Why do we fart before we poop or pass stools?
Well, this might seem quite bizarre but this is the question that frequently pops up in our brains. Right?
You will need to know things about farts like what are they? and why do they happen? Let’s dig into the FAQ’s of Flatulence.
What is Flatulence?
Flatulence is a common condition, which almost every person experience. It is basically a build-up of gas in the digestive system and the release of intestinal gas. That happens as a result of digesting food. Flatulence and Flatus are the two medical terms for the commonly known word “Farting”.
The gas produced in the digestive system because of several causes will accumulate in the gut. The gas mainly consists of nitrogen and oxygen. When the food is digested, the gas in the form of hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide is released. As the gas builds, our body must eliminate it in any forms like by passing wind or through burps. If the food is not digested, it starts to decompose and release sulfur.
Everyone farts. Every single person experience farts. If you’re not experiencing flatulence then your body is probably in a bad condition and you will have to consult a doctor.
According to some research, on an average, most people are passing about one litre of gas a day. We fart because of the accumulation of gas in our body parts such as the digestive tract, stomach, colon, rectum, and small intestine.
Why do we fart?
Our body produces intestinal gases in the digestive tract and several parts of the body as a part of digestion. This produced gas inside our body must be expelled out in many forms. Usually, it happens either through farts or burps.
The intestinal gas that is produced in our body when bacteria in colon break the food is called as Endogenous gas. Whilst, those external gases which are found in our body when we swallow, eat, drink or smoke is called as Exogenous gas. Oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide are some of the primary external gases. Whereas endogenous gases mainly consist of hydrogen or methane and sometimes a small portions of hydrogen sulphide, which is the sole reason for bad odour farts.
The build-up of gas happens due to,
- Swallowing of air is something that happens round the clock. When we eat, drink or swallow saliva we tend to swallow tiny amounts of air or gas.
- An overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine due to several conditions like diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.
- When you eat certain foods or when the foods are not properly digested, gas may arise as a by-product of digestion. Partially digested food will reach the colon and bacteria converts them into nitrogen or carbon dioxide gases.
- Sometimes undigested carbohydrates can be a cause of gas. That’s because our stomach and small intestine cannot break down such foods. Instead, such carbohydrates move to the large intestine, where bacteria breaks them down and release the intestinal gases. Some of the undigested carbohydrates are Sugars, Beans, Nuts, Fruits, Wheat Bran, Corn, Potatoes and Root Vegetables.
- Furthermore, foods rich in raffinose, foods made with sugar or alcoholic beverages and high- sulphur foods and drinks will create high levels of intestinal gas according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.
Why do we fart too much?
Usually, sometimes you fart so much in some cases, during an underlying medical condition or when you swallow so much of air. Yes, swallowing air can lead to continuous farts. What you put in your body, it comes out. Let’s get deep into the factors which affect you to fart too much.
Swallowing is the basic thing we do round the clock. Though its normal, about 50% gas produced in the digestive tract is because of swallowing air. We tend to swallow air while eating food, drinking, smoking, and whilst chewing gum. The air swallowed while doing such things, can basically form carbon dioxide in the stomach, which leads to flatulence.
Certain foods like Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Apples, Onions, and some nuts or seeds are the culprits in producing more gas. However, foods don’t show up the same effect on everyone. You should know yourself, which foods suit your body and foods which affect your body. Also, if you’re lactose intolerant, all the dairy products you consume may not digest properly in your body.
Another cause of excessive flatulence can be the foods made up of carbohydrates, high- fibre, natural sugars and starch. These foods cannot be digested and in fact, they get absorbed by the large intestines and then passed into the colon. The colon contains massive amounts of bacteria which break down these foods and produces gas.
Time of the day
A build-up of gas produced by digested food or swallowed air in the morning can make you a flatulent person in the evening. Also, you may fart when the muscles are stimulated in the intestines.
Flatulence on Aeroplanes
Gases are not produced only when the food is digested but it also creates problems due to sound and odour. You come across this problem when you’re on flying on aeroplanes. As you’re seated in a limited space, due to altered cabin pressure and changes in the volume of intestinal gases will increase the amount of flatulence.
Underlying Health Conditions
In some cases, the underlying health conditions can be a sole reason for excessive flatulence. Such underlying health conditions include constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, malabsorption, and lactose intolerance.
There are some unpleasant changes which you undergo when you’re pregnant. One such change is the production of excessive gas. This happens because of the increase in hormonal activity that slows down the digestion process and allows more gas to build up in the intestines. You can also observe such unpleasant changes when you’re on periods.
This is one of the most common problems which are diagnosed in aged people. As we age-old, our body loses the ability to produce more saliva and other digestive juices very easily. So as more carbohydrates are produced which are fermented by bacteria.
Usage of Antibiotics
These antibiotics can disturb the normal intestinal flora or bacterial flora, leading to excessive gas production.
How can I stop farting too much?
Flatulence is not at all a serious problem to agonize. Everyone farts. Every single person farts. We just need to make a few changes in lifestyle and diet to not experience more flatulence.
A Healthy Diet plan
Too much flatulence can be eradicated when you stop munching on foods that affect your body by producing more gases. Especially avoid the foods containing high levels of carbohydrates. Instead much on foods like bananas, lettuce, grapes, citrus fruits, yoghurt and rice that contain fewer carbohydrates and which are easily digested. While consuming the dairy products or if you’re lactose intolerant, make sure to consult with a nutrition.
Digestion starts in the mouth itself. So, if you swallow your food without chewing, it takes more time for the food to get digested. Sometimes, certain foods will not digest.
Eat smaller meals
Don’t try to pig out all the meals. A person must take 6 smaller meals in a day rather than 3 big meals.
Avoid carbonated Drinks, Gums, Smoking
All these activities will make you swallow more air which increases flatulence. Sometimes it also irritates the digestive system.
There should be some sort of exercise to the body. Exercising the body will enhance the function of the digestive system and reduces flatulence. Go for strolls, brisk walks or do some light Exercises that keep your digestive system well.
Use Charcoal pads
These Charcoal pads will absorb the released gases and reduce the impact of bad odour or foul-smelling gases.
Probiotics can greatly help you with flatulence. If you’re worried about excess flatulence then take probiotic supplements.
When is Gas/ Flatulence a problem?
A person farts about 14-15 times a day. If you experience certain harmful, unpleasant and excessive flatulence conditions then you must consult a doctor. You might be suffering from gastrointestinal problems, cramps, bloating and other symptoms.
Also sometimes you may experience conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, Crohn’s disease, and peptic ulcers which are associated with excessive flatulence.
Whatsoever farting is a normal and natural process which is experienced by everyone. But you must ensure not to fart too much. Try to limit how much gas you pass. This can be achieved when you follow a proper lifestyle and diet. A few changes in your lifestyle and diet plans can do wonders for your body.
Stay Happy! Stay Healthy!