- Study finds people with excess gas are more likely to be depressed or anxious
- Britain surpasses America, Britons wind up 6 percent more than Americans
- Mexico blew the doors of the competition by reporting the most gas per capita
A global survey suggests that strong wind, belching and bloating can be a sign of poor mental health.
The researchers tried to get to the bottom of how flatulence and other gas-related symptoms occur in the population.
He questioned nearly 6,000 people in the UK, US and Mexico about their issues over 24 hours, as well as their mental health last week.
Breaking wind was the most common complaint, with 81 percent of adults reporting that they would have had at least one rip that day. According to the NHS, the average person farts five to 15 times a day.
This was followed by rumbling in the abdomen (60 percent), belching (58 percent) and bad breath (48 percent).
Other common symptoms include trapped air (47 percent), abdominal bloating (40 percent) and bloating (38 percent).
On average, volunteers were affected by three gas issues within a 24-hour period, with only 11 percent reporting no gas at all.
In addition to gas, survey participants were also asked about their mental health and emotional well-being over the past seven days.
The scientists noted that the more gassy people report the higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
Frequent farting can be a sign of depression. Scientists have found a link between gassy symptoms and poor mental health in a global survey that involved nearly 2,000 Brits
This could mean that poor mental health was causing the gas problem, or vice versa where people’s embarrassment or concern about their gas was affecting their mental well-being.
Anxiety, nerves and depression are all known to affect the digestive system and can result in abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constipation and loss of appetite.
By country, Mexico was filled with the most hot air, with the highest number of symptoms of all.
Britain surpassed the US in terms of flatulence, with 83 percent of Britons breaking the wind compared to 76 percent of Americans.
Mexico still took the prize for having the most flatulence out of the three countries overall, although 85 percent of respondents reported symptoms.
The UK and US were mostly neck and neck in terms of other gassy behaviour.
The British reported a little more stomach rumbling. And Americans are more and more likely to have bad breath.
The study was carried out by scientists from the Rome Foundation Research Institute in the US in collaboration with Danone Nutricia Research in France.
Study lead author Professor Olafur Palson of the University of North Carolina Department of Medicine said there is a need to look at differences between countries.
“The reasons for the significant difference in the amount of gas-related symptoms between Mexico and the other countries we surveyed are unknown, and require further investigation,” he said.
‘Cultural, linguistic, dietary or public health factors may influence population levels of gas-related symptoms.’
The research was presented at the United European Gastroenterology Week.
Braking Wind – What Causes It and Is It Normal?
Braking wind is completely normal, but some days you may be more gassy than others. So when should you be worried? Even experts can’t agree on what is ‘normal’.
The NHS says this means breaking the wind about 15 times a day, but according to digestive health charity Guts UK, anything up to 40 is healthy.
‘Frequency is not that important,’ says Dr Rehan Hydari, consultant gastroenterologist at the London Clinic. ‘But if it is very smelly and comes with bloating and pain in the abdomen, that is worrying.’
what causes it?
Even in healthy people, foods such as onions, garlic and beans generate as much gas as carbonated drinks. But some suffer more than others, and feel pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits.
Dr Hydari says, ‘The most common cause of excess flatulence is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, known as SIBO.
‘These bacteria release gas when they react with compounds in foods. And because the small intestine is small and narrow, the gas comes out.
‘It often results in swelling and pain as well.’
The condition, diagnosed using a food diary or breathing test, is considered a type of irritable bowel syndrome. But GP Sasha Green warns: ‘If there are multiple symptoms, more serious problems such as lactose intolerance, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel conditions and bowel cancer may be to blame.’
What can be done about excess flatulence?
Dr. Green recommends trying the over-the-counter drug simethicone, which may help some people because it breaks up gas bubbles in the stomach.
As far as SIBO is concerned, says Dr. Hydari, antibiotics usually eliminate the nasty gut bug within a month, stopping symptoms.
‘Cut down foods such as beans, onions, garlic, cabbage and artificial sweeteners – those that are particularly difficult to digest, making them prone to SIBO,’ he says.
Dr Green says: ‘One study showed that underwear made from charcoal absorbs odors.’ These are available online.