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Can Holding In Gas Be Bad For You?

Dorathy Gass

We all do it … and it’s a part of life; however the last thing anyone wants, is to release an embarrassing fart while in the company of friends, colleagues, or even your partner. Some are under the belief that holding it until an opportunity arises where you can let it go is the perfect alternative … but is this the best choice when it comes to your health?

Let’s take a closer look. Gas buildup can result in either a burp from your mouth, or flatulence that is released from the other end of your body! Often referred to ask ‘air aphasia’ (i.e. eating air), burping is when air is collected in an individual’s stomach, and eventually released. The act of farting however is not quite as straight forward. At times after eating, food and bacteria can breakdown in someone’s stomach, which can cause a buildup in acid and gas. For those who are lactose intolerant or have a sensitive to gluten; these issues can further heighten gas problems. In addition, green carbohydrate veggies such as broccoli and asparagus, which contain frutcans, can be hard for some individuals to digest; with the end result being an increase in flatulence. But how does this relate to ‘holding it in’ during an awkward social situation?

MSN reported that according to Lisa Ganjhu, a doctor who specializes in gastroenterology and hepatology at New York City’s NYU Langone Medical Center, individuals pass gas approximately 10 to 20 times per day, without even realizing it. As it is a normal progression of food digestion for the body, even if you try and hold it a fart in at one point during the day; it will often release once you are distracted. So while it’s okay to hold in your farts in terms of your health, holding them in will still affect how your feel; causing bloating and an uncomfortableness around your mid to lower stomach area. If you are trying to eliminate excess gas, Ganjhu notes that adding more probiotics in your diet might be able to help your digestive tract with this issue.

Or, you can simply take Shrek’s advice when it comes to farting, and his ‘better out than in’ mentality. Simply excuse yourself from the situation you are in, and head to the nearest restroom, to gain some relief. Holding it in won’t hurt your health, but letting it out will definitely make you feel better!

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