While they hang out in your gut, they produce gas. Taking an enzyme tablet like Beano before meals can help limit this effect.
It’s uncomfortable and embarrassing, but everybody farts. If you’ve suddenly become stinkier, one of these culprits could be behind your toxic toots. Here, Lisa Ganjhu, doctor of osteopathic medicine, gastroenterologist, and clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, breaks down seven things that could explain why you’re passing wind more than usual.
Sipping carbonated beverages, chewing gum, and using a straw can cause air to become trapped in the colon, where it causes up to 50 percent of excessive farts. If you don’t want it to come out the bottom end, it’s gotta come out the top. So, if you can release a few burps, you’ll minimize the back-end blowout, says Ganjhu.
Your body can’t digest faux sugars like sorbitol or zylitol (a sweet-maker found in many varieties of sugar-free gum), so they can sit in the gut and ferment, says Ganjhu. Natural sugars can make you toot, 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.
Though uber-healthy, cruciferous veggies like kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli (a.k.a. "anything that if you put it in a container, produces that sulphurous smell," says Ganjhu) contain a carbohydrate that make them difficult to digest. While they hang out in your gut, they produce gas. Taking an enzyme tablet like Beano before meals can help limit this effect.
The gut and emotions are so connected 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. Regularly practicing de-frazzling techniques like meditation can soothe both mind and body.
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 (sorry).
No shocker here: Squeezing something the size of a watermelon out of your nethers can damage the muscles and nerves around the anus, turning you into a farting machine. One Swedish study found up to 25 percent of women had problems holding in their flatulence for up to five months after giving birth, especially after long labors. Sadly, Ganjhu says that if you've recently given birth and find yourself gassy, you'll have to wait things out.
If you’re clogged up, your poop is just sitting around in your intestines, where it releases fumes. Ganjhu recommends trying the FODMAP diet; it temporarily cuts 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.