Have you ever held in a fart to prevent that dreaded cringe-factor in public? Most people have, if they’re honest about it. But what most people don’t think about it is what actually happens to that fart when it has nowhere to go. I mean, it has to go somewhere, right? And it most definitely does, just not where you might think!
When you hold in trapped wind it can cause your abdomen to distend, which is A. very painful, and B. the reason for what happens next. According to nutrition expert Professor Clare Collins, that distension can actually cause some of the gas to get “reabsorbed into the circulation and exhaled in your breath.” Yes, you read that correctly; you literally breathe it out. And you don’t get off the easy either, Prof Collins has also noted that “holding on too long means the build-up of intestinal gas will eventually escape via an uncontrollable fart.” Yikes.
The average person farts between 12-25 times per day. In the digestive process, enzymes in your gut use bacteria to break down the food in the small intestine, and any remaining undigested food moves into the large intestine and/or colon. This fermentation process produces the gas that leads to flatulence and burping. Flatulence is a completely natural response to digestion, however when it starts to become excessive it can be a problem.
Other Causes of Excessive Gas Include:
Swallowing air: all of us will swallow air throughout the day especially when drinking or eating. But usually this isn’t a huge amount of air. If you swallow more air than usual, you may suffer from excessive gas and this can be caused by drinking fizzy drinks, eating too quickly, smoking, or chewing gum.
Diet: certain foods are known to increase gas and these include: beans, broccoli, cabbage lentils, apples, lentils, and sweeteners such as sorbitol. These foods lead to sluggish digestion which results in pretty stinky flatulence (the type you are going to want to hold in!).
Also, as the body can’t fully absorb some of these foods they can pass straight to the colon without being digested properly. The bacteria in the colon are then forced to break down the food which again releases a gas build up leading to flatulence. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to cut these foods out of your diet in order to stop farting, but it’s good to be aware of your intake and food combinations if you do feel you’re suffering from excessive gas.
Using a straw to drink: this is a surefire way to swallow more air as you’re drinking
Digestive disorders and diseases: issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel disease can often be culprits.
Food intolerances/sensitivities: gluten sensitivity/intolerance, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease can all contribute to excess gas.
Bacterial overgrowth (SIBO): when colon bacteria migrate into the small intestine it results in a condition referred to as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Excessive gas is a key sign of this condition.
How To Fart Less!
There are a number of ways to reduce flatulence so that you don’t have to worry about holding it in or breathing it out!
Reduce carbs: if your diet is very carb heavy try to find substitutes, as carbohydrates are harder to digest than other foods. Some carbs that are less troublesome include rice, bananas, and potatoes.
Eat smaller, frequent meals: it‘s better to have 5-6 small meals throughout the day rather than 2-3 very heavy meals.
Keep a food diary: keeping a food diary is one of the best ways to identify your specific triggers if you have any kind of digestive condition. Once you figure out what foods are making your flatulence worse, you can cut down or eliminate them from your diet.
Eat slowly & chew properly: ensuring you chew your food properly will decrease the amount of air that you swallow when you eat.
Hydrate: increase your water intake (fizzy drinks are a no-go).
Exercise: a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology revealed that exercise can stimulate digestion and reduce flatulence.
Boost your diet with digestive enzymes: our Digestive Aid supplement will give your gut the digestive enzymes it needs to properly break down the food you eat and reduce those farts coming out from either end!
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