What flatulence says about your health 22



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While flatulence can be hilarious both in comedy and in life, there can be a serious side to this smelly habit. It’s not nice to talk about, but we all fart, and it can speak volumes about your overall health.

Here’s what you need to know about these natural gases and if yours are of concern.

Firstly, what are farts? Farts are a mix of swallowed air that enters the digestive system while breathing and gas produced by the bacteria in your lower intestine. The bacteria in your intestines create gases as they breakdown sugars and starches that your body can’t digest.

Most humans produce roughly between 2 and 6 cups of gas a day, and after it builds up it either needs to go up or down – a burp or fart.

And while regular farting is a sign that you’re consuming enough fibre, there are some signs that something else is going on.

Smelly farts

Only one per cent of gas from our intestines is scented – this means most of the gas that leaves us should, in theory, not smell too much. The scent we can smell when flatulence is released is created when your body breaks down foods with sulphur in them.

If you’ve been eating red meat, broccoli, cauliflower, beans or dairy products, don’t be surprised if you do have smelly gas.

Extremely smelly farts

Farts definitely don’t smell like roses, but we can tell when there’s a terrible, abnormal odour. If you need to break wind immediately after consuming dairy, that can be a sign that your body is having difficulty breaking down the lactose – so see your doctor. Frequent and extremely smelly gas can be a sign of a chronic problem, like irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease, or an infection like gastroenteritis.

Gas with no scent

These are completely normal and can often be just a release of too much swallowed air.

Discomfort and breaking wind

If when you break wind, you feel discomfort, bloating, or smell a very foul odour, it’s best to see your doctor as this may indicate a food allergy.


When stool isn’t moving, people often feel like they make more noxious smelling gas than they did before. This is because the feces is mainly made up of bacteria, so you have more of it just sitting around in your system, fermenting and releasing fumes. If you’re constipated, make sure to drink water, exercise, and include more fibre in your diet.

Tell us your thoughts below.


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. a lot of the problems stem from the chemicals they use in processed foods, l have noticed a difference in eating home grown home made from scratch, no packets no cans or jar food, to eating take away, and anything that is already pre- prepared

  2. There are those who sneak farts out and there are those who let ’em rip. Either way is human nature and depending upon up bringing and/ or place at the time we can choose how this happens. As for the smell well that is another story and as the article says is a relatively good indicator of the state of ones digestive health. The trouble with a fart is that generally one does not know what it is going to smell like prior to release. A test run is sometimes a good idea. Just let a little bit out at first and have a good sniff and watch for reaction from anyone who may be nearby. If all is good then let nature take its course. If not, assume that something has crawled up your bum and died and that the resulting gas is not for general dispersal.

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