Farting is a healthy body function. And ideally, you shouldn’t have to try to hold it in no matter what. But when your farts stink or are often accompanied by a burning sensation, letting them out around people can be embarrassing and quite troublesome too.
Let’s explore everything there is to know about burning and stinky farts including what you can do to avoid them.
Why Some Farts Burn Or Stink
Gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and ones containing sulfur form when the food you eat is fermented by the bacteria in your intestine. When pressure builds, your body releases these gases and provides relief. If not for farts, the gases would get absorbed into your bloodstream and poison you. That said, farts can sometimes make you very uncomfortable, especially when they burn or smell.
Burning farts are usually the result of irritated anal skin, which is often caused by eating excessively spicy foods. When you eat foods rich in sulfur, your digestive system breaks it down to release sulfur-containing compounds like hydrogen sulfide. It is these sulfur compounds that make your farts stink.1
Foods That Cause Burning And Stinky Farts
If you love spicy foods, you might often be troubled by burning farts. Spicy foods can irritate your digestive tract and cause a burning sensation to accompany the farts you let out. A delightful dinner with tasty food including meat and eggs, which contain sulfur, is all it takes to cause unpleasant, smelly farts. Eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage or legumes like beans is also likely to cause pungent smelling farts.2
Illnesses Indicated By Burning And Stinky Farts
Burning farts are usually an indicator of underlying digestive issues. They are most likely caused by a bad case of indigestion, which results in an irritated anus. Stress and the lack of a good night’s sleep may also cause the farts let out to burn as they are said to slow down digestion.
When you suffer from gastrointestinal issues, your farts may also be stinky enough to get people to leave the room you’re in. Severe constipation is one such problem that tends to make stools firm and obstruct the passage of gas through the gastrointestinal path. When gas gets accumulated with old stools due to constipation, the farts released are bound to smell.
If you have a gluten allergy (an allergy to the protein gluten – which is present in wheat, barley, and rye) or are intolerant to lactose (discomfort caused by consuming dairy products like milk and cheese), it is because you do not possess the required enzymes to process these types of food. So, you may struggle with bloating alongside excessive smelly farts.3
Stomach or colon tumors or cancer may also make the odor of your farts worse. Such strongly smelling farts are accompanied by other symptoms like diarrhea or constipation, blood in stools, and severe anal discomfort while passing gas or feces due to tumor obstruction.4 Giardiasis – another intestinal illness – is caused by a parasite and may result in smelly farts and burps. If you’re experiencing diarrhea accompanied by excessive gas for a while, you are likely to be suffering from this condition.5
Measures To Avoid Burning And Stinky Farts
The best way to avoid gas – the stinky or burning kind – is by simply avoiding the foods that cause it. Here are a few steps that will help you prevent stinky and burning farts.6
- Avoid consuming fizzy drinks as well as fried, processed, and high-fat foods as these increase the amount of gas released during digestion.
- Cut down your intake of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables like greens, pears, and peaches. Opt for less gaseous alternatives like berries, peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini to reduce gas and ease bowel movements.
- Reduce your intake of spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine to facilitate easy digestion.
- Increase your intake of foods rich in good bacteria (or probiotics) like yogurt to improve intestinal functioning and reduce gas.
- If you’re lactose intolerant, steer clear of dairy products like milk and cheese to reduce gas. However, because dairy products are rich in calcium, eliminating dairy from your diet may result in calcium deficiency. So, consult your doctor to figure out which calcium-rich foods you can consume instead of dairy.
- If you’re suffering from celiac disease, ditch foods with gluten like wheat, rye, and barley to eliminate gas.
- Sleep well and try to be free of stress as much as possible. This allows for proper digestion and reduces flatulence.
- Drink enough water after a meal to aid proper stool formation with limited gas.
Try these simple steps to rid yourself of smelly and burning farts. If you continue to pass excess gas for a long time after making diet and lifestyle changes, see your doctor to rule out possible complications.
|↑1, ↑2||Roudebush, Philip. “Flatulence: Causes and management options.” Compendium 23, no. 12 (2001): 1075-82.|
|↑3||Swagerty Jr, DANIEL L., Anne D. Walling, and Robert M. Klein. “Lactose intolerance.” American family physician 65, no. 9 (2002): 1845-1850.|
|↑4||Colorectal Cancer. Medline Plus.|
|↑5||Giardia Infections. MedlinePlus.|
|↑6||Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Gas in the Digestive Tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|