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Is Holding In Gas Unhealthy?

You Asked: Is Holding In Gas Bad?

Dear Fit,
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm an extremely gassy person. I know it's a natural bodily function, even though I seem to do it more than the average person, but now I have an embarrassing problem. I used to work from home, so it didn't matter if I let my gas pass, but I just got a new job where I work in a big office. All our desks are in one big room, so there's absolutely no privacy. I've been there for a week now, and have just been holding it so my co-workers don't know my smelly secret. It's been hurting my belly a little, and I'm wondering if this is really bad for my body not to let it out.
— Full of Hot Air

Although most wouldn't like to admit it, we can all relate to your problem of being gassy in public. I don't blame you for not wanting to let 'em go at your new job, or any job for that matter. Who wants to admit that they're the source of smelly gas? I have some suggestions on how to curb your flatulence, so read more.

I really don't recommend holding it in; as you've already said, you end up with a bellyache. Plus your muscles are only physically able to hold it in for so long. So as soon as you relax, it's bound to come out at a surprising time, which can be more embarrassing than if you knew it was coming. To avoid other people knowing, when you feel the gas building up, head to the bathroom and do your business there.

All people pass gas, and it's impossible to stop flatulence altogether, but here are some things you can do to decrease the gas your body makes:

  • Chew your food slowly. Swallowing air when eating is a major cause of gas.
  • Avoid chewing gum because it encourages you to swallow air.
  • Avoid bubbly beverages as the carbonation can also cause gas.
  • Know which foods trigger your gas. Beans, apples, dairy products, eggs, wheat, broccoli, and onions are known to be gas-producers. If they cause you gas, eat them in small amounts, or avoid eating them while at work.
  • Eat lots of fiber-rich foods like veggies, fruit, and whole grains to prevent constipation, which can cause bloating and gas.

If none of this helps, it may be worth a visit to your doctor, since excessive gas can be a symptom of conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, bowel obstruction, Crohn's disease, or celiac disease. It's worth getting checked out for peace of mind.

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