Have You Asked Yourself – Why some Farts Smell so Bad?

by Sankalan Baidya
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why some farts smell so bad

Before we start our article and shed some light on why some of the farts are bad, we must accept that we all fart, and some of them are terribly awful smelling. The reason why we stated is that somehow, we consider farting as bad or unsocial (for want of a better word). We just want to reiterate here that farting is as usual for our body as coughing or sneezing or even sleeping. Having cleared our opinion on farts, let us begin our article “why some farts smell so bad?”

Reason For Farts Being Stinky

We fart around 14 to 22 times in one day! But hey, all the farts don’t have a disgusting smell. Yes, all the farts don’t have the same odor. The odor of our farts is the result of what we eat.

The bacteria in your stomach have a significant role to play in your farts being smelly or not so stinky. If you eat fiber-rich foods like broccoli, cabbage, quinoa, etc. you will fart more, but the farts won’t be that smelly. However, if you eat foods that contain more sulfur or high-protein diet, then your farts will be on the stinkier side (most of the time).

meat and eggs

When you eat protein-rich or sulfur-rich food, the bacteria in your digestive system produces hydrogen sulfide gas. This sulfur gas is the culprit for the bad smell of your farts. The other components of your fart are hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide.

It is weird, but the healthier food you eat, the stinkier will be your fart. But there are other reasons for your farts smelling bad. They are described below briefly.

A sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition where large intestine can’t function properly and causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, etc. It also causes smelly farts. Making some eating and lifestyle changes helps in easing IBS.

Bacterial Imbalance in Your Digestive System

Bacterial imbalance, either undergrowth or overgrowth, disturbs the overall functioning of our alimentary canal. People who usually take antibiotics and rely mostly on meat products typically have a low diversity of bacteria in their gut. This leads to more production of foul-smelling gas. If the bacteria overgrow, then it affects the absorption of nutrients and causes more production of flatulence. The bottom line, both overgrowth or undergrowth of bacteria cause smelly farts.

Gluten Sensitivity

If your stomach is sensitive to gluten, then consuming gluten will increase stinky farts. A person may suffer from varied digestive problems, headaches, mood issues, etc. if he/she had gluten in his/her diet.

Lactose Intolerant

Milk and other dairy products contain a natural sugar called lactose. Many people are lactose intolerant. As per the National Institute of Health, over 65% are lactose intolerant.

milk - why some farts smell so bad

The usual symptoms of lactose intolerance are bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, and lots and lots of dirty, stinky farts. Different dairy products contain varying amounts of lactose like milk contains more lactose than cheese.

Foods loaded with Fiber

Fiber is not digestible, but it is useful in several ways like it helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system, fills our stomach up after eating. It also lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar levels, maintains a healthy weight, and helps us live longer.

Having said that, many Americans don’t include fiber-rich foods in their diet. But when you suddenly eat them once in a blue moon, they will cause flatulence and bloating, and stinky farts follow.

It is good to include fiber-rich foods in your diet but make it gradual and not sudden. Include just 25 to 50 grams of fiber in your diet for beginners.

Medications

Medicines like Advil, multivitamins, diarrhoea medications, fiber supplements, etc. affect your digestive system and your farts.

Sulfur-rich Foods

As mentioned above, sulfur-rich foods are infamous for producing farts that smell like rotten eggs. Meat and eggs top the list of sulfur-rich foods. When these food items are digested, they produce hydrogen sulfide gas, which is responsible for the rotten egg smell of our farts.

FODMAPs

FODMAPs is a short-chain carbohydrates family that is present in almost all types of foods. They get fermented by the bacteria in our gut easily and produce that awful smell.

People with sensitive stomachs are at a loss because even fruits like watermelon, mangoes, veggies like broccoli, onions, etc. can cause flatulence!

Is it Harmful?

Not really, apart from fainting by smelling that disgustingly smelly farts. Jokes apart, such stinky farts are not a problem, but if they accompany unexplained weight loss, vomiting, floating poop, fever, bloody poop, etc. it is better to go visit a doctor. If you are experiencing smelly farts for more extended periods, then you may be sensitive to some of the foods that you are eating. It is wise to go meet a dietician in that case.

So, the bottom line is the farts may be unbearable. Still, they don’t necessarily signify something is wrong in your body.

Image Credits: Envato Elements

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