Flatulence, also known as passing gas or farting, is a natural result of digestion. Most people pass gas an average of 10 times per day whether they are aware of it or not. The complex carbohydrates in wheat, oats, beans and sweet potatoes are often the cause. Highly nutritious foods can produce a strong odor.
The main purpose of flatulence is to reduce bloating. The condition occurs when there is a large buildup of gas inside the gut after a big meal or an excessive intake of carbohydrates. While bloating is uncomfortable, it is usually harmless, and it is best to simply pass the gas.
Gas can also be helpful in balancing a diet. Every person has a unique environment in their colon, and the amount and quality of flatulence is helpful for choosing the right foods. Those who consume too much red meat will have very smelly gas while carbohydrates will produce large amounts of gas that has little to no odor.
Farting can also alert a person to food allergies. If there is a great deal of flatulence after eating certain foods, it can indicate an allergy or intolerance, and the person may need to avoid those foods. A doctor can perform tests to diagnose food allergies.
It is a common belief that holding in gas is bad for health. While this is not true for the majority of people, it can be problematic in those who have had a digestive illness or suffer from hemorrhoids. In those cases, the gas should be passed as soon as possible.
The quality of the gas occurring each day should be evaluated to determine if there is an underlying health problem. If the flatulence is frequent, extensive and has a strong odor, a visit to the doctor is in order.
Of course, farting is not always appropriate, but if the gas is painful, massaging the stomach and abdominal area will help it move through the body more efficiently. The person can then find a discreet place to pass it.
The best reason to pass gas freely is because it feels good. Research has shown that holding in farts can make people irritated, impatient and very uncomfortable. For good physical and mental health, it is best to release flatulence when the urge hits.