According to our viral TikTok video, y'all looooove talking about farts, which is perfect, because so do we! Farting, it’s totally normal! Everyone does it, but no one wants to talk about it. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about FARTS. Why do we fart? It’s totally normal to have some air in the digestive tract. Air builds up when you talk, eat, swallow, and while you’re digesting! When too much builds up, the body has to release it, one way or another. Passing gas keeps the pressure within the intestinal tract low and prevents it from painfully stretching your stomach and intestines (Mount Sinai, 2022). Burping helps too!
The Science Behind Farts
So what are farts? Farts, scientifically known as flatulence, is intestinal gas passing through the bum hole hehe. If we’re talking science here, the bum hole is known as the rectum. Everyone does it at least 14 times a day, or more! In most cases, farts are related to factors that we can actually control. Farts usually come from two sources — swallowed air or undigested food (Harvard Health, 2023).
But why does it smell so horrible at times? Farts contain mostly hydrogen and methane, with small amounts of other gases like hydrogen sulphide, which gives gas that horrible egg odor. However, fear not, because most components of farts are odor-free (Harvard Health, 2019).
The foods you eat and how you digest them is directly related to gas production. The older we get the harder it is to digest foods that contain fibre and FODMAPs, aka Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. (Harvard Health, 2019)
To simplify, here are some common foods with gas-producing FODMAPs: broccoli, beans and lentils, wheat, garlic, onions, apples, avocados and cherries. Lactose, the sugar in milk and dairy products, is a FODMAP as well. Gas is definitely a common side effect of lactose intolerance.
What Activities Cause Farting?
Here are a few activities that have been evidenced to cause farts (Mount Sinai, 2022):
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inability to absorb nutrients properly (malabsorption)
- Inability to digest nutrients properly (maldigestion)
- Swallowing air while eating
- Chewing gum
- Smoking cigarettes
- Drinking carbonated beverages
- Talking while eating and eating too rapidly
When to Seek a Practitioner
Can you ever be too gassy — and has frequent farting ever been a problem?
There could be times when gas becomes painful and that’s definitely a red flag for a serious health issue. If gas occurs a lot more frequently than usual, or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms, like pain, weight loss, fever, or bloody poops, you should speak with your health care practitioner or doctor. These symptoms could be signs of a gut imbalance, digestive disorder, such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease (Harvard Health, 2019).
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“Facts about Flatulence” Harvard Health, 1 January 2023 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/you-dont-say-facts-about-flatulence
“Feeling gassy, is it ever a cause for concern?” Harvard Health, 9 September 2019, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/feeling-gassy-is-it-ever-a-cause-for-concern-2019090917599
“Gas Flatulence” Mount Sinai, May 4, 2022 https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/symptoms/gas-flatulence
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AS MEDICAL ADVICE. THIS POST IS NOT MEANT TO TREAT, CURE, PREVENT, OR DIAGNOSE CONDITIONS OR DISEASES; AND IS MEANT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. AS ALWAYS, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING ANY NEW TREATMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS.