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Saturday, September 22nd 2012. | General

Aerophagia Definition

The flatulence is swallowing air in the digestive tract. For each swallow, 2-3 ml of air swallowed. However, on average, an adult swallowed 1 000 to 2000 times per day.Only with swallowing food or those conduisetn to swallow saliva 2-4 liters of air are ingested every day.

A portion of this air can be expelled through the mouth during belching or references (burping). Much gas will follow the path of the digestive tract and, hence, will be broadcast in the blood, or participate in the digestion of the intestinal microflora or be expelled through the anus.

In the normal state, the gut always contains 200-500 ml of gas more than half in the colon, the rest split for a little more than half in the stomach and a little less in the intestine hail.


When this amount of gas is perceived by the subject as abnormal, we talk about bloating or distension.

Origin of gas?

Gases in the digestive tract have a threefold origin:

  • The air which is swallowed consisting of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide (2 to 4 liters per day);
  • The gas produced by chemical reactions of digestion or diffusing from the blood (nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen);
  • Gas from the fermentation of food not absorbed by the small intestine (carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane and odorous gases) and thus arriving in the colon to be expelled.

What happens there?

The presence of air in the digestive tract is not serious.

The presence of excess air in the stomach (aerogastris) is most often related to excessive swallowing anxiety, salivation inappropriate (problem dentures, chewing gum, diseases of the mouth and throat .. .) meals too quickly or excessive consumption of soft drinks or aerated food (bread, meringue, apple …).

The person complains of belching, discomfort or drowsiness after meals, sometimes fast heartbeat (tachycardia).

These disorders are not serious when they are related to a malfunction of the stomach disorder or sensitivity.

Simple treatments can then allow proper management of this condition called functional dyspepsia.

But the doctor must nevertheless ensure that there is no more serious diseases: gastric or duodenal ulcer, gastritis (more rarely cancer of the stomach), esophagitis or condition of the gallbladder or pancreas.


The air can also be found in the intestines

The term flatulence is often erroneously used to mean bloating or flatulence that introduces the subject suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or, more broadly, functional digestive disorders bowel.

Bloating or swelling means meteorism belly (or bloating) by the accumulation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or the entire colon only. When these gases are expelled through the anus often, we talk about flatulence.

The accumulation of gas in the intestines is most often due to excessive sensitivity of the intestinal wall (IBS or irritable bowel syndrome) and in excessive production of gas in the colon.

The walls of the colon of a person who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome are particularly susceptible which makes them “hyper-reactive” to triggers such as stress, diet, certain medications and microbes … Exposure to these factors can trigger at any time, but especially in times of anxiety, painful manifestations, intestinal disorders or feeling bloated belly.

These are bloating the subject or his entourage, and often referred to incorrectly by the term “flatulence.”

Examinations are still necessary before concluding that these disorders are mild, and if this is the case, effective treatments exist.

What lifestyle?

Two major steps can be easily adopted: reduce swallowing and fight against the production of gas.

Reduce air ingestion

If there is excess swallowed air is that it is excessive swallowing. To reduce the amount of air swallowed, it is desirable to take his meals at regular times, swallow without chewing forward foods carefully and long.

Check his dental equipment is also essential and avoiding tobacco and chewing gum.

All possible measures against stress and anxiety are beneficial.

Foods (such as bread, meringue, apple) called “ventilated” should be avoided as well as drinks and bicarbonate.

Fight against gas production

Fight against excessive gas in the digestive tract can be done by reducing the production or facilitating the removal of these gases. To reduce production, they should avoid foods called “fiber”, “non-digestible” and food “rich in residues’ salad, some fresh or dried fruit, vegetables, fresh or dried, sound … This type of diet may have an interest in certain situations transitional medical advice, but can not be sustained for long without the risk of nutritional deficiency.

 Coal can be used to absorb gases in the digestive tract. It can also help eliminate gas using plants to enable the expulsion of intestinal gas (sage, rosemary, mint, thyme, lemon balm, basil …).

Your Consultation

  • Do you eat fast (the eating quickly is, on the one hand, a sign of anxiety or stressful lifestyle, which in itself is sufficient to increase the frequency of swallows on the other hand, it makes swallowing more air than if we eat “calmly”)?
  • Are you constantly chew (chewing gum, candy)?
  • Do you smoke?
  • When the troubles begin?
  • Have you ever suffered from other digestive disorders: gastric or duodenal ulcers, gallstones, stomach pain, bowel habits?
  • What are your eating habits?


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