Flatulence can be a cause of embarrassment, humor, disgust, ridicule and produce more than just a quirky noise! It can produce an odious smell and happen at any time of day, during any activity or period of rest!
There’s no need to be embarrassed – we all experience flatulence at one time or another. Here are some fun facts about flatulence that might just impress you!
1. A fart by any other name….?
Other names for flatulence include trouser coughs, sphincter whistles, thunder dumplings, rip snorts, fanny bubbles, booty bombs, tush ticklers, and colon cologne! You can’t say people aren’t creative about what they call their bodily emissions!
2. What is flatulence, anyway?
Flatulence is a polite word for ‘farting’, a word which may be described as ‘breaking wind’, ‘passing gas’, or when silent is called a ‘fizzle’! Flatulence is the expulsion of gas from the body.
3. Do people fart a lot?
The average number of times people fart is between 5 and 15 times per day. This may seem like a lot – but sometimes people fart in their sleep, and extremely physically active people may not even notice they have farted. It’s never a good idea to hold it in, anyway!
4. What are wet farts?
A wet fart, or flatulence resulting in the leak or spurting of liquid, occurs when gas and moisture are expelled simultaneously. The liquid may be a tiny drip of watery or mucus type of fluid.
5. Most farts don’t actually smell.
99% of farts do not smell! People may hear their own fart or those of others but they are not always accompanied by odor. Therefore, it’s likely many happen in your life and you just don’t notice them.
6. It’s rare, but possible to bleed when farting.
Sometimes streaks of blood can be seen during or after flatulence. This may be caused by tears in the skin which line the anus. Severe constipation can aggravate this when straining to eject feces ruptures the delicate lining of the anus.
7. Sleep farting is perfectly normal.
Many people fart as they sleep. This is because the sphincter, or anal muscle, relaxes during sleep and thus gas escapes.
8. What actually causes flatulence?
Flatulence is a byproduct of digestion. It is the expulsion of intestinal gas produced – which can either escape via the mouth as a ‘burp’ or via the anus as a ‘fart’.
9. Carbs make farts worse!
Undigested carbohydrates are a common cause of farting. Promoted by bacteria in the large intestine, gas is usually triggered for release. Carbohydrates causing gas can include those in nuts, fruits (especially dried varieties), and beans. These are soluble fiber foods. Wheat bran, and starches such as those in potatoes and corn, are known as insoluble fibers.
Sugar including that in alcohol and sweeteners in some sugar-free foods can provoke gas production, too!
10. High sulfur can cause flatulence, too.
Foods such as onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, beer, and some wines all contain variable levels of sulfur. Each of these can cause flatulence.
11. What’s the connection with raffinose?
A complex sugar called raffinose prompts the production of gas because we do not have the enzyme to break it down directly through our bodies. Raffinose is found in well-known gas-producing food, too! Cabbage, beans, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts are all known raffinose-producing foodstuffs.
FAQs about Flatulence
Which medical conditions can cause increased flatulence?
Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) cause abdominal pain, diarrhea/constipation and gas. Lactose intolerance, too, can increase flatulence - as can celiac disease, found in people who are unable to digest gluten. It can cause bloating and excessive gas.
What makes some farts smell?
It’s all down to the food we eat - many people take remedies such as peppermint tea to help reduce the smell of flatulence as well as its frequency. The smell produced as people fart contains hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane.
Do animals fart?
Yes! Most mammals fart. Elephants are notorious for it, and it’s not helped by the fact that - in zoos - keepers sometimes combine their food with garlic and rice to help their digestion.
Do you know any fun facts about farts? Share them here in the comments below!