Swelling, meteorism, and abdominal pain: these are some of the most common disorders of the gastro-intestinal system. Beatrice Salvioli, a specialist in Gastroenterology from Humanitas and a guest of the live Facebook stream of Obiettivo salute – Radio24, spoke about this topic.

In respect of the discomfort to the belly, it is necessary to identify where the disorder is located: in the upper part we usually think of the stomach and the first pathways of the small intestine, while in the lower part (under the navel) we must take into account not only the intestine, but also the urological apparatus and in women, the gynecological one.

It is also important to understand when the disorder manifests itself: if, for example, it occurs after eating it is necessary to make sure that there is no food that causes discomfort; on an empty stomach, however, we could think of a gastritis or an ulcer. It is also useful for the patient to tell the doctor what kind of activity he is doing throughout the day and whether the pains and discomforts are associated with them in any way, for example after physical activity or at night.

This information is very useful to help specialists understand whether they are investigating food or whether it is an organic matter. To be more aware of what you eat, you should keep a food diary for 15-20 days, marking what you eat, when and how you feel. Emotions play a role and it is very easy that when you go through a delicate period of life you feel annoyances and disturbances in the stomach.


Swelling and other symptoms should not be underestimated

Swelling is a very common disorder, but we must distinguish between the swelling related to meteorism and therefore the presence of air in the belly, and the swelling associated with distension, which forces you to loosen the skirt or trousers because of a clearly visible abdominal distension. In predisposed subjects, spending many hours sitting during the day increases swelling and relaxation, due to the forced posture of the abdominal area. It would be ideal to get up every hour to take several steps and never eat in front of the computer. Eating while working leads to insufficient chewing, fast headlamps and swallowing plenty of air, factors that promote swelling. The chewing rhythm is very important and it is one of the most difficult habits to correct.

It is also important not to underestimate symptoms such as burning, nausea, sensation of heart in the throat or a weight on the stomach that prevents the completion of a meal: these signs deserve further investigation, such as a gastroscopy.


The intestinal microbiota

The microbiota is the set of microorganisms present in our intestines and weighs almost a kilo, has its own genome and needs to be cared for as a living being, through a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet.

From a gastrointestinal point of view, some signs indicate the suffering of the microbiota, such as an alteration in the level of feces that occur uncompounded or goat-like, the presence of air in the belly and abdominal pain.

Dr. Salvioli then answered some questions related to irritable bowel syndrome, probiotics, kefir and FODMAP from live connected users.


Watch the entire interview with Dr. Salvioli, click here