Could you explode from excess gas?

Dear Alice,

Is it possible for your intestines to explode if you have gas?



Dear Gaseous,

Do you ever feel so uncomfortable, bloated, crampy, and distended that you think you may explode? This intense sensation is due to gas that is trapped in the intestine. Since the gas has nowhere to go, it builds up with increasing pressure, leaving you with gas pain. Good news for you — there are no findings that suggest that a person (or her/his intestine) can actually explode from flatulence. The only "explosion" might be a loud and startling noise that results from such a forceful expulsion (i.e., a fart).

Now that you’ve got your foot on the gas pedal, it is useful to know that between seven and ten liters of gas are processed by the intestine daily. Although most gas is reabsorbed into the blood, when your intestine can no longer accommodate what is left over, it gets pushed out of the intestine via contractions. The result: you'll pass the gas, fart, cut the cheese, let one rip, break wind, blow bad mud, have SBDs (silent, but deadly, farts), etc.

If you are experiencing recurrent or chronic gas sensations that resemble near-explosions, you may want to speak with a health care provider. For more information, you can check out the related questions.

Now, that was a relief!

Last updated Jul 08, 2015
Originally published Feb 27, 1997

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