• Flatulogy: The news of the intestinal gases

    Posted on February 19, 2021 by in Digestion

    Fart jokes are always inappropriate yet so many people laugh? A survey done of millennial couples states that humorous farting is considered an ice breaker in relationships. Although I find that hard to believe farting is not something we discuss often outside of the context of humour. Farting may no longer be embarrassing for millennials but for many of us farting is not polite conversation.

    That said, Fart Research is important and a major health factor when you consider the microbiome. It is not easy for fart researchers to fathom the relationship between humans and gas. Collecting fart data is a lot of work and many unpleasant moments.  

     

    Flatulogy

     

    Differences between the sexes

    The gastrointestinal expert from the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minnesota (USA) has made a name for himself. AKA “Dr. Fart Levitt. He made important contributions to basic research with his fart trap. Before his tests, it wasn’t even clear how often a healthy person farts at all.

    Today we know that men have an average of ten rearward emissions per day. This puts them a good two ahead of women. However, the noses of a jury sniffed: female winds have the stronger aroma. The odor testers were well paid, Levitt likes to emphasize. Only one person complained of slight dizziness and headaches at the end of the day.

     

    How does a fart arise?

    First of all: “In the event of persistent digestive problems or new changes occurring, you should always consult your naturopath or CHT” advises Professor Christian Trautwein, Director of the Clinic for Gastroenterology at the University of Aachen. However, daily body winds are not included. “Everyone has to fart,” says Trautwein.

    An output every one to two hours is considered normal. The reason for this is the bacteria in our intestines. Experts estimate that up to 1,000 species help us with digestion. This creates gases, around 15 liters per meal. Ingredients: nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, partly methane and sometimes also malodorous sulfur compounds. “Most of it is absorbed by the body,” It enters the lungs via the blood and is exhaled. The rest escapes to the rear. The amount can vary significantly.

    It increases when food reaches the lower small intestine or the large intestine, poorly digested. The gases that are produced there almost entirely escape to the rear. This happens, for example, when you eat legumes. They contain sugar that cannot be used in the small intestine. Stress increases the movement of the intestines – the food ends up in the large intestine faster and thus causes a higher wind force.

     

    When farts burn

    Then there is the burning question of whether farts are flammable, “Dr. Fart” found an answer. It reads: Yes, almost one in three is. Namely when the producer has bacteria in the intestines that produce methane. Such questions are quite relevant for medicine. There have been reports of patients who caught fire during an operation – surgeons today often work with an electric snare.

    The fact that flatology got going relatively late is certainly due to its disreputable subject. Just naming it is a problem. Fart? Too filthy. Pups? Only fits when you’re talking to a three-year-old. In the past people liked to talk about winds. One thing left: Flatus. The Latin term is understood almost only in medical circles. The lack of terminology shows that we are embarrassed by farts. So embarrassing that we prefer not to name the item when we “let one go”.

    Although it’s totally normal, many end up redheaded when one escapes them in public. The louder and more odorous, the more embarrassing, as the American psychologist Dr. Louis Lippman found out for his study “The interpersonal regulation of natural gases” (1981), not entirely surprising.

     

    The shame of centuries past

    But has that always been the case? “It was even worse,” says psychologist Dr. Michael Titze. The history of shame is also one of the expert’s specialties. In the Middle Ages, people mostly let their body gases run free, says Titze. As is well known, Martin Luther is said to have stated: “A desperate ass does not produce a happy fart.”

    But just a few decades later, such boldness was over. “The trendsetter was society at the French royal court,” says the psychologist. She wrinkled her fine nose with every lack of body control. On the other hand, the strict rules of behavior put people in a dilemma: Holding back the wind was considered a major health hazard. The putrid fumes could ignite the intestines and even reach the brain, warned the doctors and advised to abstain from “unhealthy” foods such as vegetables and fruits.

     

    No more fart jokes

    At the end of the 18th century, the bourgeoisie took physical shame to extremes. Underpants were just the “unspeakable” ones. Just the thought that gases were discharged there – scandalous. In comparison, the body winds are allowed to blow more freely today. According to Titze, you can see that in the jokes. The biggest laughs come from those who break a taboo. “30 years ago fart jokes were the screamers,” says Titze.

    Today the air is rather out. It is different in circles in which farting is still extremely embarrassing. For example in Buckingham Palace. As aristocracy experts reveal, the royals like to slip whooping pillows under their guests and then – of course – enjoy themselves royally.

    Doctors recommend a relaxed relationship

    As a psychologist, Titze rates this relaxation positively. “You accept the other person for who he is,” he says. The ideal is crumbling. If you then laugh instead of turning away, you are saying: “I know that you are not perfect and that gases escape uncontrollably – and that’s how I love you.”

    Doctors like Professor Christian Trautwein from the German Society for Gastroenterology, Digestive and Metabolic Diseases are also happy when the relationship with the fart relaxes. “After all, the gases have to go out,” emphasizes the director. Those, who hold them back all day, suffer from a painfully bloated stomach. After all, every healthy person has almost half a liter of rectal output volume per day.

    Much is still in the dark about their origin in the depths of the intestinal convolutions. It is caused by bacteria in the intestinal tract. But which pathogens are behind which type of winds? Which are the most active gas producers? “There are hardly any studies on this yet,” says Trautwein. It is known that the intestinal flora differs from person to person. “The composition is very similar within a family,” says the intestinal expert. It is therefore conceivable that an increased tendency to fart is even passed on from mother to child.

    So flatology still has a lot of work to do. Regular colon cleansing can help support flatulence by providing a clean healthy microbiome. That said you will still fart! Sorry

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