Having smelly flatulence or passing smelly gas is something every single human on the face of the earth does from time to time. Flatulence is a necessary part of human physiology. Gas build up within the body occurs as a byproduct of food break down. If we didn’t release this trapped gas, our bowels would swell in size, eventually rupturing due to the increased pressure. Yet passing gas in public has become taboo, often creating an embarrassing and awkward situation.
Knowing how to get rid of smelly gas in the most efficient and concealing manner is something everyone can appreciate. There are some instances were particularly smelly flatulence can be a sign of digestive issues or disease. This will most definitely require the aid of a skilled physician to help diagnose and remedy. However, most of the time, symptoms are mild enough to be self-remedied.
What causes foul smelling flatulence
Colon cancer: A serious health condition affecting the large intestine that is characterized by clumps of cells found in the digestive tract known as polyps. These polyps can be cancerous and potentially lead to life threatening consequences if not treated promptly. Having a tumor in the colon can lead to blockage, which can cause a gas build up and bloating.
Foods: Perhaps the most common reason why most people experience smelly flatulence. The type of food we ingest often dictates how smelly our gas will be. Certain foods are processed differently within our gut. This often means that gut bacteria have a longer exposure time to them, increasing the amount of gas produced. This means that different foods will also carry with them various levels of stink. Common stinky gas related foods include brussels sprouts, dairy, Bok choy, beans, beef, pork, eggs, and onions.
Carbohydrate malabsorption: Known in its mild for as gluten intolerance and in its severe form as Celiac Disease. The latter condition has been identified as being an immune reaction to eating gluten that may lead to an inflammatory reaction within the small intestine. Over time, Celiac disease can damage the lining of the small intestine, preventing the absorption of important vitamins and nutrients. Additional symptoms include diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, and weight loss. Gluten can be found in rye, wheat, and in barley-containing products.
Lactose intolerance: Occurs as a result of insufficient lactase enzyme. This enzyme is required for the digestion of lactose, the type of sugar found in dairy products. Symptoms associated with lactose intolerance include flatulence, bloating, watery diarrhea, cramps, and loose stool. Avoiding foods with dairy in them or the use of over-the-counter digestive enzyme medication can help relieve lactose intolerance.
Infections of the digestive tract: Virus and bacteria can also lead to issues with the digestive tract, often leading to excessive diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, and smelly flatulence. Severe infection may potentially lead to life-threatening consequences of fluid balance. It is recommended to see a doctor for these cases. Bacterial infections can be treated with the use of antibiotics. However, viral infections will be treated based on symptoms.
How to get rid of smelly flatulence and gas
Not smoking: A lifestyle modification that helps to reduce the amount of gas build up in the digestive tract. When you smoke, you are inhaling an excessive amount of air, which can get trapped in the gut and lead to bloating, stomach pain, and the production of smelly flatulence.
Avoiding gum and carbonated drinks: Two products that lead to excessive gas accumulation as you swallow more air. With carbonated drinks, you are drinking bubbles of air directly that can either be released through belching or by-passing gas.
Choosing low lactose dairy products: Whether you are lactose intolerant or not, dairy may be hard to digest. In most people, dairy will lead to an upset stomach and cause smelly flatulence. Reducing the amount of dairy can help alleviate these symptoms.
Choosing beans that are fermented before cooking: A product that has less soluble fiber and higher nutritional content compared to its non-fermented counterpart. Choosing to consume your beans this way may help decrease your level of smelly flatulence.
Exercise: Participating in regular exercise helps to move the muscles of the abdomen and subsequently the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. Exercise is a great way to help your body relieve gas faster and more quickly, helping to reduce pain that is often associated with it. Exercise can simply be walking or a light jog, which can be done nearly anywhere. Contain your gas until you can pass it discreetly
Run to the bathroom when you feel gas coming: Feelings of trapped gas and inevitable flatulence can often make it feel like we have to use the bathroom immediately. It is far less embarrassing to suddenly excuse yourself to run to the bathroom than to relieve yourself in the presence of others.
Take preventative medications before meals: Over the counter digestive products such as Beano and charcoal tablets can be taken before a meal to help prevent gas development. It is important to speak with a medical professional before using these medications to be sure it doesn’t negatively affect any pre-existing medical condition.
Try medications with simethicone: An over the counter medication that goes under many different brand names such as Gas-X, Mylanta, and Mylicon. It works by breaking down gas bubbles in the digestive tract, helping you expel them easily. It is advised to discuss the use of this type of medication with your doctor before incorporating them into your treatment plan.
Eat in smaller portions: Eating large meals means your digestive tract can cause food to move through your gut a lot quicker, leading to more gas production. Switching to smaller more frequent meals throughout the day can allow your digestive tract to not become overwhelmed and process your food adequately.
Slow down your eating: Eating too quickly can also lead to excessive gas production, as it puts an immediate burned on your digestive tract as well as increases the chance of swallowing excessive amounts of air simultaneously. Try setting down your fork in between bites and to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. It may also be a good idea to time yourself while eating, trying to not finish before 20 or 30 minutes.
Avoid activities that make you swallow more air: This may include chewing gum, drinking through a straw, and sucking on hard candies. By limiting the amount these activities are done you can limit the amount of air you swallow.
Stick to drinking water with meals: Most people tend to drink a carbonated beverage with their meals, leading to the excessive accumulation of gas in their digestive tract. By choosing to drink water instead, you will have eliminated this effect with the added benefit of not adding additional calories to your meal.
Avoid fruits and vegetables that contribute to gas: Foods containing high amounts of fiber should be avoided. These include beans, pears, figs, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, artichokes, and sweet potatoes. However, you may resume fiber consumption once the problem has resolved. If you are lactose intolerant, it is advised to avoid all dairy.
Avoid artificial additives: Artificial sweetener found in many gums and soft drinks such as sorbitol and mannitol can also cause excessive gas and should be avoided.
Keep a food diary: Knowing which foods trigger the most amount of gas build up will help keep you away from them. Everyone is different and you may react differently to a specific food than another person. Make a note when you experience excessive smelly gas and which foods are the likely culprit to help you avoid them in the future.
Try nonprescription medications: There are many different products available that claim to help you eliminate or lessen gas. Such products include charcoal tablets, lactase tablets, and antacids.
See a doctor if gas is associated with GI problems: Your doctor is an expert in all things medically related, with the health of the digestive tract being no exception. If you are experiencing excessive flatulence accompanied with other gastrointestinal problems it may be worth a visit to your doctor. Concerning symptoms may include abdominal pain and bloating recurring diarrhea or constipation, and signs of infection such as fever, muscle pain, and chills.
Fennel: Chewing on the seeds of this flowering plant can provide instant relief for trapped wind within a couple of minutes. Fennel can also be consumed by making it into a tea.
Apple Cider vinegar: Can help soothe an upset stomach. It is best consumed after mixing with a warm glass of water. It is known for being an effective remedy for preventing smelly gas and relieving indigestion.
Peppermint: A common mint given after meals, peppermint has been widely known for helping to settle the stomach and relieve gas quickly. Those suffering from chronic gas related issues may find that the use of peppermint can reduce symptoms during all times of the day. Peppermint contains antispasmodic properties that can help calm the intestinal muscles involved in releasing gas.
Cinnamon: Having a bounty of medical applications, cinnamon can also help relieve gas pain. Start by adding a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of warm milk, then add some honey. Now stir and drink. You can also make a cinnamon tea to help relieve gastric troubles.
Diet plan for foul smelling flatulence and gas
One of the major contributors of smelly flatulence is digesting protein that comes with meat or high protein products. Protein tends to remain in the digestive tract for extended periods of time, allowing for intestinal bacteria to be in contact with your stool a lot longer. The following are some examples of protein content in commonly consumed foods.
Protein Content of Food
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
|Food (4oz)||Percent of calories from protein||Grams of Protein|
Passing gas can be an embarrassing ordeal for anyone. But by following the recommendation outlined and making an effort to prevent gas causing incidents, you will give yourself the best chance of avoiding many awkward situations.Purely vegetarian diets may also be subject to high protein counts, with meat not being the only source. A major source of protein happens to be legumes, which are also high in starch content. It is hard for your digestive tract to break these foods down, resulting in excessive gas production.
Related: 23 natural remedies to get rid of gas immediately