Fart Facts: Everything You Need to Know About Farts

As humans, farting is a regular occurrence that happens every time we eat a delicious meal. It’s the result of digestion of food by a healthy body system. Without farting, you’ll become bloated containing all that gas inside your stomach. So it’s important to fart regularly.

An average person farts 14-23 times a day. It may sound like a bit too much, but these farts are completely odorless and can’t draw attention. Most of the gas that resides inside your body are digested air that came from the foods we eat, the beverages we drink, or even talking and so on.

The rest of these gases is a result of the food breakdown inside the digestive tract. Did you know that your diet is primarily made up of gases? Fats, for example, are made up of odorless gasses such as carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and a little bit of methane gas.

Letting out gas is a normal thing to do but can become quickly uncomfortable once you do it too much. But you can’t prevent yourself from farting. But why do we fart? Here are some reasons below:

  1. Swallowed Air
  • Every time we chew, we swallow air. Drinking carbonated drinks also fill our body with air. That’s why we burp every time we drink such.
  1. Bacteria
  • Bacteria are needed to aid digestion. However, excessive bacteria buildup inside your digestive tract primarily in the small intestine can cause flatulence. Bacteria buildup is caused by the following: diabetes type 2, celiac diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, liver diseases.
  1. Incomplete Carbohydrate Digestion
  • A continuous passing of gases occurs when carbohydrates are not fully or wholly digested. Not all the food you eat are absorbed by enzymes that are present inside the small intestine.
  • Once the undigested carbohydrates escaped the small intestine and reached the colon, bacteria convert food into gases such as hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases.

These are three ways of how gas can enter our body, and it’s necessary to let them out. But not all gases are expelled from our body. Some of these gases are reabsorbed by our bodies which causes pressure buildup in the upper part of the colon.

Once the pressure rises up too much against your colon wall, it starts to cause intense pain in the colon and even in your abdomen area. This pain can also travel way up to your chest if not prevented. You would notice that you let out gas more on some days compared to others. But why is this happening? Below are some reasons to answer that question.

  1. Time of the day
  • When you swallow too much gas during the day, it’s normal to experience flatulence during the night. Whenever your abdominal muscles are stimulated, you’re most likely experience flatulence too.
  • Taking out a dump for example, where your intestinal wall muscles are working hard to pass feces out of the rectum can trigger flatulence. Actions such as coughing or exercising can also trigger flatulence.
  1. The Foods We Eat
  • Some foods can make you fart too much. But this also depends on the person, as some people don’t react the same way to certain kinds of food. Beans, bran, and broccoli are foods that causes you to fart too much. It’s best to stay away from these kinds of foods as possible if you’re concerned about being too gassy.
  • People who are lactose intolerant can also fart too much because of the lack of enzyme called “lactase” inside their body. Lactase is needed for milk digestion and other dairy products. Some people are born with this disease while others develop it as they grow older.
  1. Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy can make a lot of changes to your body. And an unpleasant one of these changes is increased gas production. This happens when your hormonal levels rises up which causes your digestion to slow down that can build up gas. Increasing internal wall pressure inside your intestine which results to farting too much.
  1. Menstruation
  • Red days can make changes to your hormonal levels. This can result to bacteria buildup inside your digestive tract and can lead up to internal pressure causing you to fart too much.
  1. Medical Conditions
  • Medical conditions are also responsible why you produce gas more than the usual. Intestinal surgeries can also cause bacterial overgrowth.

Should you worry because you’re farting much? Before worrying about that, you must observe how many times you’ve fart during the day. Your doctor probably required you to keep track of the foods you eat by keeping a food journal. Having a food journal can help you jot down every foods and beverage you’ve take and see which causes you to fart too much.

Farting 23 times a day isn’t healthy. How much more if you reached 30 farts a day. If your farts goes beyond 30, then it’s time to keep a lookout on your health. This may be a result of an underlying medical condition that you’ve gone through.

An average person farts 14-23 times a day and this is considered the normal physiological range. Even if it goes above 23, then you’re perfectly fine. Unless if it goes above 30, this is where it’s time for a trip to the doctor’s office.

You should also be mindful how your fart smells. The smell of your farts depends on the kind of food you ate as well as the type of gases that are present in your colon. Foul-smelling fart is normal especially if you’ve eaten a particular kind of food.

Some might say that consuming too much protein foods such as eggs and meat can make your farts smell bad and this is actually true. On the other hand, soluble fibers such as vegetables and fruits can have little to no smell on your farts at all.

There are some foods that causes flatulence to occur frequently. While some people are arguing over the fact that eating too much carbohydrates such as pasta, noodles, or bread can make you fart too much, this isn’t the case at all. Here are foods that can cause flatulence:

  • Lentils and Beans
  • Dairy Products: milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt
  • Soy Products: soya beans, soy milk
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cucumbers, onions, mushrooms
  • Fruits: apple, pears, peaches, fruit juices
  • Whole grains: rice, bran,
  • Alcohol: beer, carbonated drinks
  • Sweets: sugar-free gum, candies

Now that we know the foods that can cause too much farting, how can we reduce this to a normal state? Here are some key things to follow:

  1. Don’t Rush Yourself While Eating
  • Gas find their way inside your body by swallowing air. We can’t prevent this from happening, but we can reduce our air intake while drinking and eating. To do this, always be mindful when eating on the go. Eating too fast makes you swallow more air than the usual. Avoid eating while doing other activities such as driving, walking, talking, biking, and so on.
  1. Avoid Gum and Other Gummy Sweets
  • Chewing gum and other sticky and gummy sweets makes you swallow more air. Instead of relying on gums to make your breath smell fresh, why don’t you just brush your teeth instead or lick on minty sweets? You can also gargle using mouthwashes too if brushing your teeth can be too much of a chore for you.
  1. Don’t Consume Too Much Gas-Producing Foods
  • If the list of foods above isn’t convincing enough, carbohydrate foods such as fructose, lactose, starch, and insoluble fibers can be the culprit too. But why? Majority of these carbohydrates are fermented inside the large intestine which can result to a slow digestion and other digestive problems. Some people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) follows a low-FODMAP-diet which is a diet that prevents taking too much fermented sugar.
  • But cutting these foods out of your diet is a hard thing to do. Because these foods play an important role to your diet regimen. On the other hand, you can reduce their intake instead of completely removing them from your diet. Such carbohydrates that causes flatulence include:
    * Complex Sugars – beans, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, whole grains, sorbitol
    * Fructose – onions, artichokes, soft drinks, fruit drinks
    * Lactose – milk, ice cream, cheese, and other dairy products
    * Insoluble fibers – bran, peas, beans
    * Starch – whole grain foods, potatoes, pasta, corn
  1. Follow an Elimination Diet Method
  • Being food intolerant and having food allergies are two different things. Food allergies can cause you to have hives, swollen mouth, inflamed throat and so on. On the other hand, food intolerance can make you experience digestive problems such as bloating, severe gas production and even diarrhea.
  • Food intolerance is caused by lactose intolerance, which is a condition where your body didn’t produce enzymes called lactase that helps digest food containing lactose. Dairy products contain lactose, and a lack of lactase can make you having a hard time to digest such products.
  • By following an elimination diet, it’ll help you keep track and reduce the cause of the production of excess gas. How it works? Stay away from any dairy products. If you still continue to produce gas excessively, then staying away from the foods we listed above is the next thing to do. Remove them all at once and try to slowly incorporate them back to your diet if you see any changes.
  • Once you decided to slowly add them back, keep a journal and jot down the effects that’s happening to your body when you remove them and when you added them back. In this way, it can help you see which food gives you discomfort and decide which action to take to avoid them.
  • Besides lactose intolerance, some people are also experiencing gluten intolerance. If that is the case, it’s better to schedule an appointment to your doctor so he/she can educate you throughout the process before you begin following a gluten-free diet.
  1. Avoid Carbonated Drinks
  • Soda, beer, and other carbonated drinks contains a high amount of gas. You see the air bubbles fizzing up once you open a carbonated drink? These are the ones responsible why you burp once you drink them. These air will pass through the digestive tract and travel all the way down to your rectum instead which makes you fart. You can drink sugar-free juice, tea, or non-alcoholic wine instead and keep away from carbonated drinks as possible.
  1. Take Enzyme Supplements
  • If you can’t let go of doing such like staying away from these foods and beverages, you can opt for enzyme supplements instead. Beano is an over the counter medicine that contains digestive enzyme known as A-galactidase. What it does? It helps break down complex carbohydrates into pure sugar that can be easily absorbed by the body.
  • It also helps breaking down complex carbs inside the small intestine. Usually, complex carbs are broken down inside the large intestine by gut bacteria which causes a production of gas. But thanks to Beano, it enables digestion to occur in an area where plenty of gas won’t be released which is the small intestine.
  • Lactaid is also a supplement that contains lactase. What it does? It helps people who are lactose intolerant to digest food from lactose filled foods such as milk, cheese, and other dairy products. Taking it before eating is advisable.
  1. Consume Probiotics
  • Our digestive tract is rich in healthy bacteria which helps us break down the foods we eat so our body can absorb them for use. Other good bacteria’s such as probiotics helps on reducing digestive symptoms and other chronic conditions such as IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  1. Stop Smoking
  • Gas can also enter our body by smoking. Every time you light a cigarette or turn on an e-cig, be mindful that you’re sucking air into your digestive tract which causes you to fart. But by quitting smoking, there’s a high possibility that you can reduce farting.
  1. Treat Constipation as Soon as Possible
  • Bacteria also goes out each time you take a dump. When you don’t poop, the bacteria stays along with your poop inside your body. The longer it remains inside, the longer it begins to ferment. This fermentation process can lead to excessive production of gas and can also make your farts smell awful.
  • To avoid this, always drink plenty of water. The more water you drink, the faster things begin to process inside your digestive system. Increasing fiber intake can also break down food components fast. If things won’t work, it’s time to drink a gentle laxative.
  1. Increase Your Physical Activities
  • Moving your body can make your digestive system to work faster. Engaging in physical activities and exercises can speed up your body’s rate of absorption and metabolism. Each time you’re finish eating large meals, a simple walk outside your home can help speed up digestion.