When we feel abdominal swelling and tension, the cause may beaerophagia which is nothing more than the accumulation of air in the digestive system. There are many causes of this problem, from the most trivial to the serious to be investigated, it is always good to identify them, together with a doctor, to try to solve the situation. Sometimes theaerophagia it is only caused by anfrequent ingestion of large quantities of air, involuntary, but this is not always the case. Let's not take it for granted.
When we go to investigate the causes of aerophagia we find ourselves distinguishing its varieties of this pathology. The physiological and the pathological. In the physiological one, there is not much to worry about, this series includes all those episodes in which air is ingested in exaggerated quantities and then somehow emit it externally, to avoid discomfort, air in the belly and consequentabdominal pain.
After a nice hearty meal, it may happen that there are episodes of aerophagia due to the fact that there has been swallowing of air in an exaggerated quantity but in an involuntary way. Count that on average 70% of the air present in the intestine comes from swallowing, 20% diffuses from the bloodstream and only 10% is linked to the bacterial fermentation of not well digested organic residues. That's why we talk about physiological aerophagia and in this regard, there are natural tricks and remedies that do not necessarily require the assistance of a doctor.
Let's now turn topathological aerophagia. At the origin of this type of problem there can be both disorders of the psychic sphere (anxious states with aerophagic tics) and infections of the digestive and biliary tract (peptic ulcer, gastroduodenitis, cholecystopathies, etc.). During pregnancy, aerophagia is due to hormonal changes associated with pressure stimuli exerted by the fetus, however there are cases that are related to rhinitis or to sinusitis chronic which leads us to swallow large quantities of saliva.
Other pathologies that, surprisingly, are associated with aerophagia are: hiatal hernia, irritable bowel syndrome, dry mouth, abundant salivation, excess smoke and use of inadequate dental prostheses.
Remedies for aerophagia can vary greatly depending on the extent of the problem. This pathology can be mild or present acute and severe episodes which can also endanger health.
If you have mild but continuous symptoms you can run for cover by trying to limit the consumption of carbonated drinks and eating more slowly. There are also exercises you can do to avoid swallowing air for no reason, but if you take some medicines for aerophagia it can also be caused by them and we need to get over it.
A completely different type of intervention should be done if you have acute and severe episodes. The context changes and very often there is also a mental disability or one specific rather serious pathology which also has aerophagia as a symptom. In this situation it is necessary the support of the doctor and his precious indications.
The classic symptoms of aerophagia are known to most but let's try to summarize them here: belching, abdominal tension, borborygmi and increased flatulence. Together with them, an increase in the gastric air bubble can occur which causes a diffuse retrosternal pain. From case to case, depending also on the origins of the problem, symptoms with peculiar characteristics may appear. Let's take the example of very anxious patients: in this situation, with reduced gastric extension tolerance, aerophagia can lead to acute stomach dilation, followed by a sense of suffocation, anxiety, tachycardia and hyperventilation.
Aerophagia: what to eat
Especially in the case of physiological aerophagia, most of the remedies concern nutrition and more generally our way of being at the table. Bad eating habits, habitual and excessive use of carbonated drinks, bicarbonate and chewingum, the tendency to hastily consume various meals are all causes of physiological aerophagia. A little more attention and a balanced diet can help a lot, up to total recovery
Other boundary conditions that can cause this problem are i frequent meals that are too large, rich in sugars and more complex nutrients. In these cases, in fact, the digestion times are lengthened, the sugars remain longer than necessary inside the gastric sac and are created fermentations, then causes swelling and stomach acid.
How to remedy? There comes to our aid phytotherapy, it can help us by offering us the possibility of taking herbal preparations specifically for these situations. Often these are products based on lemon balm, mint, fibrin clover, caraway, holy thistle, coriander and horsetail ash. They are not magical preparations, however, and it is up to us to do the rest by learning to chew slowly and not to overdo it at the table, limiting carbonated drinks which, as we have guessed, are our enemies.
There are times when swallowing air in a vacuum is an attitude that turns out to be linked to unconscious states or nervous tics. These are the cases in which a psychological type intervention is required which can sometimes include the use of anxiolytic drugs.
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