We all do it, female and males alike yet still in our society, flatulence, passing gas, or plain old farting as it is commonly called, is a normal function of life. It is a myth that ladies don’t fart yet brutish men do. Everyone farts whether they are awake, or asleep and they even fart upon death. Generally speaking people fart between 10 and 15 times a day even up to 40 times is normal.
So why do people go to great lengths to suppress their farts in public?
The problem is that passing gas is a social “faux pas.” Farting is embarrassing because farts can be loud and they can be smelly. In a group of people once a big one is let go, everyone turns their heads to see who the offender could be and many will hold their nose or run for the hills once it occurs. There is nothing more embarrassing to the offender than that, even when his or her identity is not known. The offender knows and has experienced the reaction of the crowd anyhow.
Women are psychologically programmed to believe farting is wrong
Women have been psychologically as well as socially conditioned to believe that farts are just not ladylike. So many women will hold in their gas to the point of getting stomach cramps when their boyfriends are around. They would rather physically die (figure of speech of course) than to die of the embarrassment of letting their boyfriends know that they are human.
This belief of women being the gentler sex has trickled down through history and manifested itself into determining that any bodily function is considered vulgar. For example you have heard the expression, “Women don’t sweat they perspire,” this expression reflects the woman’s psychological need to be better than a man, “a man sweats like a pig” however, a woman merely perspires.”
Farting and belching are not the same
Even though farting and belching are the body’s method for releasing gas, they are not coming from the same source. Belching originates from the stomach and farting originates from the intestines and can also come from the stomach.
The wind that is produced in the process of farting occurs in the small intestines when bacteria and enzymes break down the carbohydrates and proteins, which are found in various foods. Other contributors to the gas produced by farts include breathing in air, gas sweeping through the blood, gas from chemical reaction in the stomach and bacteria from our gut.
Our body absorbs most of the oxygen we breathe in, before it ever reaches the large intestine. It is mostly nitrogen, which then reacts with stomach and intestinal fluid to produce carbon dioxide that is expelled through the anus. The air we produce from our anus can also be methane and hydrogen. It all depends on the how much air we swallowed, the types of bacteria in our stomach and intestines, the food we eat and yes how long we have held that fart in. The longer someone tries to be “ladylike and hold it in, the more the flatulence will contain inert nitrogen.
On the other hand, very nervous people who swallow a lot of air and whose body processes food quickly will have mostly oxygen coming out, because the oxygen did not have a chance to absorb into the body before reaching the anus.
Why do farts smell?
Whether a fart smells or not is largely to do with the types of food eaten; especially foods containing sulphur such as cauliflower, eggs, and meat. The flatulence will contain hydrogen sulfide gas and mercaptans. Interestingly, beans known for causing flatulence do not produce smelly farts.
Why farts are noisy?
The noise is produced by the vibration of the anal muscle, due to velocity of the gas expulsion and the tightness of the sphincter.
Do men and women fart differently?
Women’s farts tend to have more odorous gas than men’s farts. Men’s farts have higher volume of gases and according to research this evens out the farts between the sexes by evening out the odor molecules so that one gender’s farts do not smell worst than the others.
Foods that produce flatulence
Beans are notorious for producing gas and that is because of the sugar content. These particular sugars in question are sachiose, verbascose and raffinose.
Other foods, which produce gas, will include cauliflower, eggs, meat, milk, beer, raisins, bread, bell peppers, corn, cabbage, onions, turnips, and broccoli. Wheat, oats, potatoes, and pasta, which are starchy foods, can also cause flatulence.
People who are lactose intolerant must stay away from diary food to avoid, gas, bloating, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and irritated bowel syndrome. Other activities employing the mouth such as chewing gum, and smoking will allow excess air into the lungs and that in turn can lead to flatulence. Actually flatulence is probably the least of your worries if you are a heavy smoker.
Any low air pressure environment such as taking an airplane trip may also lead to excessive flatulence.
Is the practice of holding in farts harmful?
Though women and even men may hold in their farts it does not seem to be harmful. Yet, there will be repercussions. Holding in farts can lead to stomach cramps.
Not only food and the swallowing of air can cause gas and other digestive disorders, emotional stress can disrupt the chemical balance of the body causing a disruption to the normal body processes. Scientists are finding stress can affect many of the body functions, not only the chemicals in the brain.
Here then lies the problem; people who hold in their farts because they are too embarrassed to let them go or they are not anywhere near a washroom may alleviate the pain of embarrassment, but they will however become uncomfortable physically and more than likely suffer from stomach cramps. Eventually nature does take control it will come out.
If you are in public and you have to go, find a washroom, if there are none available then try to find a discreet spot away from the crowd. When that option is not possible, let it out. When nature calls it calls. There are far more embarrassing things that can happen to us in life than letting go of a fart. The embarrassment is only temporary and people’s memory of which fart belonged to whom is often short-lived.
A word of advice to young women
If your boyfriends cannot accept that you are not perfect, and that ladies no matter how polite and dainty they may be are human and can fart just like a man; then maybe you need to rethink the relationship. If you marry, they are going to find the best and worst in you just as you are going to find the best and worst about them. However, more often than not it is the women who are self conscious about these things and men are not the least bit bothered that their girlfriend happened to accidentally let one go. After all it is part of life!
Montreal Gastroenterologists are found through the various Montreal hospitals, or you can try Private Clinics:
1 Westmount Square C200
Canada H3Z 2P9