Swelling, stress illness

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Does your belly swell after meals? These unpleasant intestinal gases are very often related to a poor lifestyle. Most of the time, the problem is solved by taking the time to eat in peace.

After a good meal, you can sometimes feel bloated, to the point of having to loosen your belt. This unpleasant sensation is due to intestinal fermentation.

"Bacteria in the colon come into contact with food waste, which produces gases. But, as we do not all have the same intestinal flora, some people emit more gases than others", explains Dr. Vianna Costil, Secretary General of Cregg ( Hepato-Gastroenterology Cabinets and Groups Reflection Club).

Each person can produce 0.6 to 1.8 liters of methane and other gases per day.

A more often benign symptom

Women tend to complain of bloating more often than men. It is true that hormonal variations play a role. "Gas appears to be more common at the time of ovulation and menopause," observes Dr. Costil.

These swellings are; most of the time, mild. From a medical point of view, they will not be of interest to the gastroenterologist, unless they are associated with gastrointestinal bleeding, pain, or other transit disorders. "If symptoms persist, having a colonoscopy to check for inflammatory colitis or cancer may be helpful," says Dr. Costil.

In all cases, the gastroenterologist will perform biological tests to diagnose an allergy or food intolerance (to lactose or gluten in particular) that may explain the symptoms. One thing is certain: stress is mentioned a lot in consultations.

A link to our mood swings

The gut, an organ lined with nerve cells, is easily disturbed by our mood swings. "In 30% of cases, functional intestinal disorders are related to stress and anxiety," confirms Dr. Jean-Christophe Letard, President of Cregg.

Another aggravating factor: meals you eat on the go. "The gas is formed, in part, from the air we breathe when we eat too fast or chew gum, the other part comes from the colon. These gases are then eliminated by shunts and flatulence", explains Dr. Costil.

To avoid these little worries, it is advisable to take your time at mealtime, eat sitting up instead of standing, and calmly chew each bite while enjoying the flavors.

"The ideal is to eat in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere. The state of mind in which we find ourselves at mealtime is very important. In the Cretan model, or Mediterranean diet, much emphasis is placed on the importance of arguing during a meal. food, rest and then go for a digestive walk, "insists yoga teacher Dr. Lionel Coudron.

Certain foods promote fermentation. Some of these foods are high in fiber. Eliminating them could lead to constipation.

Be careful with whole grains, legumes, cabbage, artichokes, beans, shallots, milk, 0% yogurts (often enriched with inulin, a fiber that can give gas), chewing gum, apple juice and plum. By contrast, dishes based on fennel, white rice, fish, green beans and sprinkled with cumin are better digested.

Yoga to self massage your stomach

For Dr. Lionel Coudron, yoga acts mechanically on the gut and provides a sense of relief and stress relief. Relive, in a way, the traffic. Ideally, the following exercise should be done twice a day for ten days. "It is best to do them in the afternoon after work, when you feel all the tension and fatigue of the day and, if possible, on an empty stomach," says the yoga teacher.

Over-the-counter products that contain activated charcoal (Carbolevure, Arkocaps charcoal, etc.) are known to be effective. They capture gas molecules, reducing bloating.

Medications such as Meteospasmyl or Debridat are often prescribed.

Dr. Letard, for his part, does not hesitate to give capsules or infusions of fennel to block fermentation. His recommendations: a capsule in the morning, at noon and at night before meals or a cup of infusion (15 to 30 g of seeds in a liter of boiling water) after the meal.

Finally, osteopathy with three sessions two weeks apart could be effective against swelling.

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