Never trust a fart! It may be just gas, or it may be a shart. What is a shart? This portmanteau is not a real word, but a combination of Sh*t and Fart. It’s the word some people use when they expel some feces (poop) when breaking wind (oh my!).
The medical term for sharting might be watery flatus (watery flatulence, or wet farts).
Regardless of the correct term, sharting can be an embarrassing experience.
The first part of this terrible concoction is the fart. Flatus (gas) is typically normally, it is caused by swallowed air and intestinal bacteria.
People swallow excess air by:
- Gulping air while talking
- Fast eating or drinking
- Carbonated beverages
- Chewing gum
Your digestive system works to break down food as you eat. If the food isn’t broken down in your digestive tract, it passes into your colon. Here, the bacteria produces gas as it processes the food.
Foods that are hard to digest, and thus, produce gas:
- Fiber: Also called roughage, fiber is not easily broken down. It helps regulate the digestive system, but too much can cause gas. It is found in foods such as fruits, dark vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and grain.
- Sugar: Fructose, raffinose, stachyose, and sorbitol are all sugars that are hard to digest by the body. Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar in fruits (grapes, prunes, dates), vegetables (asparagus, artichokes), but also added to foods (cakes, fruit drinks). Raffinose is found in cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli) and in beans. Stachyose is also in various types of beans (green beans, soy beans, etc.). Also, Sorbitol (a sugar alcohol) is typically found in sugar-free products and some medications.
- Dairy products: People are lactose intolerant when their small intestine does not contain enough of the enzyme, lactase. Lactase is needed to break down and digest the lactose in dairy products.
Other Reasons For Gas
Certain medications like:
- Certain antibiotics (The kill bad bacteria, but also kill the good bacteria needed in your digestive system.)
- Orlistat (Xenical)
- As mentioned above, medications that contain sorbitol
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Giardiasis (parasitic infection)
- Crohn’s disease
What Causes Sharting?
In combination with gas, sharting is caused when you also have loose stool.
This type 6 stool is a result of much of the same things that give you gas: undigested food, food intolerance, medications, and medical conditions.
With both gas and diarrhea, it’s more likely to come out as a wet fart.
What To Do If You Shart?
Hey, it happens, but it can be embarrassing if you’re in public and shart your pants.
- First off, discreetly make your way to the bathroom. Don’t call attention to yourself, just in case it soaked through.
- Dispose of the soiled underwear (wrap it in paper towels and/or tie it up in a bag).
- Use the toilet to empty your bowels and prevent any further wet farts.
- Clean up as best as you can. Use a combo paper towels and soap at the sink.
How To Stop Sharting
Watery flatulence can be controlled by
- Avoiding the factors noted above that contribute to an excess of air intake.
- Dietary changes: You might want to consider keeping a food diary to see what foods are affecting you. Also, cutting out dairy products for about 2 weeks can help you know if you have a lactose intolerance.
- If too much fiber is not the cause of your diarrhea, then it can be used to combat it, especially in those with IBS or Crohn’s Disease.
- Nonprescription anti-gas pills, over the counter antidiarrheals
- Antibacterials for infections (However, they also kill good bacteria which may make the problem worse before it gets better.)
- If your condition is due to medications, it is not suggested that you stop taking them. Instead, speak to your doctor about the issue.
A study has shown that probiotic intervention can be helpful in the reduction of flatulence by changing the gut microbiota. Proper gut health is also important for not only the prevention of constipation and diarrhea, but your body’s overall wellness. To help prevent sharts, try including probiotics and fermented foods in your diet.
A great probiotic is Body Biotics; it contains 5 out of the 6 species of probiotics used in the study. These include L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, L. plantarum, L. salivarius, and L. casei plus three extras Bacillus Licheniformis, Bacillus Subtilis, and L. Rhamnosus.
Fermented foods are also a great and delicious way to get a variety of beneficial probiotics. There’s a wide range of fermented drinks, fruits, and vegetables. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried “spicy fermented daikon”!
When To See a Doctor
While the occasional shart is a normal inconvenience, please see a medical professional if wet farts affect you on a regular basis. Also, seek help if your attempts to remedy the situation are not successful, or if you also have abdominal pain.