What is the reason for fart

Smelly Gas - What Are The Causes And How Can I Avoid Them?

Diseases> Symptoms

Dr. med. Another summer

Everyone has intestinal winds from time to time, also called flatulence. Intestinal bindweed can be odorless, but can also smell unpleasant. If you are often affected, gas can be a burden. Where do the smells come from and what can be done about them?

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What is smelly gas?

Basically flatulence occurs because gases that are produced by intestinal bacteria during digestion have to escape from the body. Some of the gases are absorbed through the intestinal mucosa, transported with the blood to the lungs and released there. The rest of the intestinal gases are moved to the anus with the bowel movements. Frequent flatulence is usually seen as a problem if it is associated with a bad odor. Various bacteria in the intestinal flora are responsible for the sometimes penetrating smell. The bacteria form different odorless or odor-intensive gases depending on the diet.

When do you have to see a doctor?

Smelly flatulence is unpleasant, but does not necessarily represent a medical problem. However, there are also diseases in which more intestinal gases are produced. Such diseases can be diagnosed and treated by doctors. A visit to the doctor makes sense if flatulence occurs so frequently that the quality of life is impaired or there is concern about an intestinal disease. In intestinal diseases that are accompanied by severe flatulence, the smell of the flatulence can also be changed. An unpleasant smell alone is not a reason to see a doctor.


A doctor does not always have to be consulted with stinky flatulence. If flatulence occurs so frequently that the quality of life is impaired, a visit to the doctor is advisable.

What are the causes of smelly gas?

The saying "Every bean makes a note" is less silly than it sounds. When proteins are broken down from food, the intestinal bacteria can produce hydrogen sulfide. The smell of hydrogen sulfide is reminiscent of rotten eggs. How much sulfur is produced depends on the composition of the intestinal bacteria, but also on the type and amount of protein absorbed. It can therefore be helpful to switch to a low-protein diet. This means that flatulence can be less odorous. There is a lot of protein in eggs, dairy products, meat and legumes.

But fiber can also lead to flatulence. The reason is that these indigestible plant fibers are metabolized by bacteria, often producing gas that causes flatulence. Here it is important to find out the individually correct dosage.

Raw vegetables and fresh vegetables, especially cabbage and onions, cause problems for many people. Anyone who suffers from flatulence should therefore observe which foods trigger them and avoid them.

What can help prevent smelly gas?

The so-called low-FODMAP diet is also suitable to alleviate smelly flatulence. So-called FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates. If FODMAPs are poorly absorbed in the small intestine (malabsorption), they end up in the large intestine. FODMAPs are digested there by bacteria, producing gases.

What helps against smelly gas?

Exercise also leads to more movement in the bowel and therefore can help normalize digestion. A little digestive walk also allows you to get rid of smelly gas without getting into embarrassing situations. Other home remedies are spices or teas with caraway seeds and aniseed, which are said to have beneficial effects on flatulence.

Medicines such as Simeticon, Sab simplex and Lefax are available in the pharmacy. These drugs cause foam bubbles in the intestines to burst and are supposed to reduce flatulence.

However, there are no effective drugs that are specifically designed to reduce the odor of flatulence.

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What does smelly gas, along with other symptoms, indicate?

Flatulence is often related to constipation, as gas builds up behind stool that cannot be passed. The pent-up intestinal gases make pain and after a bowel movement discharge into increased flatulence.

Food intolerance usually manifests itself in the form of abdominal pain, often in connection with (sometimes foul-smelling) flatulence. The reason for this is that food components that cannot be digested are instead metabolized by bacteria, producing gas that leads to flatulence. Common food intolerances are lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption.

Flatulence can be a complaint with irritable bowel syndrome. Doctors speak of irritable bowel syndrome in the case of gastrointestinal complaints for which no cause has been found in conventional examinations.

Flatulence can also be an expression of bacterial overgrowth in the intestine, such as in the so-called Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

What Causes Smelly Gas After Eating?

The trigger for smelly gas after eating is only indirectly related to the meal consumed. The food only reaches the colon after about ten to twelve hours. That is why the food you have just eaten does not cause flatulence immediately after eating. However, the food can trigger the release of various hormones that stimulate the intestinal activity and thus lead to flatulence. The two hormones suspected of causing gas are motilin and cholecystokinin.

Is Smelly Bloating In Infants Dangerous?

Babies between three and five months old often have gas, which sometimes stinks unbearably. On the one hand, this is due to the not yet fully developed intestinal flora. On the other hand, it is due to increased air swallowing. Air swallowing can sometimes be reduced by checking the breastfeeding position. Slower feeding with enough breaks to let the air escape also makes sense. Toddlers swallow more air than usual, especially when they are teething.

As long as the baby is doing well and there are no other complaints, the flatulence is more of a problem for the parents than for the child.

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Malagelada JR, Accarino A, Azpiroz F. Bloating and Abdominal Distension: Old Misconceptions and Current Knowledge. _Am J Gastroenterol. _2017; 112 (8): 1221-1231.

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J.J. Rumessen et al (1988). Functional Bowel Disease: Malabsorption and Abdominal Distress After Ingestion of Fructose, Sorbitol, and Fructose-Sorbitol Mixtures. Gastroenterology 95: 3,694-700. Accessed online on June 27, 2018 at https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(88)80016-7/pdf

M. Winham, A. M. Hutchins (2011). Perceptions of flatulence from bean consumption among adults in 3 feeding studies. Nutrition Journal 10: 128. Accessed online on June 27, 2018 at https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-10-128

Dr. med. Another summer

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