Farting, more properly known as flatulence, is something of a taboo subject in Jamaica….so I decided to tackle it head on! The source of flatulence is Borborygmi (World Wide Webs, 1998, December 10).
Borborygmi is a result of the bowel or peristaltic sounds that the stomach and the Digestive tract produces during muscle contractions through a process called peristalsis. This sound is caused by pockets of air and Intestinal gases (Nordqvist, 2015, June 16) being squeezed resulting from undigested carbohydrates within the Digestive tract. This creates the noises we hear (Toothman, 2012, 7 February) as nutrients are liberated from chyme and absorbed by the small intestine.
This Intestinal gas can be of two types:
- Exogenous sources – air that comes in from outside that we swallow when we eat, drink or swallow saliva.
- Endogenous sources – gases produced within the gut i.e. Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) and Methane Gas (CH4)
When the buildup of gas reaches a critical point, it travels down the large intestines and is expelled out of the anus via the rectum, creating a loud noise and a very bad odour. This bad odour is mainly due to the presence of Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S). Strangely, we seem to fart more on planes for some strange reason as explained in the video below:
Still you can reduce the embarrassment of passing wind by:
- Eat slowly
- Avoid carbonated drinks (Honeygan, 2016, May 8) and artificial sweeteners
- Get more exercise
- Eat more onions
That last bit of advice actually works with cows, but you can still give it a try!
So now you know how to prevent yourself from farting, what causes farting, the end result (pun intended!) of Borborygmi?
Borborygmi and Farting – Digestion of Good Food or Disease indicator
Borborygmi and eventually flatulence or farting as it is more colloquially known is caused by the incomplete digestion (Fattysugar, 2011, January 10) of certain foods.
Foods that cause flatulence are high in certain polysaccharides, mainly oligosaccharides e.g. inulin. Inulin belongs to a group of foods called fructans, which are a class of dietary fibers found in the following products:
- Brussels sprouts
- Carbohydrates i.e. sucrose, fructose
- Gluten (protein in wheat, barley, and rye)
- High-fiber whole grains
- Milk and other dairy products
- Sweet potatoes
- Yeast (in baked products, such as bread)
Basically, all the foods that are good for you and provide you with the nutrients that you need, if improperly digested, produces farts during Borborygmi. In some cases, excessive and very smelly farting may indicate an imbalance in the bacteria in the gut (Shaw Reid, 2017, March 15) and point to Digestive diseases if you have the following symptoms:
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal pain
These digestive diseases include:
- Celiac Disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
Or you may just be Hungry, as Peristalsis recurs about every hour. This results in food cravings and the phenomenon of being hangry (Merriam-Webster, 2017)!
So what are the benefits of farting to Jamaicans and humans in general?
Benefits of Farting – Really stink farts means a Doctor’s appointment
Aside from being an indication of healthy eating, diseases in some rare cases and just being plain hungry, it also helps to:
- Reduced bloating by expelling built up gases in the Digestive Tract
- Reduces the risk of colon diseases as well as inflamed hemorrhoids
Hence it’s good to fart, as it has health benefits, as holding it in has very negative consequences!
Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) prevents mitochondrial damage to our cells and those prevent the following diseases:
- Heart disease
Farting, especially those very stink ones, also helps to detect food allergies:
- Lactose intolerances i.e. cow’s milk and other dairy products
- Celiac disease, which is an inability for some people to digest gluten in whole wheat
Also be careful not to light a match when someone farts, as you fart may contain Methane Gas (CH4) and may cause an explosion!
So if you fart smells really bad, a checkup with you local doctor may be in order! Sharing is caring so share this farting story with as many of your friends as possible
- Merriam-Webster. (2017). What’s ‘Hangry’? Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/hangry-meaning
- World Wide Webs. (1998, December 10). Borborygmus. Retrieved from http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-bor1.htm
- PubMed Health. (2010, January 20). Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024528/
- (2011, January 10). The Top 5 Causes Of Borborygmus. Retrieved from https://fattysugar.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/the-top-5-causes-of-borborygmus/
- Toothman, J. (2012, 7 February). Why does my stomach growl?. Retrieved from http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/Digestive/stomach-growling1.htm
- Nordqvist, C. (2015, June 16). Flatulence (Farting): Causes, Symptoms and Remedies. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7622.php
- Honeygan, P. (2016, May 8). Foods that will keep you bloated. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magazines/allwoman/Foods-that-will-keep-you-bloated_60032
- Shaw Reid, S. (2017, March 15). A Healthy Gut, A Healthier Life. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/health/20170315/healthy-gut-healthier-life