Farting: we all do it. No shame. Yet if you're passing gas too often in a day, it could be a sign of a larger problem. Not only will the stink alienate you from your co-workers (just sayin'), but it can also feel seriously uncomfortable. Signs you're passing gas too often can be easy to notice, as you're likely to smell it, hear it, and feel it. Instead of reverting to the "whoever smelt it dealt it" saying, consider checking your diet and lifestyle for ways to decrease the gas and bloating for greater ease and comfort.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on understanding their bodies and avoiding indigestion, inflammation, and bloating whenever possible. These three circumstances can make you feel weighed down, uncomfortable, and fatigued, so it's best to target whatever might be causing you to be extra gassy and have poor digestion. While farting is totally normal, and farting a couple times in a day is actually good for you (your body needs to show it's digesting food properly and functioning up to par), too much gas can be burdensome. Here are 9 signs you're way too gassy and need to tame it down. You'll feel better; I promise.
1. You're Swallowing Too Much Air
According to Dr. Lisa Ashe, Medical Director at BeWell Medicine, over email with Bustle, swallowing too much air can increase gas. "Air swallowing or aerophagia is the major source of stomach gas. Too much Aerophagia, can be a manifestation of anxiety," says Ashe. "It may also be enhanced by gum chewing and smoking," Ashe cautions.
2. You're Farting More Than 20 Times A Day
Ashe says that it's normal to pass gas between 10 and 20 times daily; however, more than that could be outside the typical range of gassiness and could signify a digestive issue. If you're farting more than this amount, consider seeing a physician to rule out digestive issues or change your diet a bit.
3. You're Not Absorbing Nutrients Well
"Malabsorption of carbohydrates can lead to increased intraluminal gas and flatus," says Ashe. "Malabsorption can be the result of lactose intolerance or things like Irritable Bowel Syndrome," Ashe adds. If you're noticing a build up of gas, it could be a result of improper absorption of vital nutrients that your body needs to function well.
4. You're Taking Antibiotics
While taking antibiotics can sometimes be helpful if you're getting over an illness or are prescribed them by a doctor, other times they can interfere with digestion and cause gas, bloating, and discomfort, advises Ashe. "An alteration of intestinal motility or bacteria (the colon has a normal amount of bacteria which live in it and help with digestion) can lead to increased flatus. Motility can be affected as a result of medications such as narcotics or prolonged use of laxatives. Antibiotics can alter bacteria in the intestine, cause increase flatus, as well as diarrhea," says Ashe.
5. You're In Pain
If your gas is accompanied by abdominal pain and cramping, it could signify that your gas isn't normal and that there's a greater intestinal problem at hand, advises Ashe. "If flatus is accompanied by abdominal pain and bloating, you may be experiencing malabsorption and could have allergies to food and or Irritable Bowel Syndrome," says Ashe.
6. You're Eating Too Much Fortified Fiber
According to Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, over email with Bustle, eating too many fortified fiber products, such as bars, can produce excess gas. "The chicory root fiber often found in bars and other processed foods can cause stomach irritation and bloating," Shaw further explains.
7. You're Sensitive To Specific Foods
If you have a food allergy or sensitivity, especially to gluten or dairy (which are both widely prevalent), then you're bound to experience excess gas, abdominal distention, and poor digestion. If you're eating these foods and notice discomfort, then consider it might be outside the norm, and you should consider changing your diet.
8. You Have Colon Cancer
While this is an extreme case, if you're passing too much gas, as in exceeding over roughly 20 times daily, it could be a symptom of having colon cancer, explained Julie Wilkinson, BSN, RN on Very Well. If you're worried, check with a physician to rule it out, and if you have it, such increased gas is expected.
9. You're Noticing Change In Bowels
According to running coach and personal trainer Susie Lemmer over email with Bustle, if you're noticing a change in bowels, such as going too frequently, it being too soft or hard, or it containing blood (rectal bleeding), it could signify a problem that is accompanying excessive gas. If you see this issue, check in with a physician.
If you are experiencing any of these digestive issues, it could mean that the amount of gas you're passing is too much and can potentially be dangerous (if not, at least super uncomfortable).
Images: Pixabay (10); Bustle (1)