Is there a perfect time to release intestinal gas? The answer is no. As a result, men and women hold their flatulence in whenever possible. However, tightening up to make sure nothing comes slipping out may not be such a good idea, according to the results of a study conducted by Clare Collins of Newcastle University in New South Wales.
What happens when you hold in a fart?
This ‘flatulence expert’ wrote an essay for The Conversation in which she explained that if held in, a fart can be reabsorbed into the blood. From there it can be released when you exhale. Collins wrote:
An accumulation of intestinal gas can trigger abdominal distension, with some gases being reabsorbed into the circulation and exhaled in your breath.
However, when this happens most of the pressure will actually just stay built up in your system and be released in a burp or eventual fart later down the track. When you hold in a fart you may also experience some discomfort in the form of bloating, cramps and even a gurgling feeling as the trapped gas moves around your digestive tract.
As explained in the video above, Clare Collins took the opportunity to give us a little advice. When you feel you’re going to have flatulence, move to a suitable place where you can let it go without any problems. However, if you do need to let one loose, make sure it's not going to be one that smells so bad that it could potentially ground a plane...
So you've now got the green light from a medical professional - if you've got them, let them rip! According to other studies, farting may actually have other added health benefits.
When farting poses a risk
However, if you find yourself experiencing excessive flatulence then it may be a sign of a larger health problem. If you find yourself farting more than 25 times a day, if you have very rancid smelling fats or notice your farts occurring along with these symptoms then it may be best to seek a doctor:
- changes in bowel habits
- severe bloating
- long-lasting and severe abdominal pain
- bloody stools
- unintentional weight loss
- chest discomfort
- feeling full quickly
- loss of appetite