Five signs you need to see a doctor for your farting

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Flatulence, which is also known as farting, is a normal bodily function.

When food is digested the body will produce intestinal gas that needs to be expelled from the body somehow. Gas also accumulates in the body when we swallow air.

Without burping or farting this gas is trapped and it can be a very painful experience.

While expelling gas therefore is normal, there are certain circumstances in which it could be cause for concern.

An expert took to YouTube to explain five instances in which you should speak to your doctor about your farting.

Speaking to his more than 200,000 subscribers, Doctor James O’Donovan said: “Farting, also known as flatulence or wind, is totally normal but there are things that you can do if you fart a lot or it’s smelly.

“And sometimes rarely it can be the sign of an underlying health condition.

“Farting is usually nothing to worry about: everybody farts and some people fart more than others.

“In fact what is normal is different for everyone but if you notice a change, it’s affecting your life or you feel like your farts are excessive or smelly then there are things that you can do as.”

He said you should see a doctor if:

  • Farting is affecting your life and self help and pharmacy treatments have not worked
  • You have a stomach ache or bloating that will not go away or comes back
  • You keep getting constipation or diarrhoea
  • You have lost weight without trying
  • You’ve had blood in your poo for three weeks.

He added: “If you’ve also travelled abroad recently, you now have excessively smelly farts as well as a change in bowel habit you might want to see a doctor.”

Causes of excessive or smelly farts

Dr O’Donovan said there are a number of reasons why your farts could be excessive or especially smelly.

He explained: “Excessive or smelly farts can be caused when you swallow air or eat foods that are difficult to digest.

“It can also sometimes be a sign of a health condition.

“For example if you’ve got bloating stomach pain with diarrhoea and constipation that comes and goes it could be an underlying sign of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.

“Similarly new excessive smelly farts could be the sign of something like celiac disease, lactose intolerance or even can be caused by certain medicines like anti-inflammatories, certain laxatives or even statins.”

However, he warned: “Importantly don’t self-diagnose.

“You should see a doctor if you’re worried about your farting and don’t stop or change your medicine without speaking to a doctor first.”

To avoid excessive or smelly farts he advised:

  • Eat smaller meals, more often
  • Drink or chew food slowly, with your mouth closed
  • Exercise regularly to improve how your body digests food
  • Drink peppermint tea.

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