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Sorry, But Holding In Farts Might Just Make Them Come Out Of Your Mouth

As if there wasn't enough to worry about when we have to make a first impression, the butterflies in our stomach can sometimes brew something unpleasant down under.

Yes, it often seems that those times when farting would cause the most embarrassment are also the moments when our bodies pressure us to do it the most.

But as desperately as we may want to hold the gas in, it's unfortunately not quite that simple.

Although farting can be loud, smelly, and embarrassing, it's also true that it's a necessary part of our digestion.

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As Lisa Ganjhu from the NYU Langone Medical Center told Women's Health, farting is just a natural part of digesting food.

As food and bacteria ferment in the stomach, these leads to some increased acidity, as well as a buildup of gas.

And whether we like it or not, this gas will be released.

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Ganjhu said this happens 10 to 20 times a day and we often don't realize when we're doing it.

This is why holding in our farts generally doesn't work out. Although we might be able to do this when we're focused on it, that gas is likely coming out when we relax and especially when we're walking.

Even if we somehow never break our clenching, that gas can find other ways out of our bodies.

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As Clare Collins — a professor of nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle — told Vice, this happens when fart gas crosses what's called the bowel wall into our blood vessels.

Once it gets there, it gets carried back to the lungs, where the blood exchanges carbon dioxide for more oxygen.

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If we've been persistently holding in a fart, the blood will also drop off those runaway gases along with the carbon dioxide.

And that sets the stage for us to breathe out a fart.

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Unfortunately, as Collins told Vice, this will smell a lot like a normal fart.

So as embarrassing as it can be to fart, this fart breath is probably worse for most people.

But other than this unfortunate effect, it's a little unclear what holding in farts can do to our bodies.

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Collins said research is still inconclusive as to whether it doesn't effect our digestive health or whether it can make a condition called diverticulitis worse.

This refers to pockets in the gut wall that develop when the colon is under pressure. They can become inflamed or infected.

It's hard to tell how much holding in it takes to produce any of these effects because they vary from person to person.

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As Collins told Vice, the amount of gas and the strength of the buttocks and sphincter muscles can make a difference.

However, it is known that we fart more on airplanes because of the way gases expand when they're maintaining cabin pressure.

So if you can tell you're going to be somewhere for hours, it's better just to find a place where you can let it out.

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It might also be helpful to know that high-fiber diets don't necessarily lead to more farts, but rather fewer, yet larger ones.

Also, Ganjhu told Women's Health that foods like broccoli and asparagus can lead to more gas because they're harder to digest.

Probiotic foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut, however, might be able to reduce farting by making gut bacteria more aligned.