... from harmless to threatening
Flatulence as classic intestinal complaintsNot all intestinal complaints are caused by an intestinal disease. The intestinal flora can get out of balance due to various influences. Antibiotics, for example, are known to change the composition of the intestinal flora. If you eat an unbalanced diet, move too little or drink too much alcohol, this can also lead to problems.
We all know an intestinal problem - called "meteorism" in technical terminology: a bloated belly is at least unpleasant, sometimes even really painful. Flatulence is caused either by too much ingested air or by gas accumulation in the intestines. Mostly, some food and beverages such as legumes, onions, fatty foods, carbonated drinks or fresh bread are to blame.
If you get bloated every now and then after a meal, there's no need to worry. In this case avoid flatulent foods, eat slowly and drink plenty of water. Gentle warmth and abdominal massages can also bring relief.
Frequent intestinal diseases
Occasional flatulence, constipation or diarrhoea may not be the result of a intestinal disease. However, if these symptoms occur frequently or in combination, it is likely that they are the symptoms of an intestinal disease.
Here you can get an overview of frequently occurring intestinal diseases:
irritable bowel syndrome
- Psychological factors (anxiety, overload, grief)
- Unusual diet (for example, in vacation)
- Previous gastrointestinal flu
- Lactose intolerance
- Consumption of stimulants (cigarettes, coffee, alcohol)
- Imbalance of the intestinal flora (dysbiosis)
Doctors diagnose irritable bowel syndrome using the exclusion procedure. If all typical examinations such as laboratory tests, ultrasound or colonoscopy do not reveal any abnormalities, an irritable bowel syndrome is obvious.
- Abdominal pain in the lower right abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of weight
It is not yet clear how Crohn's disease develops. It is assumed that this is due to a autoimmune disorder. There are also some indications for a hereditary predisposition.
Ulcerative Colitis takes an episodic course – it is possible that months or even years pass without symptoms. Since the symptoms are similar to those of Crohn's disease, your doctor must first make an exact diagnosis. The causes of this intestinal disease are also unclear, probably due to an autoimmune disease. It is possible that viruses and bacteria also play a role.
Which intestinal diseases can be life-threatening?
In rare cases a bowel disease can lead to complications. In Crohn's disease intestinal obstruction is a possible complication that must be treated immediately. The formation of scars after a relapse can lead to constrictions which, in the worst case, can lead to intestinal obstruction. It is also possible that intestinal rupture may occur, in which the intestinal contents enter the abdominal cavity and can trigger life-threatening infections. In such emergencies, you must seek immediate hospital treatment.Complications are also conceivable with ulcerative colitis. Not only can intestinal perforation occur, but also a toxic megacolon. This in turn can lead to a life-threatening intestinal obstruction. Strong attacks can also lead to bleeding in the intestine, which can lead to severe blood loss. In this case, blood transfusions and surgery may be necessary.
How's the health of your intestinal flora?
But how do you know about your intestinal flora?