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Why Do My Farts Smell So Bad?

Why Do My Farts Smell So Bad?

Ladies, just in case you needed a reminder: Farting is 100 percent okay. In fact, breaking wind is a fact of life, and everybody does it — your mom, brother, bestie, dog, and yes, even you.

Americans collectively “cut the cheese” to the stinky tune of up to 6.3 billion times a day — that’s a lot of hot air when you really think about it. For such a popular activity, it’s truly quite impressive how taboo it is.

But have you ever wondered what causes flatulence? Or why farts smell so bad?

If so, you’re not alone; a quick search on the all-knowing Google yields hundreds of results. From “what’s a fart” and “the truth about intestinal gas” to “the speed of farts” and “are human farts flammable.”

Needless to say, people are really curious about the gas that exits through their derrière! But if you’re on the hunt for more information about why your farts are so gosh-darn smelly, look no further because you’re in the right place.

We’re exploring the hushed world of farting in this post to give you the scoop on your stinky toots. So if you’ve ever wondered why the gas you pass doesn’t smell like a bushel of daisies — keep reading.

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Smelly Farts

Whether you call it farting, tooting, breaking wind, or burping from your bottom, gas is a byproduct of the digestive process, and since everyone has to eat, everyone has to pass gas — some more than others.

On average, a healthy adult farts anywhere from 5 to 15 times per day, but we’ll be honest — not everyone agrees with this.

According to some experts, anything up to 40 is A-OK.

Yep, you read that right — 40 farts per day. That equates to almost two toots per hour.

If you think you must be an exception to this statistic because you certainly don’t fart that much on any given day, we hate to break it to you, but you do.

Whether you like it or not, we all expel gas — not only when the sun’s up and we’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but also when we snooze. Yup, sleep farting is totally a thing. (We know, *gasp*)

So, why do people sleep fart, you ask? Well, to put it simply, as you catch Zzzs and dream of happy days, your body relaxes entirely, letting go of all its tensions — one of them being gas.

Of course, how much gas you release at night varies, but unless your middle-of-the-night tooting is so bad that it’s causing you or your bed buddy to stir from a deep slumber, it’s probably nothing to worry about.

Why So Gassy?

You can mostly blame your gas on one of two things: the air you swallow (think: chewing gum or using a straw) or your perfectly normal digestive processes.

In short, any undigested foods that your body can’t absorb — like fiber and certain sugars — travel from the small intestine to the large intestine, where they become “food” for the little friendly gut bugs (aka bacteria) that reside in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

As the bacteria feast, they create hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and methane. These gasses then mix together and exit the body via fart.

That said, some things can make you a little more gassy than usual, such as:

  • High fiber foods
  • Carbonate or fizzy drinks
  • Food intolerance
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Constipation

Excessive gas can also be a symptom of many health conditions that affect the GI tract and your digestive health. These include:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diverticulitis
  • Diabetes
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Scleroderma
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Most of the time, breaking wind is no cause for concern, but if you’re in pain, feel nauseous, have unintentional weight loss, or have bloody poops, make an appointment with your doctor or a gastroenterologist to get checked out. Severe chest or abdominal pain? Seek medical attention right away.

What Are the Common Causes of Stinky Gas?

Now that you are up to speed on what a fart is, let’s talk about all the potential culprits behind your super-smelly gas, shall we?

Causes of funky-smelling toots can range from virtually harmless to potentially severe. In other words, it’s sometimes difficult to identify the reason for your stinky wind due to the number of potential offenders. That said, some of the most common reasons why people may pass stinky-smelling gas include:

Dietary Habits

More often than not, your eating habits and diet are to blame for the smells that exit through your digestive tract. Eating faster than the speed of light can cause you to swallow more air with your food, leading to more stinky gas in your gut.

Eating certain foods can also lead to some smellier-than-usual farts. Chief among them are fiber-rich foods, such as:

  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Apples
  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Prunes
  • Lentils
  • Pears
  • Brussels sprouts

Foods rich in sulfur — including cabbage, meat, broccoli, garlic, onions, and seeds — can also contribute to an odorous fart. When your gut bacteria break these foods down, stinky compounds are released, causing gas that smells sulfurous, or like rotten eggs.

Lactose Intolerance

A naturally-occurring sugar found in dairy products, lactose is notoriously known for its ability to wreak havoc on the gut. This is because lactose is pretty difficult to digest — especially if you’re lactose intolerant.

Those with lactose intolerance (*ahem* 70 percent of the global population) tend to experience excessive gas that can sometimes smell in addition to other gastrointestinal distress, such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

So if other GI-related symptoms accompany your stinky gas, consider making an appointment with your primary healthcare provider to get tested.

Bacterial Imbalance

Another major culprit behind excessive and foul-smelling gas is a bacterial imbalance. Folks with low bacterial diversity in their gut often face this issue. Having a gut full of diverse bacteria is key to keeping your body healthy, happy — and, more often than not — free of stinky farts!

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can also throw the bacteria in your gut out of whack. While everyone toots, patients with SIBO are especially windy — and it’s not always good-smelling wind, either.

If you think you’re dealing with a bacterial imbalance, you may consider adding a good-quality probiotic to your daily supplement line-up. Not sure where to find one? Check out Good Girl Probiotics — a shelf-stable probiotic that’s made with eight strains (most probiotics only contain one) of good bacteria to support a balanced microbiome.*

Simply take two capsules per day — preferably with a meal — to maintain healthy flora.

Conclusion

So, why does your gas smell so gosh-darn bad, you ask?

We’ll be honest — many gaseous culprits could be behind your undeniably stinky toots. Everyone farts, it’s a fact of life, but depending on certain factors like diet, GI conditions, lactose issues, and even a love for fizzy drinks, some folks experience gas that is, well… extra stinky.

Fortunately, most gas is nothing more than a slight embarrassment; however, be sure to see your doctor if your farts are stinkier than usual and accompanied by intense pain, constipation, or nausea.

While it may not be anything to worry about, having these symptoms consistently over a long time could indicate a bowel condition.

On the other hand, if everything feels A-OK — except for your poor nose, of course — there’s a pretty good chance that your foul-smelling wind will resolve after making a few dietary changes. In other words, you’ll be just fine.

Here at Love Wellness, we’re on a mission to break the stigma and normalize issues that are 100 percent human in nature. Everybody farts, so why is it such a taboo topic?

Whether you need some help with your intestinal gas, vaginal discharge, or period poop, you can count on us to have your back. Always here, whenever you need us, every time.

Sources:

Farting During Sleep: Causes and Tips for Reducing It | Sleep Foundation

Research-Article Milk Intolerance and Microbe-Containing Dairy Foods | Science Direct

The Truth About Gas | Unity Point

Flatulence | Better Health Channel

Farting (flatulence) | NHS

Gas and Bloating | PMC

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