What Do Your Farts Say About Your Health?
Fluff, cutting the cheese, breaking wind, booty belch, whoopee, and anal salute are all different ways to refer to the standard and embarrassing fart. Did you know the average person farts approximately 14 to 23 times per day? As awkward as it may be, everyone needs to release gas from their body. It is part of the digestive process and is a necessary bodily function. What do your farts (passing gas) reveal about your general health?
What is a fart? Flatulence, also known as a fart, is something everyone experiences. It's the release of intestinal gas, which forms as a result of digesting food. Gas can be found throughout the digestive tract, including the stomach, small intestine, colon, and rectum.
New York-Based Internist and Gastroenterologist, Dr. Niket Sonpal, explains what your flatulence is trying to tell you.
1. Do you have a balanced diet?
A balanced diet should provide the body with the proper number of vitamins and nutrients. Consuming the appropriate amount of fiber and healthy foods helps keep the digestive system working correctly. If you tend to pass gas more often than you would like, this could mean that the body is not receiving the correct nutrients. Avoiding foods that are processed and harder to digest and sticking to more natural ingredients, could decrease how often you toot.
2. You may have a food intolerance.
Not all food allergies can be life-threatening; however, they can still cause conflict day-to-day for some individuals. Food intolerances mainly affect the digestive system making it harder for the stomach to digest food properly. This can lead to smelly and awkward bloating, reflux, and diarrhea after a meal. For example, people with a dairy intolerance struggle to digest lactose, which results in the stomach becoming extraordinarily bloated and sends out foul smells out of the anus.
3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Constantly farting throughout the day could be a sign of a health issue such as irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, or, in extreme cases, colon cancer. Typically, these health issues cause extreme flatulence, odors or odd pressure on the rectum when they are about to be released.
4. You are stressed.
Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome go hand in hand with stress. Stress and anxiety can lead to excessive swallowing of air, oxygen release, and digestion issues. These are three causes of having more gas than usual. When people are panicking or stressed, they often swallow more air than necessary, leading to bloating and pressure that needs to be released. On the other spectrum, hyperventilating allows an excess of oxygen to enter the bloodstream, which can also lead to gas problems.
That time of the month is already painful enough. There are changes in your bowel habits during this time caused by fluctuations in hormones. The shift in your hormones and bowel movements cause farting to become more frequent and smellier during this time of the month. Be mindful of accidentally passing wind while you are pre-menstrual.
6. You might have harmful gut bacteria.
Regular farting is an indicator of healthy gut bacteria and a properly working digestive system. Your body needs good bacteria in your intestine for it to remain healthy. Microbes in your gut are a positive thing because they eat up excess fiber and carbohydrates we do not use. Also, they produce beneficial bacteria. If you do not have any good bacteria, it can lead to constipation and bloating, which is unhealthy for your digestive system.
About Dr. Sonpal
Dr. Niket Sonpal is a native of Long Island NY and a graduate of the Medical University of Silesia – Hope Medical Institute in Poland. After completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, he was selected to be the 2013‐2014 Chief Resident at Lenox Hill Hospital–Northshore LIJ Health System. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and Clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn. Dr. Sonpal has completed his Fellowship in gastroenterology at Lenox Hill Hospital and will continue his work in the field of medical student and resident test preparation.
Dr. Sonpal has spoken and presented at over 25 national and regional conferences on his research and is a regular participant in national courses, as well as offering presentations to medical students, graduates, and residents on the match process. Recently Dr. Sonpal was chosen as one of the top ten national residents for the Medelita–‐Dupont Honoring Excellent Resident Observations also known as the H.E.R.O. Campaign. He is the co‐author for the best-selling Master the Boards: USMLE Step 2 CK, Master the Boards Step 3, And Master the Boards: Internal Medicine. He is also the Chief Operating Officer for Medquest Test Prep, Director of Medical Education for Picmonic Test Prep, and a recognized expert on medical test prep.
Dr. Sonpal is also on the board of the NY‐ American College Of Physicians (NYACP), and AAPI–‐NYC–‐METRO as the MSRF liaison. He has recently become a board member for NYCMS (New York County Medical Society).