Flatulence Causes, Prevention And Treatment Options


Flatulence, sometimes referred to as farting, passing wind, or having a gas, is the medical term for the digestive tract discharging gas via the anus. It is a typical procedure that takes place when gas builds up inside the digestive tract.

Gas accumulates in the digestive system as a result of food digestion. Inhaling air while eating or drinking might also cause it. Gas typically contains the following elements: oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and sometimes methane.

Excessive flatulence can be brought on by a number of illnesses, including gastroparesis, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. Additionally, if you eat some foods, you could pass wind more frequently.

Gas can disrupt your regular activities by causing discomfort and bloating. Exercise, dietary changes, and the use of pharmaceuticals all have the potential to ease gas discomfort.


There are two major ways gas gathers. The digestive tract may get clogged with oxygen and nitrogen if you swallow air as you eat or drink (aerophagia). Second, when your body digests food, the digestive system fills with gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen. Both approaches may result in flatulence.

Taking in air

All throughout the day, usually, when eating and drinking, it is typical to swallow air. You usually just swallow a tiny bit of air.

When you ingest more air than usual, you can notice that you have a lot of flatulence. Burping may also result from it.

You may swallow more air than usual for the following causes:

  • Gum chewing
  • Smoking
  • The use of loose dentures
  • Sucking on items such as pen caps
  • Carbonated beverages
  •  rushing through meals or drinks

The foods you consume could cause excessive flatulence. For instance, carbohydrates are known to result in gas.

Less gas is often produced by proteins and fats than by carbs. However, some proteins might make your gas smell worse.

The following list of foods can cause gas:

  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Belgian spuds
  • Whole grains
  • Asparagus
  • Milk
  • Dairy ingredients
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Artichokes
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Raisins
  • Lentils
  • Prunes
  • Apples
  • Foods like fruit juices and sugar-free sweets that are rich in fructose or sorbitol

Prepared meals

These meals may take a while to digest, which contributes to the unpleasant odour of flatulence. In addition, certain meals are incompletely absorbed by the body. This indicates that they do not undergo complete digestion before moving from the intestines to the colon.

Large numbers of bacteria are present in the colon, which break down the food and release gases as they do so. The accumulation of this gas results in flatulence.

Not everyone experiences gas from every food. Keeping a list of the meals you consume and the symptoms of flatulence you encounter will help you identify which ones make you feel gassy.

Underlying issues

If you do not swallow a lot of air and your diet does not contain a lot of carbs or sweets, a medical ailment may be to blame for your excessive flatulence.

Flatulence can be brought on by a variety of causes, from short-term health difficulties to long-term digestive troubles. These conditions include, among others:

  • Constipation
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Intolerances of certain foods, such as lactose
  • Crohn's disease and IBS
  • Celiac illness
  • Obese people with diabetes
  • Inflammatory colitis
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Autoimmune pancreatitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and dumping syndrome

How to check if you have Flatulence?

You should consult a doctor if you have persistent flatulence or if you also have any of the following symptoms:

  • Stomach swelling
  • Prolonged gas pain, and severe vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Unintended loss of weight
  • Heartburn
  • Stool with blood

These signs and symptoms might indicate a severe underlying disease.


The frequency and volume of passing wind vary from person to person and are influenced by a variety of variables, including food. While the average seems to be about 15, some people pass wind as few as a few times each day, while others do as much as 40 times. Abdominal distension and pain, frequent passing wind, loud flatus, and rumblings in the lower belly are all signs of excessive (or embarrassing) flatulence.


A combination of dietary and lifestyle modifications may help you alleviate excess gas and lessen flatulence. Among the natural cures for flatulence are:

Logging your food intake. You may use this to determine which meals make your body produce more gas. You might try to eat less or completely avoid some meals when you discover those that give you a lot of flatulence.

You change your diet. Try substituting them if your diet contains a lot of difficult-to-digest carbs. Alternative carbohydrates that are simpler to digest, including rice and bananas, may lessen flatulence.

Eating more often and in smaller portions. It could be easier on your stomach to eat five to six little meals a day as opposed to three bigger ones.

Attempting to reduce air intake. Anything that can cause you to swallow more air should be avoided. This involves paying attention to how you chew your food and abstaining from straws, chewing gum, and smoking.

Consuming a lot of water. Constipation, which generates gas, may be avoided by staying hydrated.

Doing regular exercise. Some individuals discover that exercise aids in digestion and can reduce flatulence.

The use of probiotics. Gas can be reduced with probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which may encourage normal digestion. These are present in over-the-counter (OTC) supplements and foods that have undergone fermentation, such as yoghurt and sauerkraut.

Using pads of charcoal. In some situations of excessive flatulence, lining your underwear with a "fart pad" made of charcoal may help minimize odour.

Heating pad usage. You can lessen the discomfort and cramping brought on by too much gas by putting a heating pad or hot water bottle on your stomach.

Eating ginger. Digestion is reported to be aided by ginger. Flatulence and bloating may be reduced by improving digestion.

Therapy for bloating

Depending on the underlying source of the issue, medication may also be used to address flatulence. Options for treatment include:

OTC medicines: Drugstores have a range of pills that can ease flatulence, including simethicone (Gas-X, Phazyme) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol).

Prescription treatments: Some prescription pharmaceuticals can treat the underlying causes of gas, such as IBS or small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Treatment of the ailment could lessen flatulence as a result.

Supplements: If you can not tolerate lactose, When you consume dairy products, using lactase (which is over-the-counter) may help reduce gas. Alpha-galactosidase (Beano), another dietary supplement, can aid in the body's digestion of vegetables and legumes to lessen flatulence.

Consider seeing a medical expert to confirm the safety of any supplements or drugs you want to add to your diet.

Complications of Flatulence

Your physical health might be impacted by severe and ongoing flatulence. It might result in aches, cramps, bloating, and other unpleasant symptoms.

Additionally, having too much gas might harm your mental health. Dealing with persistent flatulence may be stressful or unpleasant, especially in social settings.

However, difficulties can be avoided by relieving gas using over-the-counter drugs, home treatments, or a combination of both. Try a few different approaches to discover which ones work best for you, and if flatulence is complicating your life, think about speaking with a healthcare provider.

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Page last reviewed: Mar 16, 2023

Next review due: Mar 16, 2025

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