Flatulence, or intestinal gas, is no laughing matter. As unpleasant as it is to talk about – intestinal gas is a sign of digestive problems that can be cured – naturally. But, has anyone told you that holding in gas could be harmful to your health?
Imagine the whole family sitting around the living room watching TV. Everyone is having a good time. Suddenly, the familiar smell of intestinal gas is detected. “Ew, who did that?” one of the children asks in disgust. Everyone points at the dog.
To fart or not to fart.
That is the question, which has recently risen to national prominence by a recent reprimand of a federal worker for excessive office flatulence.
Like nonsmokers who resent breathing secondhand smoke, smelling other peoples’ gas is a noxious intrusion of natural odors that offend our perfumed, sanitized senses.
Holding it in, however, while polite and good politics, is bad for your health. That’s because the pressure of a flatus must go somewhere. If not expelled, the gas can blow up the intestinal wall, creating pockets called diverticula. When these pockets get infected, a painful and life-threatening condition called diverticulitis can result.
Because of fart phobia, diverticular disease is a major problem in our society . It is estimated that 30 million Americans suffer each year from this condition, including 40 percent of those aged 65 and 60 percent of those aged 80.
Modern medicine recognizes that pressure inside the colon causes the marble-sized diverticula to form. But the cause of the pressure is still regarded as unknown. Dietary studies are inconclusive and conflicting. And no doctor has the nerve to simply tell their patients to fart more often as a preventative.
Let’s face it. Our culture has a poo-poo taboo which smears anything scatological. From infancy, we are taught to hold it in or risk disgusting our parents who wince at diaper changing time. We pride ourselves on being able to hold it in until we have the time to let it out. Potty breaks must be timed so as not to interfere with our busy lives.
Must people schedule flatulence, too?
The fact is, people who live in urban areas have a greater chance of developing diverticulitis than rural folk. In the boonies, there are fewer people to offend, and greater freedom to fart.
The wealthy also have a higher incidence. That’s probably because the higher your status the more forbidden your flatus.
While nature demands that we vent our gasses, we must protect the public from unnecessary air pollution, especially in work environments where there is no escape. What can be done?
Natural help for your flatulence
Avoid foods that give you gas. Everyone should make a personal list, since we all have different reactions. It’s not just about the food, but about how your body reacts to and digests it.
Experiment with probiotics to improve the microflora of your intestines. When you eat foods, you are feeding more than yourself. Billions of bacteria feast on your feast.
Drink more liquids to avoid constipation. This means you will also have to urinate more frequently, which people also have difficulty finding time to do.
Take frequent bathroom breaks.
Avoid elevators. It will also be good for your heart to climb the stairs.
Try anti-odor underwear.
Be tolerant of others. Most people are more tolerant of a dog farting than a human.
Get a dog.