Farting in public is an act considered rude and disrespectful, especially if the fart smell is nauseating. This is why many people are doing everything they can to retain before it causes their public humiliation. But do you know health-wise, it is inadvisable to hold a fart? Here’s why.
What is a fart?
Farts or flatulence is a natural phenomenon which involves releasing, through the anus, gases that have accumulated in the gut after a fermentation of food or too rapid mastication which allows the absorption of too much amount of air during the meal. They are generally characterized by a strong, unpleasant odor and noise due to the tension of the muscles around the anus, although sometimes they may go unnoticed, silent and odorless.
What are its components?
Have you ever wondered what makes the fart stink? In fact, flatulence are composed of the following gases: nitrogen (50%), carbon dioxide (about 10%), oxygen (3%), methane (a flammable gas, approximately 10%) and hydrogen (also flammable, 21%). The unpleasant odor of this combination comes from sulfur compounds present in certain gases, including:
– Dimethyl sulfide (released during cooking of certain vegetables such as corn or beet)
– Methanethiol (a smell comparable to that of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage or broccoli)
– Hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell).
Is farting good or bad for the health?
Release of gases, about 14 times a day is a normal process that indicates your digestive system is working properly and that you have a healthy diet, as foods that cause flatulence are usually higher in fiber. These are known for their ability to improve digestion, regulate your weight and nourish the good beneficial bacteria of the intestinal flora.
In addition, the presence of sulfur compounds, particularly hydrogen sulfide preserves mitochondria and protect against inflammation. According to a study by the University of Exeter in Britain, hydrogen sulfide is produced by stressed cells of the body to preserve the mitochondria which represent their main source of energy, and repair damage caused by aging, arthritis, diabetes, stroke or heart failure.
However, if you suffer from excessive or involuntary flatulence, this may be due to several reasons such as:
– A diet high in red meat, sausages, etc.
– A disruption of the intestinal flora
– Some food intolerances (fructose, lactose, gluten, etc.)
– Health problems (irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, etc.).
Also, if you notice that these excessive flatulence are accompanied by the following symptoms, it is strongly recommended to seek medical advice:
-Blood in the stool or urine,
– Sudden changes in your body temperature, weight or menstrual cycle,
– Obstruction or looseness of the bowels,
– Rashes, sores or hives,
– Tiredness or weakness,
– Allergy symptoms, watery eyes, sore throat, etc.
Why holding back a fart is inadvisable?
To refrain from farting and prevent intestinal gas being released can have negative effects on your health. Indeed, a team of five Danish and British doctors published a study in the New Zealand Medical Journal, and advises to never hold back the flatulence. In fact, by not allowing the farts to get out, these gases accumulate in the intestines and put increasingly growing pressure on their walls. Not only this pressure can be very painful, but in the long run, it can cause a distension of the intestine, and thus the frequent occurrence of digestive disorders.
Moreover, by holding back the farts, you will not know if your quantity of farts is normal or excessive, especially given that this may be indicative of other conditions or diseases.
Finally, if you want your farts to be stifled and smell slightly attenuated, don’t fart when you are sitting on a leather chair, but don’t hesitate when it is wrapped seat or couch fabric. One study even demonstrated that a fabric stretched over foam absorbed up to 50% of the fart odor. Be careful, however, to get away if you have people around in order to avoid inconvenience.