Farting is also known as flatulence or gas. Although it seems embarrassing, it is a normal part of digestion. The body produces gas as a byproduct after breaking down food in the gut. This gas contains hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.
However, gluten sensitivity, digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, lactose, and food intolerance could also cause farting. Farts could either be silent or loud, some odorless while others are smelly. And you’ve probably wondered,
Why do my farts smell like death?
Stinky farts are a result of the Hydrogen sulfide present in the emitted gas. This gas is from the digestion of fiber-rich foods, primarily vegetables. Certain medications could also cause a foul smell in gas, and sometimes, it could be due to underlying medical conditions.
Causes Of Smelly Farts
A smelly fart is common and doesn’t necessarily suggest health issues. Farts are mainly associated with the food we consume, lifestyle, and medications. Below are the common causes of flatulence:
- Eating foods rich in fiber – fiber-rich foods are suitable for the overall body health, but they can be hard to digest, and they tend to take longer to undergo digestion. As a result, they ferment within the digestive system producing a foul odor.
- Constipation – this a condition where digested food builds up in the large intestines, and there is a blockage, causing a buildup of foul gas in the gut.
- Food intolerance – some people are sensitive to certain foods. Their digestive system finds it hard to digest certain foods such as lactose and gluten. The bacteria in the gut ferment these foods producing smelly gas.
- Medications – while searching for pathogens, some medicines, especially antibiotics, eliminate the stomach’s digestive bacteria. Without these bacteria, there will be a foul smell in the stomach, which comes out as gas.
- Bacterial infections – sometimes, there is an imbalance of the good bacteria in the stomach. Excessive amounts could lead to stomach infections leading to increased amounts of smelly gas.
- Colon cancer – in sporadic cases, cancer in the colon blocks the digestive tract causing a buildup of gas in the system.
Foods That Cause Gas
- Fruits and vegetables despite being healthy foods, fruits and vegetables contain raffinose which is a lump of complex sugar. When broken down, the sugar produces gas. Examples are cabbages, broccoli, pears, and apples.
- Sodas – Since sodas are highly carbonated, they produce carbon dioxide, which fills up in the stomach and has to be ejected or removed as a fart.
- Processed foods- Most processed contain fructose and lactose, which lead to increased amounts of gas.
- Dairy products – most dairy products contain lactose that is difficult to digest. Lactose takes longer to be digested and causes a buildup of gases in the small intestines.
- Legumes such as lentils and beans contain the highest amounts of raffinose. This complex sugar is difficult to digest. After digestion, there is a production of methane and hydrogen gases.
- Candy and gum – while chewing, a person swallows a significant amount of air. Gum and candy also have sorbitol, a sweetener, which is hard to digest. This indigestion produces gas that accumulates in the stomach and has to be ejected as a fart.
Sometimes when farting, one feels a warm sensation. The emitted gas is warmer than usual. This condition, however, is not a call for panic. It is normal. The following reasons could cause this condition.
- Spicy foods. Most spices contain inflammatory substances like capsaicin which may cause inflammation in the anus, making the excreted air feel warm.
- Diarrhea causes increased bowel movement, making the linings of the anus more sensitive, causing irritation when farting.
- Constipation. Piling up of stool in the colon leaves little space for the present gas, increasing the colon’s pressure. The gas is then emitted with force, making it feel warmer.
- Low gas levels. When farting, the gas is ejected slowly and with less intense force. This buildup causes a warm sensation which can be classified as a burning fart.
Reducing The Amounts Of Gas
Study shows that a healthy adult farts up to 23 times a day. As much as it is beneficial to remove gas from one’s body, some people wish to reduce gas in their bodies. Here are some healthy ways to achieve this.
- Drink a lot of water. Drinking a lot of water will help move waste through the body and reduce inflammation of the anus.
- Eat more probiotic foods. Probiotic foods help to regain the good bacteria in the stomach, which helps indigestion.
- Drink less carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks create bubbles and gas in the gut. Avoiding them will reduce the amounts of gas significantly.
- Exercise regularly. Dong regular exercise prevents gas from accumulating in your digestive system.
- Eating at a slower rate and in smaller portions. Taking food in smaller amounts helps to reduce congestion in the alimentary canal.
- Reduce fatty foods. Fatty foods are slower to digest, and this creates congestion in the gut hence causing flatulence.
Benefits Of Flatulence
As much as some people consider it embarrassing, farting is healthy. It is proof that your digestive system is working correctly. Not farting may cause issues like bloating, which makes someone uncomfortable. Some of the benefits of farting areas listed here:
- Indicate a healthy digestive system. More gas indicates that your stomach’s good bacteria is working correctly and generally shows an excellent digestive system.
- Monitor your diet. A balanced diet will ultimately produce gas because carbohydrates are harder to digest.
- Smelling the odor is healthy. Research has shown that the hydrogen sulfide found in a fart is suitable for the tissues when inhaled in small amounts.
- Reduce bloating. Bloating is a condition that makes your stomach feel swollen, especially after eating. This condition is due to the gas present in the stomach. As a result, farting helps to remedy this.
- Early warning. Excess gas expulsion could be early signs of an underlying medical condition, and it is advisable to see a doctor.
- Food intolerance. If someone experiences excess gas after taking certain foods, it shows that your digestive duct is upset and is proof that your body could be intolerant to such foods.
- Reduce abdominal pain. When food undergoes digestion, it produces gas, and gas accumulation in the large intestines causes abdominal pain. Releasing this gas eases the pain.
Other Digestive Disorders
Here are some other diseases that affect the digestive system.
Frequent heartburns characterize gastroesophageal reflux disease. The stomach acid finds its way to the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest region.
GERD is treated by taking antacids, avoiding trigger foods, doing regular exercises, and quitting smoking. Extreme levels of GERD may require surgery.
2. Peptic ulcers
are sores that develop in the small intestines’ inner linings and the stomach caused by hydrochloric acid. Sharp stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, and heartburn are some of the common symptoms. This condition is treated use of antacids.
3. Celiac disease
this condition affects people who are gluten intolerant. The gluten found in foods such as barley causes inflammation to the linings of the small intestines.
As a result, some nutrients may not be absorbed by the body resulting in medical complications. The only remedy for this condition is to avoid foods rich in gluten.
4. Stomach flu
otherwise known as gastroenteritis, is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pains mainly caused by bacteria or viruses.
This flu is spread by being in contact with an infected person. Observing general hygiene can help avoid this condition.
a digestive problem where a victim finds it difficult to pass stool. The stool is hard and comes less frequently. Constipation makes a person strain when passing the bowel and may cause hemorrhoids and fissures.
Taking foods rich in fiber and roughage, taking a lot of water, and regularly exercising can treat these medical conditions.
this is the presence of blood in the bowel due to swollen and irritating rectum or anus. This condition affects most adults above 40 years. Drinking more water, exercising regularly, and eating more fiber-rich foods can counter hemorrhoids.
are solid deposits in the gallbladder caused by too much cholesterol. These deposits block the bile duct connecting the gallbladder to the small intestines leading to sharp stomach pain.
Some medications may eradicate these deposits, but if this does not work, then surgery is advised.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that causes diarrhea, constipation, and pain in the stomach. The cause is unknown.
This condition can be treated by eating low-fat foods and avoiding trigger foods. Also, the use of probiotics could help overcome this.
Flatulence is normal, and gas is a byproduct of digestion. Certain foods are associated with high amounts of gas. However, high amounts of foul gas could be a sign of underlying medical conditions.
Farting has its advantages, like preventing bloating and reducing abdominal pains. Other common disorders that affect the digestive system include stomach flu, peptic ulcers, and hemorrhoids.
Managing one’s diet and doing regular exercises can prevent most digestive infections. The bottom line is farting is healthy and should be embraced.
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