What is a fart?
Although embarrassing, uncomfortable and most often ill-timed, farting remains a key bodily function, like it or not. According to Medical News Today, this process described in medical terms means, "flatus expelled through the anus." Similar to burping, sweating or breathing, this passing of gases keeps bodies in balance, and typically occurs around 15 times a day in most humans.
Types of farts and meaning
Loud farts: With or without odor, loud farts typically up the embarrassment ante. Luckily, the volume usually only relates to the amount of pressure released that causes vibrations when exiting. Once you've exited the company you entertained with your loud gas liberation, your system typically feels better with a reduction in bloating.
Odorless farts: These gas releases may cause some relief, as at least the embarrassment ends quickly. The majority of farts are odorless and simply a carbon or hydrogen release from a breakdown of food.
Smelly farts: In addition to carbon and hydrogen, smelly farts can contain sulfur, usually due to digesting healthy fibrous foods, such as broccoli, cabbages or other greens. In a 2014 NPR story Dr. Purna Kashyap, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., stated that these human stink bombs play another important role. "Bacteria that make sulfide gas are really important," Kashyap says. "They can cause smelliness, but they can reduce the total amount of gas flow."
Excessive farting: Any amount of farting more than 23 times a day – which may be normal if you consume a high-fiber diet – could also be a sign of a medical condition from the extreme of colon cancer to more common conditions of irritable bowl syndrome, lactose intolerance or malabsorption issues. These may or may not be combined with abdominal pain, bloating or constipation. If you consistently tally a greater number of farts than with a normal fiber diet, it might be time to see your physician.
As stated earlier, most people fart several times a day. Although embarrassment seems to intensify our realization, if you count, you might not fart as often as you previously thought.
Also, if you're feeling a little too musical or fragrant with your gas release, don't assume it's not a healthy way to live.
"Yes, a more fiber-rich diet will produce more gas," Kashyap adds in the NPR story. "But completely eliminating fiber from the diet should not be the first option. You don't want to starve your microbes."
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