We all know that releasing gas from the body through flatulence and belching is a disproved social behavior. Who has not ever gone through the unpleasant situation of having to suppress that desire because of being with someone else, in contexts as dissimilar as a class, a work meeting, or a date?
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But it must be borne in mind that it is not only a circumstantial desire, but it is a need of the organism. Inside the body there are gases that must be expelled and the possible ways are those two: through the mouth, in the form of belching, or through the anus, as flatulence, wind, pitting or farting.
The studies Scientists have found that the volume of gases produced by a healthy adult varies between 0.5 and 1.5 liters per day. The prestigious MSD Manual points out that this equates to between 13 and 21 daily winds. The size of each flatulence is even known: between 33 and 125 milliliters of gas.
According to American College of Gastroenterology, meanwhile, up to 7% of people suffer from excessive or bothersome belching (especially – but not only – after eating) and 11% frequently suffer from abdominal bloating caused by gas.
Why are gases produced?
The causes of the existence of gases inside the body are several:
1. Swallow air. Ingesting small volumes of air when eating and drinking is normal. However, unconsciously, some people do so in larger amounts, both by eating and drinking (often too fast) and by taking other actions, such as smoking or chewing gum.
In general, people with high levels of anxiety also swallow a lot of air, with excessive salivation –Which can be related to a gastroesophageal reflux problem– and even those who use dental prostheses that do not fit their mouth correctly.
2. Consumption of carbonated drinkssuch as beer, sparkling wine, soda, or sparkling water. That is, drinks with bubbles. Much of the gas contained in these bubbles must come out later somewhere, and it usually does – like the excess air that is swallowed – through belching.
3. Intake of vegetable fiber. The metabolism of certain foods, particularly those that include plant fiber, generates many gases, most of which turn into flatulence. Among the foods that generate the most gases are beans, chickpeas, cabbage, artichokes, cabbage and apples.
Sometimes the body produces too much gas, which usually causes discomfort, abdominal bloating, pain, cramps, a feeling of having a “knot” in the stomach, pressure, or feeling full even if you haven’t eaten much.
The causes of this excessive production of these gases can be varied. Among the most common are food intolerances, which result in poor absorption of nutrients. The Mayo Clinic it also highlights chronic intestinal disease, excessive bacterial growth in the small intestine, and even constipation.
Risks and harms of suppressing gases
The question then arises: what happens if we resist the urge to expel gas, both belching and flatulence? The main negative consequences are as follows.
1. Abdominal discomfort, bloating and pain
Retaining gases on a recurring basis can generate a abdominal distension, which consists of the sensation of having a swollen, full and tight belly. This may correspond to reality (that is, it may be that the gut is really swollen) or it may just be a subjective perception of who suffers it.
In either case, bloating causes discomfort and often pain and cramps as well. As a consequence, it affects the rest of the activities (work, academic, sports, etc.) and, ultimately, the quality of life.
2. Reabsorption of gases by the body
A study concluded that the metabolism of between 30% and 62% of healthy people produces methane. Suppressing flatulence and belching could lead to excessive retention of this gas, about which – the document specifies – “there is growing evidence that it has both physical and biological effects on bowel function “.
In addition to methane, the same could happen with hydrogen sulfide, another product of the internal workings of the human body. Some of these gases are reabsorbed by the body and could cause constipation. And till could end up being expelled through the breath –Adds the article–, which could be a cause of halitosis.
3. Risk of diverticulitis
The diverticula they are small “bags” that sometimes form in the intestine, in which fractions of the intestinal flora are trapped. Over time, they produce toxic elements and can lead to diverticulitis, an inflammation that often causes great pain.
There is no definitive consensus that holding back the urge to let go of wind is responsible for these problems, but in general experts consider that the circulation and evacuation of flatulence reduces the risks of diverticula forming and, therefore, that these lead to major problems.
4. Appearance of belching and major wind
The sole purpose of suppressing belching and wind is, as mentioned, to avoid disapproval and discontent from the people around you. But sometimes the remedy can be worse than the disease.
Holding in gases for a long time can cause them to “leak” out of the way. uncontrolled and much louder than it would have been at first. Even very loud noises in the stomach can cause discomfort. The result, of course, may be even more embarrassing than was first repressed.
On the other hand, expelling gases through flatulence and belching has other health benefits, such as representing a “dietary alert” system, if a change in frequency or odors is perceived in the wind or breath, or even tone the sphincter of the year and the pelvic floor.
Due to this, it is clear that the recommendation is to delay the expulsion of gases as little as possible. Of course, it is not a question of neglecting the rules of courtesy and social conventions. In any case, it is advisable to do everything possible to go to a service as soon as possible or at least to some secluded and lonely place, for the sake of your own health.
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