Last updated: May 18, 2023 at 14:56 pm
Farting is a normal bodily function that happens when your digestive system creates excess gas.
You have two sphincter muscles in the lower part of your digestive tract. The inner sphincter is a band of muscle that surrounds the opening of your anus. The outer sphincter is a larger ring of muscle surrounding the rectum. The inner and outer sphincters allow you to pass gas when you want to and not pass it when you don’t want to.
There are several ways you can stop a fart from making noise, like holding in your fart and passing it later, taking an anti-gas medication, or eating foods that will help prevent flatulence.
IN THIS ARTICLE
- 1 What Makes You Fart?
- 2 Why Do Farts Smell?
- 3 6 Ways to Stop a Fart From Making Noise
- 4 Conclusion
What Makes You Fart?
The average person farts between 5-15 times per day. Farts consist mostly of nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, methane, and sulfur. A normal fart consists of approximately 59% nitrogen, 21% hydrogen, 9% carbon dioxide, 7% methane, with small amounts of oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, and nitrogen oxides.
Each person has unique microbes that reside within their gastrointestinal tracts. These microbes work hard to digest the food we intake each day. These microbes produce gas as they do their job!
Some bacteria break down food through fermentation – which means they convert carbohydrates into gases like hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The result? Farting! Other microbes produce gas as they break down fibre found in vegetables.
When you eat fatty foods such as red meat or cheese, your body takes more time to digest them than it does when you eat fruits, vegetables, grains, and other carb-based foods. As a result, red meat and cheese produce more gas than cabbage. The fermentation of these foods in your stomach creates hydrogen sulfide gas (the stinky stuff).
Some people are also lactose intolerant, which means they can’t digest lactose – a sugar found in milk and other dairy products – very well. This causes flatulence because the bacteria in your large intestine ferment the undigested lactose, creating gas.
Why Do Farts Smell?
Certain foods, such as red meat and dairy products, contain sulfur-based compounds. These compounds help give farts their rotten egg smell. The more sulfur in the food you eat, the more sulfides are produced in your large intestine by bacteria.
Other food components, including fibre and starches that aren’t digested in the small intestine, will also produce gas as they pass through the large intestine. These gases are odourless but can be made to smell bad if they combine with sulfur-containing compounds during digestion.
However, farting is healthy. It helps reduce bloating and aids in removing excess air from your digestive tract. Some foods cause more gas than others because they aren’t digested well or because they contain indigestible fibre or sugar alcohols (like sorbitol).
6 Ways to Stop a Fart From Making Noise
You may have mastered the art of keeping farts in, but you probably haven’t mastered the art of quieting them down. It’s a skill that nobody should be judged for not having, but it can come in handy if you’re with people who don’t appreciate your gas.
Fortunately, there are ways to muffle a fart and reduce the odds that anyone will notice. Here are some of the best methods short of just holding it in:
1. Relax and Consciously Release the Gas Slowly
One of the worst noises to hear at work is a loud fart. Farts travel through the air quickly, and they carry a lot of energy.
The best way to avoid a loud fart is to stop it in its tracks – before it leaves your body. By consciously relaxing your muscles and breathing deeply while you let out the gas, you can control how much noise the fart makes, and how far it travels.
Letting out the gaseous waste slowly has two benefits: You’ll be less likely to sound like you have intestinal gas (or “pass gas”) as well as less likely to lose control and pass a long one.
2. Use a Pillow
You can try to silence the sound of your farts by cushioning them. You can do this by lying down on a soft surface such as your bed or some big pillows on the floor. Another way is to try sitting on something soft, for example, you could sit on the sofa or a beanbag.
When you use a pillow or something soft under your butt. That soft surface transmits sound better than hard surfaces and helps muffle it, so your neighbours won’t hear. It also keeps you from straining too much (which can cause more noise) and lets you pass the gas with less effort.
Sitting on a leather sofa does not work as well as leather does not absorb sound and can be quite squeaky.
Try to sit in an armchair or on your bed if possible. Try to avoid sitting on chairs with wooden seats or benches because the sound will echo off the material and make it harder for you to be quiet.
3. Position Yourself Correctly
The position you are in when farting matters. If you are tense or nervous when passing gas, it will sound louder because the air has nowhere to escape, just like the air from a balloon.
You should breathe normally through your nose and mouth. Avoid sitting on your bum or with your legs crossed, which will make the sound louder. You should aim for a position that is relaxed enough for the gas to come out slowly and gently.
Once you get into that position though, there’s still more you can do to keep the noise down and the smell away. Avoid passing gas in crowded places where people might have a good laugh at you. Sit close to an open window or door when it’s not too cold outside so the wind can help dissipate any bad smells coming off it.
4. Carry Anti-Gas Tablets
You can find these at most pharmacies or online. They contain simethicone, which is an FDA-approved drug for relieving gas. The tablets do not stop gas from being produced, but they can help break up gas bubbles, so they aren’t as noisy when you let them out.
Anti-gas medication is best used before your stomach feels full. Once the gas bubbles reach your intestines, it’s likely too late for these tablets to work.
This over-the-counter product contains an enzyme called alpha-galactosidase. The enzyme breaks down the complex carbohydrates in beans and other foods that may cause gas. This prevents them from reaching your intestines, where they would normally be broken down by gut bacteria and cause gas.
5. Move to a More Spacious Area
If possible, try moving to an open space with plenty of air (and ventilation).
The more space you have, the less noise your fart will make. A small, cramped bathroom isn’t any better than an elevator for letting one out. It may seem awkward to move to a larger room, but it will be worth it for the lack of sound.
This is what causes rumbling sounds. If you’re in a tight space, like a crowded elevator. Try moving to a larger room before letting loose with your gas. Don’t let the gas out when you’re in an enclosed space. Let it travel through your body and release it in a more spacious environment where it won’t make as much sound.
6. Remove Excess Air From the Fart by Doing Squats
Do squats. Squats are beneficial because they flatten out the colon and push out gases in one direction, rather than letting them travel back and forth in the intestines.
Stand with your feet a little more than hip-distance apart. Bend your knees and lower yourself to the ground, ensuring that your back is straight, and your butt is out as far as possible. Keep your thighs parallel to the floor.
You can do this anywhere, anytime, so long as you’re not wearing tight pants or a skirt.
As we’ve seen, there are plenty of ways to keep the noise down when you let one rip. Whether by avoiding the foods that cause it or by keeping some tricks up your sleeve for when it’s unavoidable, being prepared is always important.
Hopefully, now you can move forward from this article with a newfound confidence in knowing that you have the tools to make sure flatulence doesn’t stand in your way.