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Interest in the causes of flatulence was spurred by high-altitude flight and manned spaceflight ; the low atmospheric pressure , confined conditions, and stresses peculiar to those endeavours were cause for concern. Flatus intestinal gas is mostly produced as a byproduct of bacterial fermentation in the gastrointestinal GI tract, especially the colon. Nitrogen is not produced in the gut, but a component of environmental air.

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Patients who have excessive intestinal gas that is mostly composed of nitrogen have aerophagia. For example, in one study of the faeces of nine adults, only five of the samples contained archaea capable of producing methane. Historically, compounds such as indole , skatole , ammonia and short chain fatty acids were thought to cause the smell of flatus. More recent evidence proves that the major contribution to the smell of flatus comes from a combination of volatile sulfur compounds.

The benzopyrrole volatiles indole and skatole have a mothball smell, and therefore probably do not contribute greatly to the characteristic smell of flatus. In one study, hydrogen sulfide concentration was shown to correlate convincingly with perceived bad smell of flatus, followed by methyl mercaptan and dimethyl sulfide. These results were generated from subjects who were eating a diet high in pinto beans to stimulate flatus production. Others report that methyl mercaptan was the greatest contributor to the smell of flatus in patients not under any specific dietary alterations.

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It is therefore likely that the smell of flatus is created by a combination of volatile sulfur compounds, with minimal contribution from non-sulfur volatiles. Diets high in protein, especially sulfur-containing amino acids, have been demonstrated to significantly increase the smell of flatus. Normal flatus volume is to ml per 24 hours. Similarly the number of flatus episodes per day is variable, the normal range is given as 8—20 per day.

This process is thought not to affect solid and liquid intra-lumenal contents.

Researchers investigating the role of sensory nerve endings in the anal canal did not find them to be essential for retaining fluids in the anus, and instead speculate that their role may be to distinguish between flatus and faeces, thereby helping detect a need to defecate or to signal the end of defecation. The sound varies depending on the tightness of the sphincter muscle and velocity of the gas being propelled, as well as other factors, such as water and body fat.

The auditory pitch sound of the flatulence outburst can also be affected by the anal embouchure. Among humans, flatulence occasionally happens accidentally, such as incidentally to coughing or sneezing or during orgasm ; on other occasions, flatulence can be voluntarily elicited by tensing the rectum or "bearing down" on stomach or bowel muscles and subsequently relaxing the anal sphincter, resulting in the expulsion of flatus.

Since problems involving intestinal gas present as different but sometimes combined complaints, the management is cause related. While not affecting the production of the gases themselves, surfactants agents that lower surface tension can reduce the disagreeable sensations associated with flatulence, by aiding the dissolution of the gases into liquid and solid faecal matter.

Such preparations do not decrease the total amount of gas generated in or passed from the colon, but make the bubbles larger and thereby allowing them to be passed more easily. Other drugs including prokinetics , lubiprostone , antibiotics and probiotics are also used to treat bloating in patients with functional bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, and there is some evidence that these measures may reduce symptoms. A flexible tube, inserted into the rectum , can be used to collect intestinal gas in a flatus bag. This method is occasionally needed in a hospital setting, when the patient is unable to pass gas normally.

One method of reducing the volume of flatus produced is dietary modification, reducing the amount of fermentable carbohydrates. This is the theory behind diets such as the low FODMAP diet low fermentable oligosaccharide, disacharide, monosaccharide and polyols. Certain spices have been reported to counteract the production of intestinal gas, most notably the closely related cumin , coriander , caraway , fennel and others such as ajwain , turmeric , asafoetida hing , epazote , and kombu kelp a Japanese seaweed.

Some legumes also stand up to prolonged cooking, which can help break down the oligosaccharides into simple sugars. On the other hand, fermented bean products such as miso are less likely to produce as much intestinal gas. Fermentative lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum reduce flatulence in human intestinal tract. Probiotics live yogurt , kefir , etc.

Prebiotics , which generally are non-digestible oligosaccharides, such as fructooligosaccharide , generally increase flatulence in a similar way as described for lactose intolerance.

These are the ways you can say fart, according to Urban Dictionary | Metro News

Digestive enzyme supplements may significantly reduce the amount of flatulence caused by some components of foods not being digested by the body and thereby promoting the action of microbes in the small and large intestines. It has been suggested that alpha-galactosidase enzymes , which can digest certain complex sugars, are effective in reducing the volume and frequency of flatus. The antibiotic rifaximin , often used to treat diarrhoea caused by the microorganism E. Smell from flatulence is commonly treated with bismuth subgallate , available over-the-counter in the US as Devrom. Bismuth subgallate is commonly used by individuals who have had ostomy surgery, bariatric surgery , faecal incontinence and irritable bowel syndrome. Despite being an ancient treatment for various digestive complaints, activated charcoal did not produce reduction in both the total flatus volume nor the release of sulfur-containing gasses, and there was no reduction in abdominal symptoms after 0.

In , Chester "Buck" Weimer of Pueblo, Colorado , received a patent for the first undergarment that contained a replaceable charcoal filter. The undergarments are air-tight and provide a pocketed escape hole in which a charcoal filter can be inserted. A similar product was released in , but rather than an entire undergarment, consumers are able to purchase an insert similar to a pantiliner that contains activated charcoal.

Flatus incontinence where there is involuntary passage of gas, is a type of faecal incontinence , and is managed similarly.


In many cultures , flatulence in public is regarded as embarrassing, but, depending on context, can also be considered humorous. People will often strain to hold in the passing of gas when in polite company, or position themselves to conceal the noise and scent. In other cultures, [ example needed ] it may be no more embarrassing than coughing. While the act of passing flatus in said cultures is generally considered to be an unfortunate occurrence in public settings, flatulence may, in casual circumstances and especially among children, be used as either a humorous supplement to a joke " pull my finger " , or as a comic activity in and of itself.

The social acceptability of flatulence-based humour in entertainment and the mass media varies over the course of time and between cultures. Enough entertainers performed with their flatus that the term flatulist was coined. The whoopee cushion is a joking device invented in the early 20th century for simulating a fart. When reporting the story, the media satirised Chaponda's statement with punning headlines.

Later, the minister withdrew his statement. Flatulence is often blamed as a significant source of greenhouse gases , owing to the erroneous belief that the methane released by livestock is in the flatus. Proposals for reducing methane production in cows include the feeding of supplements such as oregano and seaweed , and the genetic engineering of gut biome microbes to produce less methane. Since New Zealand produces large amounts of agricultural products, it is in the unique position of having high methane emissions from livestock compared to other greenhouse gas sources.

The New Zealand government is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol and therefore attempts are being made to reduce greenhouse emissions. To achieve this, an agricultural emissions research levy was proposed, which promptly became known as a " fart tax " or "flatulence tax". It encountered opposition from farmers, farming lobby groups and opposition politicians. Augustine mentions men who "have such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at will, so as to produce the effect of singing". The performer Mr. Also, a film Thunderpants revolves around a boy named Patrick Smash who has an ongoing flatulence problem from the time of his birth.

He eventually overcomes his problems and fulfills his dreams, including one of becoming an astronaut. In literature, farting features prominently in the novel The Catcher in the Rye. In Islam, flatulence invalidates wudu ritual purity. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also Fart disambiguation. Main articles: Abdominal distension and Bloating.

Main articles: Antiflatulent and Carminative. Main article: Faecal incontinence. Main article: Flatulist. Biology portal. Ralph L. Obendorf , for the importance of flatulence-causing oligosaccharides to the seed that contains them. Retrieved August 24, Online Etymological Dictionary. Journal of Chromatography B.

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December 12, Oxford English Dictionary. The Lancet. American Family Physician. Wolff; James W. Fleshman; David E.