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Where does gas go when you can't fart?

Sometimes it feels like I have to fart and then I can't. What happens to it?

5154 day(s) ago

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While a fart, more properly known as flatus, is composed of many types of gases, what happens to those gases depends on where they are in the intestines, what is around them, and what type of gas it is. Flatus is composed primarily of nitrogen, but may also contain one or more of the following gases: hydrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, or methane. Most flatus moves along the intestinal tract, just as does our food. The same bodily process that moves food along and outward through the rectum and anus also moves flatus, causing an incident of flatulence.

The gases that make up flatus come from two sources. Some of them are from swallowed air or carbonated beverages. Other gases are produced in the digestive system as a byproduct of digestion. Bacteria in our intestines help us to break down food, along with our own enzymes. As the breakdown occurs, gases are released from the food and the bacteria. If flatus cannot reach the rectum to exit via the anus, it can be absorbed into the body through the intestinal lining. This absorption is slow, so most of the flatus remains in the intestine and is expelled at a later time, usually when you are sleeping and more relaxed. If you have a problem with not being able to produce flatulence, it can cause severe medical problems and you should see a doctor immediately. The gases that are absorbed enter the bloodstream where they are either used by the body, if oxygen, or exhaled through the lungs.

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