Patients say that body posture influences their abdominal bloating, distension, and flatulence. However, whether changes in position have demonstrable effects has not been investigated.
In this study, researchers evaluated the effect of upright versus supine body posture on intestinal transit of gas loads.
Their findings are reported in the July issue of Gut.
The research team studied 8 healthy subjects, who had no gastrointestinal symptoms.
The team infused a gas mixture into the jejunum of each subject (12 ml/min for 3 hours). They then measured gas evacuation, clearance of a non-absorbable gaseous marker, perception, and abdominal girth.
The team performed paired studies in each subject. These were on separate days in the upright and supine positions.
|Gas retention at 60 min:|
- upright = 13 ml
- supine = 146 ml
The researchers determined that in the upright position intestinal gas retention at 60 minutes was less than when supine, 13 ml versus 146 ml, respectively.
In addition, clearance of the gas marker at 60 minutes was greater, 72% versus 49%, respectively.
The gas challenge test was well tolerated both in the upright and supine positions without abdominal distension.
Dr Dainese's team concluded, "Body posture has a significant influence on intestinal gas propulsion: transit is faster in the upright position than when supine".