Why Do I Fart So Much? Causes and Ways to Reduce Excessive Gas

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Why Do I Fart So Much? Causes and Ways to Reduce Excessive Gas

If you have to constantly get rid of excessive gas during the day, you may wonder if it is normal to fart so much. Farting a lot can be embarrassing, especially if you are with others and you frequently need to break wind. There is the risk that farting will cause ripping noise and have a sulfur-like smell of rotten eggs. Along with farting so much, you may also suffer from abdominal cramping, digestive problems, or bloating.

It’s good to remember that there is generally nothing to worry about if you think that you are farting too much. Most of the reasons for constant farting are connected with your diet or digestive system. For example, consuming a lot of fiber, food intolerances, or even swallowing too much air could cause you to fart a lot.

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Thankfully, there are many effective home remedies that help to reduce excess gas. For example, consuming ginger, chamomile tea, or taking activated charcoal can help to resolve gastrointestinal issues that cause you to fart so much. Other ways of getting rid of too much flatulence include taking digestive enzymes or probiotics to boost the health of your gut. If you keep farting a lot, you could also think about changing your diet to avoid foods that cause flatulence.

In this article, you will learn about the different reasons why you fart a lot and how to reduce excessive gas if you keep farting too much. Also, if you fart all the time, you will find out answers to many questions about farting and smelly farts.

What is a Fart?

Fart is a common word to describe flatulence or gas that builds up in the gut and is released through the rectum. Other ways to describe farting include “breaking wind,” “passing wind,” or “cutting the cheese” (to name but a few!)

The book Clinical Methods explains that during digestion, gas develops in the gut when bacteria break down food to be absorbed by the body. Farts consist of 5 main gasses in varying quantities. These are nitrogen, oxygen, methane, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide and they make up 99% of intestinal gas.1

The majority of farts don’t smell bad. For example, most farts contain high amounts of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide and don’t smell at all. But, the presence of hydrogen sulfide and methane is one of the reasons why your farts can smell so bad of rotten eggs. For example, although eating cruciferous vegetables is good for you, they tend to release more smelly gas in your gut.

Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to predict if your farts let rip with a loud noise and don’t smell at all or if they sneak out silently and stink.

Why Do I Fart So Much?

It’s normal for all people to fart and get rid of excess gas through their bottom or by belching. However, did you know that even though you think you may fart too much, it may be normal? According to doctors from National Health Service, the average person breaks wind between 5 and 15 times a day. However, it can be normal for some people to fart even more than that.

There is also a lot that your farts can tell about your digestive health. Any changes to the frequency of your farting – for example, if you start farting a lot all of a sudden, could indicate a change in your diet or an underlying medical issue. You may also notice changes in the number of times you need to poop.

Let’s look in more detail at the reasons why you may be farting so much. At the end of the article, you will find out when you should see a doctor for excessive farting.

Diet

Because there are many foods that cause flatulence, your diet is probably the main reason why you fart a lot.

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The journal Gut reports that excessive gas and flatulence that smells bad is often due to diet. Usually, fermentable foods like beans and various vegetables can cause large volumes of intestinal gas that may or may not smell of rotten eggs. Very often, changing your diet or identifying foods that cause you to fart so much can help reduce excessive gas.2

Another study published in the journal Gut found that diet often affects the microflora of the gut which can make a person need to fart more. Scientists found that the frequency of flatulence was directly related to the amount and types of food that individuals ate. However, it was discovered that different flatulence-causing foods affected people in different ways.3

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, some of the most common foods that cause excessive gas are:4

  • Beans and legumes
  • Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, and broccoli
  • Foods high in fiber like wholegrain products and bran
  • Some fruits like apples, prunes, pears, and bananas
  • Milk and dairy products (if a person is lactose intolerant)

Digestive disorders

One reason why excessive flatulence is causing you to fart a lot is if you suffer from a digestive disorder. Gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or acid reflux (heartburn) can cause a gassy buildup in your gut that makes you fart often.

According to doctors from the National Health Service, farting so much could mean that you have irritable bowel syndrome. The volume of flatulence may also be accompanied by abdominal cramping, bloating, and passing greasy stools.5

Also, indigestion can cause you to fart often to relieve abdominal discomfort. For example, Dr. John P. Cunha on eMedicineHealth reports that indigestion can cause excessive flatulence and burping. Other symptoms of a digestive disorder can include any of the following:6

If you are bothered by acid reflux or indigestion, please check out some of my natural antacids to relieve heartburn.

Bacteria in the gut

One reason why you might have so much gas that makes you fart a lot is an imbalance of the number of bacteria in your gut.

Researchers examined the possible causes of an excessive buildup of intestinal flatulence and found that bacterial gasses make up to three-quarters of flatulence. This can be due to the type of food ingested or the number of bacteria in the digestive system.7

One reason for bacteria in the gut causing you to have gas all the time is an overgrowth of bacteria. According to the journal Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Diseases, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) causes excessive intestinal gas. This can also result in frequent bouts of diarrhea, abdominal cramping after eating, smelly burps, or bloating.8

Food sensitivities or food intolerances

A very common reason for someone having to fart so much is having a food intolerance or sensitivity to certain foods.

Many people find that after consuming dairy products they experience a sudden need to fart a lot. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reported that lactose intolerance occurs when your gut can’t absorb lactose. This results in an increase of flatulence in your digestive system.9

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Researchers from Harvard Medical School say that other reasons for farting so much after eating food could be food allergies, celiac disease, intolerance to carbohydrates, or gluten sensitivity. These digestive disorders that cause excessive gas can also cause other symptoms, including:10

Swallowing air

It might surprise you, but, swallowing too much air can make you fart a lot because the air eventually gets trapped in your gut.

A study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that swallowing air (aerophagia) is a reason for gastrointestinal upset. Although the most common symptoms were belching, bloating and constipation, some did experience an increased need to fart.11

Other reasons for excessive farting

Researchers from Harvard Medical School say that other reasons why you may have been farting so much can include:12

  • Drinking fizzy or carbonated beverages.
  • Consuming foods containing fructose or sorbitol (an artificial sweetener).
  • A side effect of certain medications.
  • Hormonal issues connected with premenstrual syndrome.13

How to Stop Farting a Lot

If you think that you are farting too much, then relief is at hand. There are many natural home remedies for flatulence that can help to reduce the volume of flatus in your gut and get rid of excessive gas.

Here are some of the best tried and tested natural ways to relieve constant farting.

Ginger

According to research published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, ginger has been proven to help stop people farting so much. The anti-inflammatory effect of ginger reduces the buildup of gas and results in passing less flatulence.13

Use ginger to relieve excessive gas if you have been farting so much recently. All you have to do is mix a 1-inch piece of fresh, chopped ginger in a cup of boiling water. Let the ginger infuse for about 4-5 minutes with the cup covered and drink daily to reduce gas.

Peppermint

Scientific research published in 2016 found that mint leaves contain compounds that have anti-flatulent properties.14 Other medical studies have found that peppermint oil capsules can help to relieve the symptoms of IBS including excessive flatulence and bloating.15

Put a few leaves of peppermint in a cup of boiling water to make a calming remedy to relieve excessive intestinal gas and bloating. Drink the peppermint tea daily to help improve your digestion and relieve the discomfort that having to fart a lot causes.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile is another herb with anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the number of times a day you have to fart. The journal Molecular Medicine Reports stated that chamomile has been used for centuries to relieve intestinal gas and flatus. The relaxant properties of chamomile also relieve other digestive upset like indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea.16

To use chamomile tea for relieving gas in your gut, you should put 2-3 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in a cup of boiling water. Cover the cup and allow to infuse for a few minutes. Strain the chamomile tea and drink 2-3 times a day to help reduce excessive farting.

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Other herbs

There are many other herbs that are helpful to reduce the frequency you have to pass wind during the day.

Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help to calm digestive upset and relieve the symptoms of excess abdominal gas. A report in 2015 on the medicinal benefits of cinnamon stated that cinnamon has been used to treat chronic flatulence and other gastrointestinal problems.17

Caraway. Doctors report that caraway is used by many people to reduce painful gas buildup and stop bloating. It has also been reported that caraway helps to get rid of stomach spasms and improves the symptoms of indigestion naturally.18

Lemon balm. You can also use lemon balm if you want to stop farting so much. Doctors say that lemon balm helps relieve digestive issues including excessive gas, cramping, upset stomach, and bloating.19

Probiotics

If you are farting too much because you have irritable bowel syndrome or another chronic digestive problem, you should try using probiotics.

The journal Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease reports that research into probiotics show that they can help to alleviate many IBS symptoms. This includes reducing the amount of flatus and frequency of breaking wind.20

Using probiotics to stop excessive farting is just one of the many reasons to use probiotic supplements daily.

Activated charcoal

Use activated charcoal as a natural way to stop farting so much in the morning or evening. According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, activated charcoal has a positive effect on reducing intestinal gas. It was found that individuals who took activated charcoal needed to pass gas less and had fewer bouts of stomach cramps.21

To find out how to use activated charcoal to stop farting a lot, please read my article on the benefits of taking activated charcoal. This may even stop you having smelly belches or bad breath.

Change your eating habits

Because food is the main reason why you fart so much despite having a healthy digestive system, changing your eating habits can help to alleviate flatulence.

Apart from identifying foods that cause you to break wind so much, you should also try making other dietary changes.

Avoid dairy. A study from 2013 found that people who are lactose intolerant should avoid most dairy products. However, you should be aware, that you may need to find alternative sources of calcium to keep your bones strong and your teeth healthy.22

Low-FODMAP diet. The low-FODMAP diet can help you stop constant farting that has a bad smell. The journal Nutrients reported that a low FODMAP diet can help improve many gastrointestinal complaints including excessive farting, growling stomach, or diarrhea. The low FODMAP diet can also help people who have digestive upset due to IBS or lactose intolerance.23

Digestive enzymes

Taking digestive enzymes can help people with chronic digestive issues to stop farting all the time. The journal Current Drug Metabolism reported that digestive enzymes help the gut break down food to absorb nutrients. These can help treat the symptoms of lactose intolerance, IBS, acid reflux, and generally boost your digestive health.24

Abdominal massage, exercise, and yoga poses

If IBS or another type of gastrointestinal disease is causing you to fart excessively, you can try abdominal massaging to help relieve gassy pains.

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The World Journal of Gastroenterology reported that massage, yoga, and physical exercise can all help to strengthen muscles, including abdominal and intestinal muscles. This can have a long-term effect of reducing bouts of excessive farting and reduce the volume of intestinal gas.25

There are many simple yoga poses that help to improve your health. You may also find that an abdominal massage can help treat causes of having a bloated stomach. You can find more information on How to perform abdominal massage in my article about the amazing benefits of abdominal massage.

FAQ About Why You Are Farting So Much

Because foods can affect us all in different ways, and there are many issues that can affect your digestive system, you may wonder why you seem to fart all the time.

Why do I fart so much and it smells?

The main reason for why you fart so much and your farts seem to have an intense smell is the combination of different gasses in your gut.

Dr. Norton J. Greenberger from the Harvard Medical School says that an average person expels up to 700 mL of gas daily. The stink from farts comes mainly from hydrogen sulfide concentrations and methane, both of which can make your farts smell of rotten eggs.26

Also, you may be passing smelly wind a lot if you have a protein-rich diet. The journal Frontiers in Physiology reports that protein sources like milk, cheese, and eggs contain sulfur and break down into malodorous gas.27

Is it bad if you fart a lot?

You usually don’t have to worry if you fart excessively. Dr. Greenberger (quoted earlier) says that it’s normal for the average person to fart as much as 21 times or more in a day.26 However, if you notice that you start farting more all of a sudden, you should try to identify the reason for increased flatulence and be aware of any accompanying symptoms.

Why do men fart so much and do men fart more than women?

It may surprise you that men don’t fart more than women do. Factors that contribute to flatulence like diet, microflora in the gut, and food intolerance affect women as much as men.

The journal Gut reported that in a study investigating the production of intestinal gas, both men and women farted the same amount of flatus on a daily basis. It was the consumption of fiber-rich foods that influenced how much an individual farted daily, not gender.29

Interestingly, the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility reports that women experience more flatulence toward the end of their menstrual cycle and during menstruation.28

Should I make myself fart or hold it in?

The answer to the question: “should you hold a fart in or make yourself fart?” usually depends on where you are. Holding in a fart will not cause any long-term damage apart from possible stomach cramping that will go away when you expel the gas. However, gas won’t go away on its own and sooner or later it has to come out of your body.

So, in crowded places or in the office, you may decide to hold in a fart until you can get to a restroom or a private place to let rip.

Why do I fart more in the morning than at night?

Some people find that they fart much more in the morning than in the evening time. One reason for excessive flatulence in the morning could be due to a buildup of gasses from poorly digested food eaten before going to bed.

When to See a Doctor

Usually, discomfort from excessive flatulence is literally a “passing” sensation that may cause some embarrassment if you have a noisy or smelly fart. However, in some cases, you may want to speak to your doctor about farting too much.

Doctors from the National Health Service advise seeing a doctor for flatulence in the following circumstances:30

  • You have recurring episodes of stomach bloating and abdominal cramping.
  • You pass bloody stools.
  • You suffer from chronic (long-term) constipation or diarrhea.
  • You also have signs of an infection along with symptoms of digestive upset.
  • The frequency of farting is affecting your daily activities.

Read my other related articles:

Medical References

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  2. Gut. 2005 Jul; 54(7): 893–895.
  3. Gut. 2014 Mar; 63(3): 401–408.
  4. IFFGD. Tips on controlling gas.
  5. NHS. Irritable bowel syndrome.
  6. eMedicineHealth. Indigestion causes and treatments.
  7. Med Hypotheses.2006;67(2):235-9.
  8. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2013 Sep; 4(5): 223–231.
  9. NIDDK. Lactose intolerance.
  10. HealthHarvard. Food allergies and food intolerances.
  11. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol.2009 Oct;7(10):1127-9.
  12. HealthHarvard. Gas (flatulence).
  13. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan 7; 17(1): 105–110.
  14. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2016 Apr; 18(4): e23664.
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  16. Mol Med Report. 2010 Nov 1; 3(6): 895–901.
  17. J Tradit Complement Med. 2015 Apr; 5(2): 66–70.
  18. WebMD. Caraway.
  19. WebMD. Lemon balm.
  20. Microb Ecol Health Dis. 2012; 23: 10.3402/mehd.v23i0.18573.
  21. Am J Gastroenterol.1986 Jul;81(7):532-5.
  22. United European Gastroenterol J. 2013 Jun; 1(3): 151–159.
  23. Nutrients. 2015 Sep; 7(9): 8020–8035.
  24. Curr Drug Metab. 2016 Feb; 17(2): 187–193.
  25. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jan 14; 20(2): 346–362.
  26. MerckManuals. Gas-related complaints.
  27. Front Physiol. 2012; 3: 448.
  28. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2012 Jan; 18(1): 70–77.
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  30. NHS. Flatulence.
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