If your flatulence level has reached an all-time high, one of these culprits could be to blame
- byTracey Middleton
It’s uncomfortable and embarrassing, but everybody farts.
But if you’ve suddenly become stinkier, one of these culprits might be to blame.
Here, Lisa Ganjhu, doctor of osteopathic medicine, gastroenterologist, and clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU Medical Centre, breaks down six things that could explain why you’re passing wind more than usual.
1. YOU’RE ALWAYS DRINKING SODA
Sipping carbonated beverages, chewing gum, and using a straw can cause air to become trapped in the colon, resulting in up to 50 per cent of excessive farts.
If you don’t want it to come out of your bottom end, it’s going to come out of the top.
So, if you can release a few burps, you’ll minimize the farting, says Ganjhu.
2. YOU’RE EATING TOO MANY SWEETS
Your body can’t digest artificial sugars like sorbitol or zylitol (sweeteners found in many varieties of sugar-free gum), so they sit in your gut and ferment, says Ganjhu.
Natural sugars can make you fart, too, especially fructose (a.k.a. fruit sugar), because some people lack the enzyme needed to break them down.
Cutting back on the fake stuff will help ease your gas.
3. YOU LOVE SALADS
Cruciferous veggies like kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli contain a carbohydrate that make them difficult to digest, says Ganjhu.
While they hang out in your gut, they produce gas.
Taking an enzyme tablet like Beano before meals can help limit this effect.
4. YOU’RE STRESSED
Your gut and emotions are so interconnected by a network of nerves and neurotransmitters that scientists have dubbed your GI tract a “second brain.”
Translation: A troubled mind can wreak havoc on your gut.
Learning to relax can soothe both your mind and body.
5. YOU GO OVERBOARD ON DAIRY
Lactose intolerance (an inability to produce lactate, the enzyme that digests milk) can crop up as you age, so don’t rule this one out because you’ve been fine with milk and ice cream in the past.
Try eliminating all dairy for a few days, advises Ganjhu. If you’re more comfortable (and less stinky), you may need to rethink your relationship with cheese.
6. YOU’RE CONSTIPATED
If you’re clogged up, your poop is just sitting around in your intestines, where it releases fumes.
Ganjhu recommends trying the FODMAP diet (short for: fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), which means you would temporarily cut out foods high in certain poorly-absorbed carbs.
“After six to eight weeks, you can slowly reintroduce them to suss out which ones cause symptoms,” she says.