Is it bad for your health to hold in, erm, gas? We're going there, people.

Image via HBO.

Ah, the age old question: To hold in, or to let loose. Yes, we’re talking gas. Farting, specifically, and whether holding in your gas can have a dangerous impact on your health. (Look away now if you’re squeamish.)

We asked Dr Ruth Hand, a Melbourne based General Practitioner, whether or not there are any health implications from holding in the urge to pass wind.

She explained that some digestive system disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, can produce a sensation to need to pass gas excessively, so you should pay attention to them.

Related: Farting, sweating, enormous nipples: The 5 pregnancy symptoms nobody ever warns you about.

However, if we’re talking normal farts, it’s a different story.

“I don’t see how it can be bad for your health. It is normal gas in your bowels, a by product of digestion. So holding it in, so to speak, is not dangerous,” Dr Hand explains.

But there is one very real consequence of holding in your gas, and it’s called “fart karma”. (Post continues after gallery.)

According to Dr Hand, farting is pretty straight forward, really, if you hold wind in, it “will come out eventually, it has no where else to go. It just might be more socially acceptable to relieve yourself in certain situations, that’s all”.

Related: The disturbing side effect of dry shampoo no one tells you about.

If you are in a very awkward social situation and can’t relieve yourself, then feel free to hold it in, but you should know that it will come out eventually. Maybe in an even more socially awkward situation. So beware. 


According to the Victorian Government health guidelines, the amount individuals pass gas depends on a number of factors including diet.Some people pass wind only a handful of times per day, others up to 40 times. The average seems to be about 15.

But what creates excessive amounts of gas? There are a few things that can contribute, including high fibre foods, laxatives and dairy products.

Related: 3 reasons why cleansing your face in the shower isn’t the best idea.

So…can you just hold it in? Well, apart from facing fart karma, then yes. However, you should see your doctor if you experience unusual flatulence, abdominal pain, changes to toilet habits, or any other uncomfortable symptom associated with digestion.

Shelly Horton answers another question we have always wondered…why do we fanny fart? Find out in the video below…

Okay confession time – what is the most inappropriate situation you have farted in (you can post anonymously!)