myrtle, which boasts digestive and anti-fermentative properties, hindering fermentation.
There are guidelines to follow to reduce the feeling of abdominal bloating and the presence of gas in the abdominal region:
- Reduce the ingestion of foods with fermentation action, i.e. vegetables such as cruciferous and legumes that are pureed or peeled;
- Reduce the ingestion of milk and derivatives, use preferably lactose-free products;
- Avoid the ingestion of packaged products rich in sweeteners such as mannitol, xylitol or sorbitol, with fermentation action;
- Avoid the ingestion of mineral water and all carbonated soft drinks;
- Avoid the ingestion of very ripe fruit, and preferably between meals;
- Moderate the intake of mucosal irritating substances such as caffeine, theine and theobromine, present in coffee, tea and chocolate respectively;
- Reduce the consumption of eggs only once a week;
- Avoid associations of several foods with fermentation action in a single meal, so do not combine dairy products and cruciferous, cruciferous and eggs, legumes with eggs, dairy products or crucifers at the same time;
- Eat slowly;
- Do not drink with meals, but before or after;
- Integration of lactic ferments or foods with probiotic action, such as natto, kefir, sauerkraut or miso.
- A dissociated and elementary diet in the combination of foods helps to improve symptoms;
- Eat little but often.
- Avoid fermentative drinks such as beer or wine.