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Is FLATULENCE A Sign You’ve Got The Blues? Depressed people are more likely to break wind, feel bloated and have other stomach problems, study says

  • Research found that people with more gas are more likely to feel depressed or anxious
  • UK trumps US, with Brits breaking 6 percent more wind than Americans
  • Mexico blew the doors of the competition and reported the most gas per person










Winds, belching and bloating may be signs of poor mental health, a global study suggests.

Researchers tried to get to the bottom of how common flatulence and other gas-related symptoms are in the population.

They surveyed nearly 6,000 people in the UK, US and Mexico for 24 hours about their problems and their mental health over the past week.

Wind breaking was the most common complaint, with 81 percent of adults reporting having had at least one rip that day. According to the NHS, the average person farts five to 15 times a day.

It was followed by rumbling in the stomach (60 percent), belching (58 percent) and bad breath (48 percent).

Other common symptoms included flatulence (47 percent), a swollen abdomen (40 percent) and bloating (38 percent).

On average, volunteers were affected by three gas problems within a 24-hour period, and only 11 percent reported 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 also tended to report 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 study involving nearly 2,000 Britons

This could mean that poor mental health was causing the gas problems, or vice versa, where people’s shame or concerns about their gas affected their mental well-being.

Anxiety, nervousness and depression are known to affect the digestive system and can lead to stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation and loss of appetite.

By country, Mexico was the most full of hot air, with the highest number of all symptoms.

The UK trumped the US on flatulence, with 83 percent of Brits having the wind in their sails, compared to a more modest 76 percent of Americans.

However, Mexico still won the windiest of the three nations overall, with 85 percent of respondents reporting the symptom.

The UK and US were mostly neck and neck in terms of other gassy behaviour.

Brits report slightly more stomach rumbling. and Americans burp more and are also more likely to have bad breath.

The research was conducted by scientists from the Rome Foundation Research Institute in the US in collaboration with Danone Nutricia Research in France.

Lead author of the study, Professor Olafur Palsson of the Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, said the differences between the countries needed to be looked at.

“The reasons for the marked differences in the amount of gas-related symptoms between Mexico and the other countries we studied are unknown and need further investigation,” he said.

“Cultural, linguistic, nutritional or public health factors can influence population levels of gas-related symptoms.”

The research was presented at United European Gastroenterology week.

Breaking wind – what causes it and what is normal?

Blowing winds are perfectly normal, but some days you can be more gassy than others. So when should you worry? Even the experts disagree on what is “normal.”

The NHS says it means wind about 15 times a day, but according to digestive charity Guts UK, anything up to 40 is healthy.

‘Frequency isn’t that important,’ says Dr Rehan Haidry, consultant gastroenterologist at The London Clinic. “But if it smells really bad and is accompanied by bloating and abdominal pain, that’s worrying.”

What causes it?

Even in healthy people, foods like onions, garlic and beans generate a lot of gas, as do carbonated drinks. But some suffer more than others, feeling pain, bloating and a change in bowel habits.

“The most common cause of excessive flatulence is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine called SIBO,” says Dr Haidry.

‘These bacteria give off gases when they react with compounds in foods. And because the small intestine is small and narrow, the gas is squeezed out.

“It also often results in bloating and pain.”

The condition, diagnosed using a food diary or breath 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 disease and colon cancer may be the cause.’

What can be done about excessive flatulence?

dr. Green recommends trying the over-the-counter medication simethicone, which may help some people because it breaks up gas bubbles in the stomach.

As for SIBO, antibiotics usually kill the nasty gut bacteria within a month and stop the symptoms, Dr. Haidry says.

“Reduce foods like beans, onions, garlic, cabbage, and artificial sweeteners — those prone to SIBO find these particularly difficult to digest,” he adds.

dr. Green adds: ‘A study has shown that underwear made with charcoal absorbs odor.’ These are available online.

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