Is Holding In A Fart Bad For Your Health?

Is Holding In A Fart Bad For Your Health?

When the body builds up excess gas in the digestive tract, it only releases it from two places: your bottom or your mouth. The gas that causes farting and burping tends to build up during the digestive process by swallowing air when you eat or drink. This type of gas can build up faster if you drink through a straw, smoke, or eat foods that are difficult to digest. Excess can also stem from constipation, excess stress, or a medical condition that affects the digestive system. 

The gas that creates farting or burping is completely natural, and everyone does it. Most people tend to fart five to 23 times per day. Some people are uncomfortable or embarrassed to fart, especially if it happens more often. People may judge smelly farts, so people try to hold in farts until they are in a place they deem safe. Although research on farting is limited, preliminary studies suggest that holding gas in may not be good for you. In fact, it’s much better to just let them pass.

What Does The Data Say?

If you make methane faster than you’re passing gas, you’ll feel more pressure on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The perception of discomfort is higher when you choose not to let a fart go versus when there’s a physical reason you can’t let gas go. The way that the gut signals the brain to let you know you that you need to fart has a lot to do with that. An increase in pressure causes a bloated feeling and the urge to let one rip. If you continue to ignore this feeling, it means that you are aware that you need to pass gas. That awareness makes the pressure more uncomfortable. 

In the 1970s, researchers found that holding in farts may increase the risk of diverticulitis. This condition is characterized by the inflammation or swelling of pouches that form along the digestive tract. Diverticulitis can be a very serious health issue, as it can cause infection if you don’t manage it. Without more recent research, however, there is no clear link between holding in farts and diverticulitis development. 

What Happens When You Hold In A Fart?

Gas moves from your intestines into your rectum when you fart. At that point, it exits the body through your anus, unless you tighten your anal sphincter muscles to clench your buttocks and hold in your fart. You can usually do this for a period of time, but pressure starts to build on that gas in the digestive system as a result. Bloating, stomach pain, and general discomfort are common symptoms that stem from holding in a fart. Bubbling or gurgling can also occur, as these symptoms indicate gas moving around the digestive tract. 

According to research, the body’s blood system reabsorbs some of this gas that you hold in. It may eventually let it out during exhalation, but the majority of this gas remains under pressure until you finally decide to let it out via a fart, burp, or both. The good news is that there is no evidence that you can die from holding in a fart. The pain and discomfort, however, can be quite severe in certain circumstances. 

Everyone Farts

Some people brag about never farting, but the truth is that just about every healthy person farts. The average person produces roughly 705 milliliters (24 ounces) of gas in a 24-hour period. That amount can range from 476 milliliters to 1,490 milliliters, according to one study. Certain digestive disorders make you produce and pass more gas than normal. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, food poisoning, acid reflux, and Celiac disease all share an increase in gas as a common symptom. Farting is a natural part of life, but if you feel that you fart more than usual and experience other digestive symptoms, give your doctor a call to rule out causes of gas.



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