Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

Flashback Friday: High Altitude Flatus Expulsion (HAFE).

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

This one's pretty self-explanatory, so we will leave you with this delightful YouTube video!

High Altitude Flatus Expulsion (HAFE). “We would like to report our observations upon a new gastrointestinal syndrome, which we shall refer to by the acronym HAFE (high altitude flatus expulsion). This phenomenon was most recently witnessed by us during an expedition in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, with similar experiences during excursions past. The syndrome is strictly associated with ascent, and is characterized by an increase in both the volume and the frequency of the passage of flatus, which spontaneously occurs while climbing to altitudes of 11,000 feet or greater. The eructations (known to veteran back-packers as “Rocky Mountain barking spiders”) do not appear to vary with exercise, but may well be closely linked to diet. The fact that the syndrome invariably abated on descent leads us to postulate a mechanism whereby the victim is afflicted by the expansion of colonic gas at the decreased atmospheric pressure of high altitude. This is somewhat analogous to the rapid intravascular expansion of nitrogen which afflicts deep-sea divers and triggers decompression illness. While not as catastrophic as barotrauma nor as debilitating as HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema), HAFE nonetheless represents a significant inconvenience to those who prefer to hike in company.” Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Finding the frequency of Fido’s farts. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: It’s like a Brita filter for your butt. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: ha ha poop

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 75%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In