Help! I can’t stop farting!

Q: Help! I farted in class and someone heard me!  What can I do to get rid of my gas??

A: Believe it or not, the normal frequency of passing gas is 14-23 times per day!  There are two major sources of intestinal gas: swallowed air and gas produced by bacteria in the colon.  Most people who have problems with gas don’t actually have excess gas in their intestines, but rather an increased sensitivity to normal amounts of gas. 

If you’re farting more often than 24 times a day (that’s not a challenge, guys) or you’re having difficulty keeping it from happening at inopportune times, you should take a look at what you’re eating and how fast you’re eating it. 

Air swallowing is the major source of gas in the stomach.  It’s normal to swallow some air while eating, but drinking carbonated beverages, drinking through a straw, chewing gum and eating too quickly can cause you to swallow an excessive amount of air.  Most swallowed air is released through burping, but what doesn’t come up must go down.

Certain high-fiber and carbohydrate containing foods such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, beans, broccoli, and some whole grains may not break down well in your digestive tract.  When they come into contact with the bacteria in your colon they ferment and produce lots of gas, as artfully demonstrated in the following classic scene from Blazing Saddles

(C’mon – there had to be a fart joke in here somewhere and this is the Mona Lisa of fart jokes!  Question the taste and maturity level of the clip all you want, but I’ll bet you a bottle of Bean-O you laughed…) 

If you’re having uncomfortable amounts of gas and bloating, you can do some things to help.  In addition to avoiding the above mentioned foods and activities, you should:

  • Increase your non-carbonated fluid intake, particularly water
  • Minimize alcohol consumption
  • Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products
  • Keep calm – tension can cause you to swallow air
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid dairy products if you are lactose intolerant

Some over-the-counter medications may also help:

  • Simethicone containing products (Maalox Anti-Gas, Mylanta Gas, Gas-X, Phazyme) cause gas bubbles to break up, which may decrease discomfort
  • Bean-O is an enzyme supplement that helps break down carbohydrates and may help if your gas is caused by foods such as beans and broccoli
  • A lactase supplement (LactAid) will help gas caused by lactose intolerance

Of course, excessive intestinal gas may also be a sign of a more serious problem.  If the above steps don’t help, be sure to come and see us at the Student Health Center.

Angela Walker, Med IV (Ohio State College of Medicine)

John A. Vaughn, MD (Ohio State Student Health Services)

71 thoughts on “Help! I can’t stop farting!

  1. if you are farting a lot during the think of what you are consuming…if its during the night time it can also sometimes mean you need to excrete (go to the toilet) or you having eaten enough 😉

  2. if it is starting to effect your life and its happening over 20-30 times a day then consult your doctor and see what they think or if you are embarrassed to talk to a real person. About it go online and find an online doctor to consult <3 :-) 😉

  3. 14-23 per day?? Try per hour! Thank goodness they don’t smell bad and I’m at a low enough fat percentage(no fat cheeks to impede flow) that they all come out quiet or as puffs of air. It’s a party in my colon, they are all so happy I ate beans again finally without any spices. Some spices and garlic keep the bacteria in check and don’t allow raves where everyone and their family is invited for a feast.

  4. yes I fart 25 – 30 times a day or more and it is usually when I get up from sleeping or get up from a chair and start walking. What can I do to stop some or all of this==it has caused some embarrassment. I am 73 if that makes any difference. Thank you for some advice.

    • It could be that carbs are causing your problem. When carbs are not correctly absorbed they can lead to increased gas resulting in abdominal pain and, yes, farts. Take a look at your diet and see if any of the following “airs” true.

      Lactose intolerance: meaning that the body cannot easily digest lactose, a natural sugar found in milk and diary products. Limiting the amount of milk and milk products, consuming milk products with other foods such as cereal, or taking a supplement such as Lactaid, can improve the digestion of lactose and reduce the symptoms, one of which is excess gas.
      Whole wheat flours, oats, potatoes, and corn malabsorption: meaning that your body is not able to 100% process these items resulting in excess gas. Switching to gluten free options such as rice and gluten free options allow for complete absorption.
      Fructose malabsorption: meaning your body is not able to 100% process fructose (sugar). To avoid this problem, look for foods/beverages where there is more glucose than fructose. Typically fruits have a pretty even ratio and so are OK, but some, such as apples, pears, watermelon, raisins, and high fructose corn syrup, weight in more heavily on the fructose side and can lean to malabsorption and then to gas.

  5. I’ve recently had a section of my small intestine removed and now I seem to have alot more gas than normal is this right ?

    • When the bowel is resected, it takes time for the electrical conduction directing peristalsis to re-equilibrate. It should normalize over the next 6 months.

  6. I fart Everyday when at work walking in car in bed at stores everywhere. And everyday and it smell bad all the time try beans. Peppermint tea Notting is working can you help me Thanks David Turner

    • Try keeping a journal. Record what you’ve ingested, both foods and beverages and also how often you fart. Then try eliminating something for 2-3 days and see if it has an impact. One of the primary reasons for farting is swallowed air. If you drink a lot of carbonated beverages, try giving those up for a week and see if it has any impact. If you’re gum chewing go without, etc. By writing things down and really recording both what you’re ingesting and what’s happening on the other end, you may be able to notice a difference.

  7. I don’t count my farts but they bother me concerning relationships I am 60 and I am avoiding to meat somebody I need some suggestions for this problem I am becoming a loner and I don’t like it e

    • Take a look at your diet. It could be that what you are eating is increasing the fart production. In a previous reply there were suggestions for things to do.

    • I probably fart a lil more then 24 times a day , the problem is that it reeks. Every time I do it I want to laugh my ass off so in a way it’s kinda therapeutic as sick as that sounds. I’m not lactose intolerant but if I have cheddar cheese or some spicy food God help the people that are around me. I usually walk away like a hit and run and watch the sour faces that have been hit . Maybe I just need a gf that has the same kinda problem and that’s comfortable with us passing gas and find it hilarious . Maybe that’s why I have a baby face for my age could be the secret to youth :)

  8. For the past four days I have been farting excessively and don’t know what to do. (TMI it’s starting to leave stains) Please help when I pass gas at unappropriate times it’s embarrassing

  9. I can pass gas for days/weeks or sometimes months and it all smells the same to me. It doesn’t matter what I eat or drink it still smells rank! I don’t consume a lot of soda pops. I mostly drink tea or bottled water. My mom keeps telling me that I smell like an old outhouse.

    • kristie when u say u can pass gas for days weeks or months
      what are u talking about exactly ,
      happen to you more at night or in the morning?

      • Changing your diet for a day or two will not have a significant impact. You must change your diet for several weeks/months before you can draw judgement. It could be that something you are eating (or not eating) is causing your symptoms.

    • Hey your not alone , my mom gets on me too . I eat pretty much healthy and drink water all day so I’m puzzled
      Hit me up on kik , looking for someone I can relate too nickinbk

  10. Tina, is it bad to hold them in? my stomach makes so much noise anyway, when i hold them in my stomach goes wild. why does my stomach growl so much?

  11. You guys did a good job! Forget the ignorant people who say get a life. Remember that they are the ones who read it so if they have a problem with you, they have a problem with themselves.

  12. I fart like the comedian called it walking farts I fart when I sit, get up, cough, laugh, turn over in bed what ever I am doing it doesnt matter bend over, walk, it is so annoying, they don’t smell just make noise it is so embarrasing I am in menapause and I have MS I am 54 what is going on my family just gets tired of hearing it and how some people say they hold it in I can’t it just happens with no warning. HELP please!!!

  13. One time I was laughing so hard I sharted myself. I had to leave my underwear in a trash can cause I was in public. Sharts are way worse then farts! Once I was doing this chick in her bum bum and she sharted on my wee wee. Talk about gross!

  14. I fart wherever I find myself. This is so embarrassing because it happens all the time. People shun me and make fun of me. Some look at me with so much contempt as though they would kill me given any opportunity. What they don’t understand, however, is that I don’t do it on purpose. My body simply betrays me, especially when I’m sleeping. This sleep happens instantaneously that it leaves me wondering if I dozed off again by accident, and of course farted. This problem has crushed my ego and left me with no respect.

    • I have the same problem. I thought that it was only me that this was happening to! People talk about me at school because of it but I can’t help it … It just happens. Have you found a solution yet? I need one to!

      • I understand you. i have the same problem. people who make fun of us don’t understand what we feel and experience! i need someone to talk to and I need a solution!

        • Hello guys, I just read this and I think I can very much relate with you. Mine started less frequently in 2013, but a year later until now, it has become so frequent that it is making me fail at school because I end up missing classes whenever I feel I will be farting while in class. Probably almost a quarter of my university knows me as ‘the guy that farts’, and this has affected the whole aspect of my life. I have had several tests and lately did both colonoscopy and gastroscopy but the doctor said I didn’t have any complications,but he might have collected biopsies and am scheduled to see him in two months. Please help if your situation has improved. I have at times contemplated committing suicide only that I have younger siblings and a mother who would probably be so devastated should I do that. In general, my life is completely miserable now. Anyone please help if you know what I can do with this farting problem. Diet definitely doesn’t seem to be the case for me, because even when I take a week to ‘eat safe foods’, I still feel the same. Sometimes I still fart even when I have eaten nothing for almost 24hrs, and situation mostly accompanied by constipation which even metamucil couldn’t help relieve after about a month of taking it. Am desperate to try anything that works. Email me for any information through thanks in advance

          • A week of eating safe is not enough to know if changes to your diet will impact your situation. It takes a few days for everything to work it’s way through your system. How much water do you drink? What about fiber? You state that your situation is usually accompanied by constipation. I believe that diet may definitely be a contributing factor. Set a goal of 60-64 oz of water each day (this needs to be water, not pop, gaterade, etc, but water) Include in that goal more fiber rich foods. Make sure that you’re not just loading up on wheat items, but that at least half of that fiber comes from fruits and veggies. After you’ve given it a good month, check and see if your situation has improved.

            And suicide is definitely not the solution. Find someone you can talk to about this situation. It looks like you are on a campus? Check out the counseling services at the college. These may be free and it would help greatly to have someone to talk to about your situation.

  15. Help! I am so embarrassed. I have to control myself not to fart all the time. I often want to fart once I leave home. I don’t know if others know I am farting. I am so tired of doing that. I have this behavior since last year.before last year I don’t have this problem. So anyone can tell me what’s going on.

  16. 20 to 30 times every two hours there getting louder and louder and smellier than ever I can feel the gas winding up in my stomach I only go toilet twice a day but when I go it’s a full spray job anyone help

  17. I constantly fart. I think its my diet and the air i inhale. I do smoke ciggerettes and drink beer .. Everyday… Im in good health and shape haha no seriously i am . I recently found out that im lactose so i stay away from most dairy product. But i fart probably 25-75 times a day . And they stink really bad . i need help

  18. I can’t believe these numbers. I am farting 25 times an hour, easy, for the past few years. This article has me scared. I’ve farted 7 times since I started typing this response, and I type pretty quickly. There is a constant leak of gas coming out of my asshole at any given time. I’m not sure if I should call them 20 farts over a few moments’ time or just one long, continuous fart? Thoughts from anybody on that?

    One would think that I would be rail-thin with all of this actual matter leaving my body, but I’m not. I’m severely obese. My wife is actually ok with my near-constant farting, bless her soul, though my mistress is starting to get a little bit annoyed.


  19. I’m 77 and about to take my life. The farting will not stop. I have been on a gluten free diet fot the past 6 years. Wen’t to my primary doctor four days ago. He has me on a milk and dairy free diet. It’s not working. I’m getting upset stomachs. My wife is at witts end. I have reached the point where I am of no use to anyone, even myself. I’m posting here as a last resort. I NEED HELP!!!!

    • Have you been to a gastroenterologist? Your symptoms warrant speaking to a specialist.

      Please know, too, that you are important. You have made an impact on this world. You have and are touching the lives of those around you. Please seek out someone you can talk to about this. A counselor, friend, someone at your place of worship.

  20. It’s all fun and games till the shart happend . Not funny then. I farted while getting it on last night, embarrassing, especially since she was going down. I love farting but am afraid it’s becoming a problem. I am trained in martial arts and try to use glute control,yet no avail,help!

  21. I just happened to come across these messages when I was looking to see if gas-x will help me to stop passing gas. it is so embarrassing when it comes out on its own. My husband has been very sweet about it but now I am passing gas in the bed when he is holding me. I am so so embarrassed when this happens and sometimesip it smells really bad depending on what I eat.. I have a lot of constipation also, bad bad constipation and very hard or large stool. I have diverticulosis all over the various parts of my colon. Can that be a factor in continuous gas passing?? Thanks

  22. Try using raw physlum husk for three days. It would be best to take it right after work or school. Follow the dierctions on the package. You can get it from any vitamins or health food store for around $10.00. The physlum husk is a fiber drink you mix with water (it’s the base ingredient of meta mucle) The drink mixture draws water into & scraps the colon & digestive track as it passes through. This will help cleaness the colon of trapped fat, undigested meat, trapped gas, and bad bacteria that’s in the colon. Make sure to drink lots of water and avioid foods or drinks you know that will give you gas. I hope this helps.

  23. I am having issues, not so savere, but they started last week, it happens at night, mostly, and my family is to obnoxious to truly take notice, or care, I have farted four times while typing this, it’s not all to great, and even though it’s a real, true problem, I’ve been laughing at myself so hard for the gas coming on, today, well, it’s twelve a.m., is my birthday, I’m worried about what it will be like during the actual day, I’ll probably fart the loudest while opening the presents, that’s my luck lol, I don’t want to be known as the author who passed gas, though, I’m writting two books right now, if this lasts like it has for all of you guys, then I’m gunna have trouble going to book signings, atleast if my books are that successful, I wish you all the best of luck, and I will take any suggestions for stopping the farts, I just ripped a loud one… 13th since I started writing,

  24. Check everything you guys ate eating to see if it contains polyols or sugar alcohol which is an artificial sweetener. It wreaks absolute havoc wrt farting. You literally will not be able to hold it in and it makes you feel bloated and uncomfortable. You will fart all day long and it will smell awful.

  25. I’ve noticed I fart a lot more since I started working out and eating healthier which is weird I don’t consume a lot of sugar . I eat a lot of wheat based products like cereal,oatmeal,bread and protein shakes I drink 1% milk ,eggs, and lean meats, I’m not lactose but cheese makes my fart stink that I know. I drink water all day and use the bathroom once a day or every other day . I do breath from my mouth then I do my nose so maybe that can be a factor I dunno . I’m a freaking fart machine but hold it till the coast is clear n let it rip , I just can’t stand the hot farts though as they the ones that got a funk to it. I’m thinking of getting a colon cleanse as my motabalism used to be slow years ago and I could have gunk in my intestine walls . Anyone like me or have any advice ?

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