For most people, passing wind requires skill — they have to look for the perfect time and place to unleash whatever it is that begs for freedom. It’s not all the time that you can let it go. If you’re on an airplane or in the middle of an office meeting, you can’t just break wind to be polite as well as to save your face.

So is it unhealthy to hold it in until such time that the coast is clear? Read on to find out.

No one is impervious to collecting intestinal gas, a more formal way of calling that “thing” that makes a tooting sound when it’s forced out down there. Intestinal gas is actually gas that you have accidentally swallowed, as well as gas that is produced upon the action of bacteria in the food you consume.

For as long as you are speaking, laughing and eating, you are bound to collect gas in your gut. Releasing it is a perfectly normal thing to do — experts say that people break wind about 14 times per day.

Of course it’s not always that you can just let your intestinal gas out whenever there is an urge to do so. Due to this, you have no choice but to hold it in. Keeping gas caged for a little while may be fine, but it’s a different story if you have no intention of passing gas anytime soon — it can actually put your health at risk!

Everyone knows the discomfort that comes with holding intestinal gas in. Since it is failed to be released, it causes the abdomen to become distended, therefore leaving you in discomfort.

However, the pressure applied by gas against the walls of your colon can actually cause the development of marble-sized pockets called diverticula. Now, it’s very much possible for waste products to collect in those pockets and cause an infection. When such happens, diverticulitis takes place, which is actually a life-threatening problem!

Medical experts say that collected intestinal gas can be enough to cause hemorrhoids.

It is said, too, that intestinal gas that are not given the opportunity to mingle with air outside the human body may in fact mix with the blood, potentially poisoning your various organs. Yes, intestinal gas is toxic — its smell is a testament to that! What’s more, experts say that it can also make your breath reek!

What do you do when there’s an urge to pass gas and you don’t want to hold it in because of the all the potential risks mentioned above? Well, you can keep it in until you find the very next opportunity to release it.

You may also do a few simples steps to keep the production of intestinal gas to a minimum. Steer clear of gas-forming foods and avoid drinking carbonated beverages. Chew your food very well and refrain from talking a lot when eating. You can also stay physically active to help keep your GI tract in an excellent working condition.

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