Call it a fart, windbreak, or fart—most healthy people do it 8 to 14 times a day, although up to 25 times a day is normal.
If you fart more than the average person, you may be wondering what’s going on in your digestive tract and whether your fart is a symptom of a more serious health problem.
This article describes several reasons why you may experience excess gas. It also discusses what you can do to reduce gas and bloating, and when to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
excess gas symptoms
If you think you are expelling more gas than normal, your doctor may ask you to count the number of times you expel gas per day. They may also recommend that you start a diet journal to see if gas is related to your diet.
Be sure to write down any other symptoms you may have, such as:
- swollen or swollen abdomen
- stomach pain or discomfort
It’s normal to have these symptoms after eating, but you should really pay attention to them if you experience them frequently or if they interfere with your daily activities.
Don’t believe these flatulence myths
Does the smell mean anything?
Odor is the result of gas produced by the small intestine and colon during digestion. It mostly depends on the food you eat.
Certain foods may make your gas smell worse than others. For example, animal proteins, such as eggs and meat, can produce foul-smelling gases. Soluble fiber, like that found in fruits and vegetables, also produces gas, but it doesn’t smell as bad.
Bad smell doesn’t mean anything by itself, but it can be embarrassing when it happens around other people.
It is normal to fart up to 25 times a day. It’s also normal to experience gas after eating, such as hiccups, bloating, or a bloated stomach. If you experience these symptoms more frequently or if they bother you, you should contact your doctor.
Is farting bad for you?
Habits, food, and some health conditions can trigger excess gas.
You may not realize it, but certain habits can cause you to swallow extra air. Even if you spit out most of the excess air, some will remain in your stomach. Ultimately, it needs to be released from your body as a gas.
Some common habits that can cause you to swallow air frequently include:
- chewing gum
- sucking hard candy
- drink carbonated drinks
- eating or drinking too fast
- wearing loose dentures
Anxiety can also cause you to swallow more air because you breathe faster when your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. If this is the cause of your excess gas, your first step will be to address your anxiety.
food and drinks
Most people know which foods upset their stomachs and cause them to bloat or gas. For example, cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower and broccoli, are known to produce gas. Eating lots of carbohydrates, such as pasta and bread, can also produce extra gas.
Other foods and drinks that may give you too much gas include:
- Lentils and Beans
- Milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and other dairy products
- Soy products, such as tofu and soy milk
- Vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, asparagus, artichokes, onions, mushrooms, sprouts, and cucumbers
- fruits, such as apples, peaches, pears, and juices
- Whole grains and bran
- Carbonated drinks and beverages containing high fructose corn syrup
- Alcohol, especially beer, which is also carbonated
- Sugar-free chewing gum containing sorbitol, mannitol and Xylitol
People may react to these foods differently. Some foods may cause severe gas in one person, but not at all in another.
As you get older, you may have more problems with these foods than you did when you were younger.
Many foods that cause gas are also good for you. If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, too much gas may just be a sign that you’re eating a healthy diet. Many people notice that starting a healthier diet with lots of colorful, fiber-rich foods causes them to produce more gas.
Why do beans produce gas?
State of health
Excessive gas is usually caused by something you eat or drink or a habit that causes you to swallow extra air. But gas can also be a symptom of certain health conditions, including:
- Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic constipation
- food intolerances, especially gluten, lactose, or fructose
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
- Celiac disease
- Colorectal, ovarian, or stomach cancer
when to see a doctor
If you are concerned about gas and bloating, contact your doctor to discuss your symptoms. They’ll check your medical history and symptoms to see if they point to a health condition that could be causing excess gas. Many of these are treatable.
Before your visit, please take note of your diet and behavior. Write down when you have excess gas and see if you can count the number of times you fart per day.
Let your doctor know of any new or uncomfortable symptoms you experience with gas. Your doctor will review your symptoms, general health, and medical history when making a diagnosis. They may also order diagnostic tests based on your symptoms.
Diagnosing the cause of intestinal gas
prevention and treatment
If your doctor gives you the green light and says you don’t have a disease, they may take you home and prescribe a new antidote, such as simethicone. This medication works by reducing air bubbles in the stomach and intestines.
Additionally, there are things you can do to help reduce gas, such as:
- Quit smoking.
- Slowly add more insoluble fiber to your diet (think bran and edible vegetable peels).
- Eat fewer carbohydrates, including pasta, bread, and corn.
- Chew your food carefully, as the digestion of carbohydrates begins in your mouth.
- Drink plenty of water every day. Hot water in the morning—such as a glass of hot lemonade—can help with exercise and prevent constipation, which can lead to gas and bloating. Tea can also help.
- Do not use a straw when drinking alcohol.
- Avoid carbonated drinks.
- Avoid lying down immediately after a meal.
- Exercise every day if it is safe for you to do so.
- Stop chewing gum.
- Slow down and enjoy each meal—don’t gulp it down.
- When gas is bloated, try using a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen. The heat will help relax the muscles in the large intestine, allowing them to release trapped gas.
While some of these primarily cause burping or the release of gas through your mouth, if air passes through your stomach, it will be released sooner or later.
Over-the-counter medications can also help:
- Laxatives (consult your healthcare provider first) can help push things forward.
- Dimethicone products like Gas-X can provide relief, but they’re not for everyone.
- Beano is useful if you experience symptoms after eating beans or certain vegetables.
- For people with lactose intolerance, lactase supplements such as Lactaid allow you to enjoy small amounts of dairy.
- In general, probiotics can improve the balance of gut bacteria. This may improve the underlying cause of gas and bloating.
If your excess gas is caused by an underlying condition, your doctor will treat it first. If not, prescription or over-the-counter medications may help. You can also eat slower, gradually add insoluble fiber to your diet, and drink plenty of water to help reduce gas.
Gas is a normal part of life, especially after you eat and the food is being digested. Gas becomes excessive when you fart more than 25 times a day. This is usually caused by something you eat or drink, but it can also be caused by a medical condition.
Talk to your doctor if you have excess gas or if your gas makes you uncomfortable. Your doctor may ask you to keep a dietary diary to look for any triggers. If a health condition is not to blame, use of anti-gas medications and lifestyle changes may help.
You may have to change your diet to reduce farting. Having to make lifestyle changes like this can be challenging, but you can rest assured that doing so will give you better control of your gas.
Remember that too much gas can indicate a problem with your body. If you still have symptoms after changing your lifestyle, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I so angry?
There are many reasons for flatulence or passing too much gas. Anything that causes you to swallow more air, such as chewing gum or drinking carbonated beverages, can cause more gas to build up in your stomach. For some people, eating certain foods, such as broccoli, cauliflower, lentils, beans, cheese, ice cream, and foods high in fiber can increase gas. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food intolerances, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, celiac disease, and stomach cancer can also cause excess gas.
What causes gas?
Gas is caused by swallowing air and the large intestine breaking down certain substances in food, including fructose, lactose, and carbohydrates. Bowel gas is perfectly normal, but it doesn’t stay in the body forever, so it’s released as flatulence.
How can I reduce gas?
You can reduce gas in several ways. Some people cannot fully digest certain carbohydrate-rich foods, such as beans, broccoli, and cabbage. If these foods cause a reaction, try to avoid them. Likewise, people with lactose intolerance may want to avoid milk, cheese, and other dairy products. Avoid carbonated beverages such as gum, beer, and soda. Try chewing your food slowly and eating smaller, frequent meals. Regular exercise can also aid your body’s digestive process and help reduce flatulence.
Is farting good for you?
In most cases, farting is good for you. It’s a natural bodily process that everyone does. However, if you eat foods that don’t explain excessive or foul-smelling flatulence, it may be a sign of a disease, condition, or even a side effect of certain medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), statins, and antifungal drugs can sometimes cause excess gas or an unpleasant smell.
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