Truth about Passing Gas

By:Meenakshi Chaudhary, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Feb 05, 2014

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Passing gas is a natural phenomenon that you can't escape. It may embarrass you or even make you and your friends break into a quick laugh. Yet we know so less about it.
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    Pass It

    Passing gas is a natural phenomenon that you can't escape. It may embarrass you or even make you and your friends break into a quick laugh. Yet we know so less about it. Here are some common facts about passing gas.

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    The gas we pass from our intestines comes from several sources. The common sources of that gas are the air we swallow, gas produced by chemical reactions and bacteria present in our guts, and gas seeping into our intestines from our blood.

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    The oxygen part of air is consumed in the body leaving mostly the nitrogen component that reaches the intestines. Other gases produces in the intestines are carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. The gas you pass has mostly these gases. However the composition of the passed gas can be highly variable.

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    The Stink

    When you pass gas it contains small amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas, nitrogen-rich compounds and mercaptans that makes it stink. Foods such as cauliflower, eggs and meat that increase production of these gases in the intestines make your gas stink more.

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    The Sound

    You may pass gas silently however sometimes it produces sound due to vibrations of the anal opening. More the expulsion of the gas and the tightness of the sphincter muscles, more the sound that will accompany your gas.

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    Is it normal?

    No matter how weird you may find it, but it is completely normal to pass gas. The food you eat will produce some sort of gases that may seek some release. Passing gas is a natural process that happens itself.

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    How Much is Normal?

    On an average, a person produces about half a liter of fart gas per day. Since it also depends on what you eat and how much you eat the amount of gas you pass will keep varying however on average you can expect 10 to 15 incidents of passing gas daily.

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    Bean Effect

    Beans contain sugars like raffinose, stachiose, and verbascose that we are unable to digest. Once these sugars reach the intestines they support the bacteria which results in more gas in the intestines. As a result you will end passing more gas after eating beans.

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    How Farts Travel?

    The process of peristalsis squeezes the contents of the intestines toward it which creates a zone of high pressure, forcing the gas toward the anus.

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    Is it Harmful to Hold Gas?

    Holding gas is not harmful as it is a natural process. It cannot be harmful for your health to hold the gas. However it may lead to a minor stomachache.

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