When the stomach turns into a balloon

Flatulence is firmly shunned as a conversation topic, even though many people experience problems with their digestion. We've decided to look into this issue nevertheless and to examine some of its causes.
Your innards are rumbling, you’re uncomfortable whether you stand or sit, and you worry that the button on your pants may pop at any time – yes, an upset stomach can quickly ruin our day. And we invariably start thinking about what we ate to bring this on and what the culprit may be? Yet the cause for digestive problems vary widely. Here’s an overview of the most frequent ones.

Food and drink

Let’s start with the most well-known cause – the food we eat, which occasionally takes a heavy toll on our digestion. And we don’t just mean garlic and onions. While cabbage, pulses and other vegetable types can cause flatulence, it is primarily fatty or sugary foods that produce gas during digestion. Furthermore, your digestive tract has to work especially hard when you gulp down your food quickly and without chewing it properly. But flatulence can also be an indicator that you have a gluten or lactose intolerance.


Mental strain, such as anxiety or stress, can twist your stomach in the truest sense of the word. This is because the digestive process is governed by the parasympathetic nervous system, which becomes active only once the body is at rest. When we're stressed, on the other hand, our sympathetic nervous system becomes more active, affecting our heart, metabolism and muscles.


Do you take medication regularly and often suffer from flatulence? If so, we urge you to read the package insert to see if any side effects are mentioned. Antibiotics and some pain killers and antidiabetics can wreak havoc on healthy intestinal flora and thus cause flatulence. We therefore recommend that you ask your doctor if you think your current medication may be unsuitable.


Other factors that can lead to flatulence include inflammatory intestinal diseases or fungal infections. But illnesses of the pancreas or bile ducts can trigger such symptoms as well.

Video on the subject

(Video in German)

SWICA supports healthy nutrition

A balanced diet strengthens wellbeing and health over the long term. As a holistic healthcare organisation, SWICA focuses on the health of its customers and not on their illnesses. That's why SWICA customers enjoy prevention contributions of up to CHF 900* per year plus a wide range of health offers relating to nutrition.

*Click here for details of the contribution.

In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.