Causes & Home Remedies for Smelly Gas (Farts)

By Patricia | June 12, 2009

Flatulence is a common occurrence and most people burp or pass gas at least ten to twenty five times a day to release any excess gas trapped in the digestive system. Such situations can be very embarrassing especially if the gas is foul smelling. Normal farts and burps should not smell at all. If they do, it is a sign that the food you are eating is not being properly digested. Improper digestion causes the food inside your stomach and intestines to ferment and this causes the unpleasant odor and smelly farts. If you are prone to smelly gas and constant bloating, it may be time for you to make some changes to your diet and eating habits.

Causes

  • Eating too fast or swallowing too much air when eating. Smoking or chewing gum can also cause you to swallow air and lead to flatulence.
  • Improper chewing of your food and eating heavy meals or irregular meal timings.
  • Certain types of food are known to cause flatulence and bloating. Foods that are high in carbohydrates and starch such as beans, cabbage, broccoli, white bread and refined flour can result in an excess of gas trapped in the digestive system. Many of these foods can cause exceptionally foul smelling gas as well.
  • Foods such as red meats (especially ground beef) and fatty foods release gases such as hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide during the digestion process. The chemicals produced by the digestive system to break down these gases can result in smelly farts.
  • Foods that contain artificial sweeteners may also lead to flatulence in adults.
  • If you are allergic to some types of food such as lactose or eggs, these foods can result in smelly farts and bloating.
  • If smelly farts and bloating is a regular occurrence, you may be suffering from a disorder of the digestive system such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Smelly farts, excessive burping and gas when pregnant is common due to hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Certain antibiotic medicines can also cause smelly gas.

Symptoms

Symptoms of flatulence include bloating of the abdomen, pain in the stomach, excessive burping and the release of extra gas from the digestive system through the rectum.

Home Remedies

  • Drink at least one glass of warm water mixed with lime and honey daily to regulate the digestive process and prevent indigestion and constipation.
  • Add a teaspoon of baking soda and the juice of one lemon to a glass of water. Drink this concoction for an easy home remedy to treat smelly gas and bloating.
  • Chew on a handful of fennel seeds after a meal to ensure proper digestion and prevent bloating.
  • Sip on an infusion of caraway seeds and hot water to prevent the formation of gas in the digestive tract.
  • Other herbal teas that can help reduce gas and improve digestion include chamomile tea, peppermint tea, and green tea. However, if you suffer from acidity or heartburn, the menthol in the peppermint tea could aggravate your condition so it would be best to avoid it.
  • For severe cases of gas and bloating, ask your doctor about activated charcoal. This is usually available at most health food stores and helps absorb intestinal gas and prevent flatulence.
  • Include more yoghurt and foods rich in probiotics into your diet. This increases the amount of healthy bacteria in your digestive system and ensures proper digestion.
  • Chew on a slice of fresh ginger after a meal to improve digestion.

There are also a number of simple lifestyle and diet changes you should make if you want to cure the problem of smelly farts and bloating. These include:

  • Eat slowly and chew each mouthful to ensure that the food gets broken down into smaller pieces before it reaches your digestive system so that it gets digested more easily. If you eat fast, there is also a tendency to swallow more air and this causes gas to build up in the digestive tract.
  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three heavy ones. Keep a few hours gap between eating and lying down as well.
  • Avoid ‘farty’ foods. Foods that cause smelly farts should be avoided. This means cutting down your intake of the usual culprits such as bananas, onions, radish, beans, and prunes. Since these foods take a longer time to digest, they tend to ferment during the digestive process and result in smelly farts.
  • Avoid dairy products such as milk and cheese. Even if you are not lactose intolerant these products can result in smelly gas and bloating.
  • Regular exercise is important to improve your digestion. Walking, swimming and yoga help reduce gas and prevent stomach pain and bloating.
  • Smoking and drinking can also aggravate flatulence. Cut down on alcoholic beverages especially beer and wine.
  • Avoid chewing gum to reduce gas in the stomach and intestines.
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