Like it or not, everyone farts.

But is it normal or does it signify poor health?

Will holding it in hurt you?

Here’s our candid report.

 As anyone who’s ever farted in an elevator knows, the colon is an active part of the body. The gas produced in this organ can signal how well you’re eating and how well your body is digesting food. Most people are curious about flatulence but, unfortunately, are too embarrassed to ask their doctors or even their friends about it. We tackle your most pressing questions.

   What is gas?

Gas is mostly a byproduct of digestion. It’s only useful function is to send you a message to go to the bathroom and to keep your intestines from collapsing on them selves. Here’s how it happens: You eat. Your stomach and small intestine break down and digest the food. But some of it, such as insoluble fiber and foods that you don’t digest well, reaches your colon undigested, where more than 400 species of bacteria are waiting (gas forms when Ur digestive tract does not have enough good bacteria to break down Ur food in Ur small intestine. This undigested food goes on to the Lg. intestine where armies of bad bacteria eat away at it, creating carbon dioxide, methane, & hydrogen gas.) They go to work on the food, producing a gaseous cocktail consisting mainly of hydrogen and carbon dioxide. (This colony isn’t all bad; it includes good bacteria like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, L. Salivarius & other Probiotics, which helps protect against colon cancer.) Smelly ammonia and hydrogen sulfide the odorless gasses nitrogen and methane are present too (for an unknown reason, only some people have bacteria that can turn hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methane and oxygen). 

 Where does gas go? 

Much of the gas is absorbed into your bloodstream and exhaled through your lungs – occasionally resulting in a discernible odor that goes beyond bad breath, Claims Herb Joiner – Bey, N.D., a naturopath in Seattle. “You smell things on people” when their systems aren’t working well, he says. The remaining gas (about a couple of quarts a day for most people) exits through the anus – sometimes quietly, other times with more fuss. How noisy depends on how mush gas and pressure there is, says Carrie Demers, M.D., an internist in Honesdale, Pa. “It makes noise when there’s a large quantity and it’s being pushed from behind by peristaltic force,” or because of the contractions of the colon, says Demers. “Usually the silent ones are more of a slow leak.”


How much is too much?

Although most conventional doctors consider passing gas 3 to 40 times a day is considered normal, Virender Sodhi, M.D., an Ayurvedic and medical doctor in Bellevue, Wash., says that ideally, flatulence should be minimal. “It should be just enough to pass out your feces,” Sodhi says. “It should be over when you go for evacuation. That’s the end of the story.”

 What causes excess gas?

Fried foods and too much meat are especially damaging to your digestive health, Sodhi says, “We eat too much sugar. That creates an imbalance in the bacteria and causes more unfriendly bacteria to grow,” Which in turn produces more gas. Other gas – causing culprits include Beans, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Raw Potatoes, unripe fruits, Apples, Pears, and Prunes.

But food isn’t the only instigator. Pregnant woman often have more gas, not because of diet but because their abdomens are crowded. Even swallowing air contributes. We eat foods on the run. If you’re shoving a lot of food in and not chewing it properly, which leads into gulping a lot of air. “That Air has to go somewhere”.

Anything that affects your body’s ability to digest food fully plays a role in excess gas production. For example, stress, anxiety, emotional upset, lactose intolerance, overeating, irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies, diabetes, neurological conditions, antibiotics, and medications that reduce stomach acidity can also lead to gas.  Medical students who get gassy when they’re facing exams are one example of how anxiety can lead to increase flatulence. Sodhi says. Stress shuts blood away from the gastrointestinal tract to the brain, making complete digestion difficult, according to Demers. When we relax, we actually bring more blood flow to the center of our bodies. If you eat in a stressed – out way, you’re not going to digest well,”

 Consuming too many carbs
Of the three main nutrients, carbohydrates produce the most gas because sugar and starch easily ferment. Half of us are endowed with bacteria that particularly prefer munching on unprocessed carbs. Beans contain more indigestible carbohydrates than most foods. Cow milk is unnatural to the human body, which is why a lot of people are lactose intolerant. The body does not know how to digest milk, so it sets it aside as waste (as infants the body produces the enzyme lactate which helps digest the sugars found in milk, as we age, in some individuals the body stops producing this enzyme) . If you happen to have a lot of "gas enzymes" in your system and you are lactose intolerant, even milk can make you fart. Each person's intestinal fauna is composed differently so people do not react similarly to the same foods.

 Why do I fart at Night?

Sometimes people fart when they relax like in bed or in the bathtub. Demers says that lying down can release gas, which sometimes collects in the sharp bend in your colon’s upper left quadrant. “We hold some tension in our anal most of the day,” “When people relax, they just allow it to come out.”


Is it bad to hold in gas?

Suppressing a fart isn’t a good idea, says Sodhi, who counts passing gas among 13 bodily urges – including yawning, urination, evacuation, and ejaculation – that shouldn’t be squelched. Sodhi says that going against the urges to fart can shut down your body’s involuntary reflexes and can result in too much gas being reabsorbed into your body. That overloads your liver, slowing down its ability to protect your body from toxins like air pollution and smoke. An overtaxed liver can also result in digestive problems and gallstones, Sodhi explains.


Do meat eaters have smellier gas?

Yes and No. “When we eat a lot of meat and we don’t balance it with vegetables and whole foods, gas will be very foul-smelling,” says Sodhi, who attests to the noxious after-effects of carnivores who get colonics in his clinic. But Joiner – Bey Points out that vegetarians don’t always come out smelling like roses. So the quality of your diet as well as the state of your digestive system can dictate your flatulence factor.

   However “no one should use gas as a low-fiber diet, “because the health consequences are horrible – Constipation, increased risk of colon cancer, increased risk of vascular problems, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins.” Instead, for example, help your body tolerate beans by throwing away their soaking water and eating small – size types like aduki and black turtle beans. For more ways to make high – fiber foods work for you, see

How to Pass on Gas”.

 Can gas mean I’m Sick?

Certain forms of intestinal infections cause flatulence. Eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water will cause loose stools, bloating, cramps, and gas. When a person has an intestinal infection, the lining of the intestinal track thins and nutrients, again, get sent to the large intestine without being absorbed.

If releasing gas doesn’t relieve a cramping feeling in your stomach or gut, something could be wrong. Excessive gas can be a symptom of constipation, malabsorption, yeast syndrome, parasites, diverticulitis, hormonal imbalance, premenstrual syndrome, or even cancer. If you have gas accompanied by pain or by mucus or blood in your stools, or if excess gas is a new occurrence and there hasn’t been a change in your diet, see a doctor.


Consider this

How to pass on Gas

Here’s how to live with foods that are good for you, but gassy.

Chew. Breaking down food in your mouth ultimately results in less undigested food reaching your colon for bacteria to feast on and create gas.

Don’t swallow too much air. Eating too fast, chewing gum, sucking on hard candy, smoking, using a drinking straw, and wearing ill-fitting dentures can all cause you to swallow air, which will increase flatulence. What’s more, sorbitol, the sugar found in some gum and candy, can’t be absorbed by the body and can result in gas.

Spice up your food. Coriander, Cumin, Fennel, Ginger, Turmeric, and an Indian spice called asa foetida add more than flavor – they are traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to aid digestion.

Help your System. Stir-frying or steaming vegetables instead of eating them raw can make them easier to digest. Don’t undercook cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage. Try fresh Pineapple, & Papaya, sprinkle some Parsley, Mint or Basle leaves on Ur food or just chew on the leaf, which contain digestion-aiding enzymes. Also, restock your colon’s good bacteria by eating foods with active cultures (like plain yogurt, miso and certain probiotics see vitamin article).

Don’t over Eat. Putting too much food in your system at one time is like tossing a large, Damp log on a little campfire: It will sputter and smoke instead of burning clean. Your system is best equipped to digest moderate amounts of food. A late eating time compounds the problem of large meals.

Stand on your Head. Gas rises. If you need to pass gas, a headstand or yoga pose that puts your hips higher that your shoulders can help.


Fiber Fireworks

 We all know how important it is to get more fiber in our diet. Unfortunately, the same fiber that lowers cholesterol & protects against heart disease is also responsible for producing large amounts of gas. This is especially true when you’ve only recently started eating more – rich foods. “If you add fiber too quickly, the body can’t cope with it properly,” says Dr. Schuster. “The average American only eats about 12 grams of fiber a day. If you suddenly double that amount, it means a lot of gas.” To get the benefits of fiber without the gas, it’s a good idea to add it slowly to your diet, says Marie Borum, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at George Washington Medical Center In Washington, D.C. You might, for example, substitute whole – wheat spaghetti for your regular kind, which will provide an extra 2 grams of the rough stuff in a ½ cup serving. A ½ cup of cooked artichoke hearts will deliver more than 4 grams of fiber, & the same amount of lima beans will add almost 5 grams. If U gradually introduce fiber – rich foods to your diet each day over a period of 4 to 6 weeks, you’re less likely to have a problem with gas, Dr. Borum explains.

 Many people experience gas when they eat sweets like cookies or ice – cream. But when they try to curb those cravings by having sugar – free candies or chewing gum, they still get gas. Why? As it turns out, sugarless gum & candies R gas – producers, they contain artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, xylitol, or mannitol, which the body has trouble digesting. While this helps keep calories down, it can also result in large amounts of gas.


  The next time your stomach sends out a postprandial SOS, try sipping a cup of basil tea. This herb has a reputation for easing a variety of digestive disorders, especially gas. No one’s sure Y basil appears to soothe stomach upsets. One possible explanation is a compound called eugenol. This compound, which is found in basil, has been shown to help ease muscle spasms. This could explain Y basil appears to help ease gas & stomach cramps.

 To make soothing basil tea, pour ½ cup of boiling water over 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried basil. Let the brew steep for 15 min., then strain/ or eat the leaves & serve. People who frequently have gas may benefit by drinking 2 to 3 cups a day between meals.


Colon Trouble

If you experience any of these symptoms U need to see your practitioner:

Ø  Bowel movements less than one time a day

Ø  Embarrassing  gas or cramping

Ø  Smelly urine

Ø  Straining or having time to read  while sitting on the toilet

Ø  Relying on store – bought laxatives or Stool softeners

Ø  Poop that’s hard, ball-shaped, stringy, covered in mucus or is yellowish or greenish.

Ø  A protruding stomach that feels heavy all the time

Ø  Retaining water & bloating

Ø  Dark circles under your eyes.

Ø  Acne, rashes  or strange breakouts on your skin

Ø  Feeling sick to your stomach after meals.

Ø  Feeling tired when you 1st wake up in the morning.


How the toxins take over.

Mounds of old, rotting food & waste materials make Ur colon bulge out so that it’s almost impossible for your colon muscles to expel anything… Small blood vessels from Ur colon leak toxins out to Ur circulation system, kidneys, skin & lungs, which increase sweating & foul smelling –urine. Here is what happens: Ur bloodstream picks up toxins & poisons & dumps them onto other organs that get rid of toxic waste such as Ur kidneys, skin, & lungs allowing these organs to work overtime creating stress and an imbalance. Ur sweat & sebaceous glands overload making U perspire more.

The lungs on over load, gives U bad breath. Sign of dark circles circumference the eyes, headaches occur more frequently, & whatever it can’t get rid of, gets stored in fat cells & joints enabling U to gain weight or feel achy & sore.


Hidden Signs of an Overloaded Colon

o   Sinks Quickly: This indicates that Ur not eating enough fiber – rich foods, (vegetables, fruits & whole grains) or not getting enough water. These stools r often dark because they’ve been sitting in Ur intestine for a prolonged time. It should drop in, then slowly descend.

o   Floaters or sticks to the sides of the Toilet Bowl: If it smeared to the sides of the bowl & sticks, floats, or is hard to flush down, then U’ve got 2much fat in Ur stool.

o   Is Shaped Like a Pencil: This may be a sign of a spleen deficiency & happens when a bowel movement is difficult to end… Stress & overwork trigger this, as well as too much of fried, greasy, dairy foods, raw fruits & veg.  & believe it or not too many cold drinks! A bowel obstruction can be the cause as well.

o   Comes in Ball-Shaped Pellets: This may occur as a result of liver stagnation, stress & lack of exercise, all of which slow down the process of emptying the colon.

o   Is Yellow, Green, or Gray: Greenish stool means that the food passed through Ur intestines faster than normally, before it could change to brown, Diarrhea is a good example of this. Yellowish means food is moving through Ur digestive tract too quickly. Gray, pale – looking stool might also be shiny or greasy, might float, & might be foul smelling, due to undigested fat in the stool or excessive use of antacids containing aluminum hydroxide.

o   Is Soft or Very Smelly: A sure sign that Ur stool contains too many fats in Ur small intestine. The cause is chronic stress, diabetes, immune deficiency, inadequate fiber & use of oral contraceptives & other drugs.

o   Contains White Mucus: Whitish mucus in Ur stool might indicate Ur intestines R not functioning at peak efficiency. Either constipation or diarrhea can cause U to see mucus.

o   Loose similar to Diarrhea:  Loose stools & abdominal bloating can be signs of a condition known in Chinese medicine as “spleen qi deficiency” it’s linked to tiredness & weak digestion brought on by stress & poor diet.


Ideal Bowel movement


Ur stool should come out of you fast (within seconds) easily, without straining or discomfort. It should be medium- brown color, similar to a cardboard box. To come out quickly & easily, it should have the consistency of toothpaste. It should be shaped like a banana, 4 – 8 inches long. Your stool should enter the water smoothly & once there, descend slowly – not sink like a stone, or float! There should be little gas or odor.


Note: if U frequently use certain laxatives over a long period of weeks or months it can be dangerous to Ur colon and intestines by reducing the natural ability to contract & actually worsen constipation. In severe cases, overuse of laxatives can damage nerve, muscles, & tissues of the large intestine.



 Beware of medications that cause constipation:

Diuretics, codeine, morphine & antidepressants can all cause constipation. Even Vitamin tablets containing Iron, calcium, or aluminum, heavy metals deposits can gunk up Ur intestines & slow down Ur natural digestion.

 Dark circles under Ur eyes indicate Ur digestive system is toxic: If U feel & appear tired with dark baggie circles under Ur eyes, they R a key indicator that Ur digestive tract is toxic, according to colonics expert Scott W. Webb. Stating that Ur eyes R surrounded by lymphatic tissue – one of your body’s trash – removal systems& the darkness is likely from poisons from fecal matter flushing back into Ur bloodstream & gets dumped into Ur lymphatic system for removal. Dark puffy circles mean that there’s similar inflammation in the gut. “the circles go away when the colon gets cleaned out”.


When U start to detoxify, 1 of the 1st things U will notice is that Ur Energy returns. Having more energy enables u to live a better healthier life.


Source of reference: Daily News, New Food for Healing by Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention, colon medical news-special edition,