You’re on a date with the most amazing person you’ve ever met. It’s all going well, and you know you’re not going home alone tonight. But as you finish up your meal, it hits you out of nowhere: the stomach rumbles of a vicious fart. Your mind races: what to do?! Should you hold it in or break wind and try to blame it on the waiter?
Well, today we have a translation of a Japanese article about this very topic! Now you’ll know what happens when you hold in those Silent-But-Deadlies.
So Where Do All the Held-in Farts Go??
Letting out a fart in front of others can be pretty embarrassing, can’t it? Whether you’re on a date (yikes!) or at work or on the train, there’s not much you can do but grin and bear it. But just where in the hell does the gas go when you hold it in? And, is there a chance that holding them in can be bad for the body? We sat down with a representative from Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co., a medicine manufacturer, who’s sells Gaspitan, a flatulence suppressant, to find out!
— To begin with, what mechanism creates farts?
“Basically, farts are emissions of a mixture of the air swallowed when eating and the gases created by the decomposition of food.”
— As long as we eat, no one can avoid the development of gas in their intestines. Even so, it’s just rude to fart in front of others, as well as being embarrassing for women (Some ladies have even developed anthrophobia, the fear of people, due to built-up stress stemming from worrying too much about accidental toots in front of others). For most of us, it’s pretty normal to try to hold our gas in. So, where does it go??
“When held in, the gas that can’t be expelled from the body is absorbed into the intestinal wall and then mixed into our blood.”
— Mixed into our blood?? That just can’t be good for the body….
“It’s not! It can have negative effects on our internal organs. Stomach bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation can all be caused by holding in gas. When the gas mixes with our blood and then enters the lungs, it can even become the cause of halitosis (bad breath).”
— When we want to avoid passing gas, what should we do? Is it possible to develop our bodies to avoid the buildup of gas?
“Some of the causes for people with lots of gas are eating too quickly, not chewing food thoroughly enough, often sitting for long periods of time, not getting enough exercise, having bad posture, and having an erratic lifestyle. Having lots of stress isn’t good either. If the amount of gas you have increases, or if it smells particularly bad, it might need special attention. The condition of your intestinal organs may be deteriorating.
“As such, the most important thing for developing a body that doesn’t build up gas and rejuvenating the condition of your intestinal organs is improving your lifestyle habits. Stop eating and drinking too much, and avoid eating too fast. Also, eat an appropriate amount of fiber from vegetables instead of just eating a lot of meat or other food with a lot of fat or protein. You should also get enough sleep, exercise enough, and reduce your stress.”
— But improving your lifestyle can take a lot of time. Is there something we can do to prevent gas today, like if we have a date.
“In the case of Gaspitan, which my company produces, the medicine thins the membranes that accumulate gas and then crushes them. Under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, we can’t guarantee that it will have a preventative effect, but as it combines digestive enzymes and lactic-acid bacilli, it should have an effect which puts your intestines back in shape and reduces the creation of gas.”
In any event, we now know where gas goes when you hold it in. And that holding it in isn’t really very good for your body. Of course, now we feel resolved to improving our lifestyles and fixing our bad habits so our fart worries fix themselves.
All images are, unfortunately, unrelated to the original article. If you’d like to see the full version of the top image, you can check out the whole thing on Waseda’s website.