A doctor explains how these things work
We recently talked about the possibility of pooping and peeing at the same time. This time we want to find out if also burping and farting together is possible. Some bodily functions are difficult to pull off simultaneously such as sneezing with eyes open but is it the same for burps and farts? We know that the Urban Dictionary dubbed the word furp, but is this really possible?
“When we eat, or drink carbonated sodas, or eat too fast, part of the process is that we collect air in the stomach”, Niket Sonpal, M.D., an adjunct assistant professor of clinical medicine in the department of basic biomedical science at New York City’s Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“Belching is a release of that stomach air. Eating also disperses air that’s already in the stomach, which can also cause belching. It’s not associated with the gas created with digestion”.
When we eat and swallow, we typically ingest about 1 tablespoon of air at the same time, but we swallow air throughout the day. When enough air enters the stomach, the esophageal sphincters relax and allow the build-up of air to escape out of the mouth. If you add carbon dioxide from soda, for example, the gas mixes with the air and makes the burps more pronounced.
Farting, instead, is made of gases that build up in the intestine as the result of bacteria breaking down food in the gut, therefore certain gases, like methane, can stink. So can foods that aren’t easily broken down, like beans or broccoli. An excess of gas can be absorbed by the body, but much of it needs to escape. The average person farts around 15 times per day and this is part of digestion.
Belching is an act of the upper gastrointestinal tract while farting is an act of the lower gastrointestinal tract. It’s possible for a fart to escape out of the mouth if it’s held for too long, at which point gas will be reabsorbed by the body and subsequently exhaled but it’s not a burp and the air that could turn into a burp can be passed into the small intestine, and then the large intestine, creating flatulence.
“Most people could do both at the same time”, Dr. Sonpal says.
“Both involve your stomach muscles contracting. You’re putting positive pressure on the abdominal space to push air out. But it usually won’t happen at the same time”.
“The reason is that different muscle contractions occur. You contract the lower abdomen for passing gas and the upper abdomen for expelling air from the stomach. You won’t necessarily do both at the same time”.
A simultaneous burp-and-fart is therefore rare, though not impossible phenomenon but we can surely sneeze and fart, Dr. Sonpal says. But there can be consequences.
“When you sneeze, you’re putting pressure into the abdomen. It’s the same when you pass the wind. People can get leakage of urine from sneezing. Same with coughing or laughing. There can be leakage of urine or stool”.
So, it would be better not to force them to happen together but one at a time. However, you can’t always control yourself but remember that it’s a rare event and certainly not something you intentionally look for unless you have to challenge someone.