Excessive Gas: Why Am I Farting So Much?

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If you notice that you’re farting more than usual, you may wonder what is going on in your digestive tract and whether you should be concerned. Flatulence—also referred to as passing gas and breaking wind—is perfectly normal and often caused by swallowing air or eating foods that are "gassy."

However, there are times when excessive farting is a sign of a medical condition in need of treatment, such as food intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, and even certain cancers. There are also medications that can cause gas.

This article explores the possible causes of excessive gas, including ways to prevent or treat this often-embarrassing symptom. It also offers tips about when to see your healthcare provider if you have excessive gas.

Woman running with gas pain

vitapix / Getty Images

Causes of Excessive Gas

As embarrassing as it may seem, farting is perfectly normal. Most healthy people do it between eight and 14 times a day. Even up to 25 episodes per day should not be a cause for concern.

If you are farting more than this, it may due to one of four common causes (or a combination of these reasons).

Swallowing Air

Gas can occur when you swallow extra air. Although some of the air will be expelled from the mouth when you belch or burp, the rest may travel through the digestive tract—moving in pockets with stool—and emerge from the anus as a fart.

There are certain habits that can cause you to swallow excess air:

  • Eating too fast
  • Drinking too fast
  • Smoking
  • Chewing gum
  • Sucking on hard candy
  • Drinking carbonated drinks
  • Wearing loose-fitting dentures (which cause you to swallow more air when you eat)

Anxiety can also cause you to swallow more air as it increases your respiratory rate and may even lead to hyperventilation.

Foods and Drinks

There are certain foods that are gassy. These tend to be foods that take longer to be broken down and absorbed in the gut, providing them time to ferment and produce gas.

These include carbohydrates known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) that are especially gassy.

Foods and drinks that can cause excessive gas include:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt
  • Soy products, including tofu and soy milk
  • Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, asparagus, artichokes, onions, mushrooms, sprouts, and cucumbers
  • Fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, and fruit juices
  • Whole grains and bran
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Sweetened drinks with high-fructose corn syrup
  • Alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, champagne, and cider
  • Sugar-free gum and candies made with sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol

Is Gassy Food Bad?

Many foods that cause gas are also good for you. If you gradually add them to your diet, your body should adapt and produce less and less gas over time. Simply eat smaller portions when first starting and increase your intake gradually as you are better able to tolerate the foods.

Health Conditions

Excessive can also be a symptom of certain health conditions that not only affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract but other parts of the body as well. These include:


There are over-the-counter and prescription drugs that can also cause gas and bloating, including:

Does the Smell Mean Anything?

The smell of a fart can vary based on the foods you eat. Foods high in sulfur—such as eggs, cabbage, beef, beans, and onions—can cause smells some describe as "rotten eggs." Soluble fiber found in fruits and vegetables can also cause gas, but the gas doesn't tend to smell as bad.

On its own, the smell of a fart is not an indication of any disease or medical condition.

How Can You Prevent Excess Farting?

In most cases, farting is not a cause for concern. Even so, there are a variety of things you can do to help reduce gas if you are prone to frequent farting:

  • Slow down while eating. Don't gulp.
  • Take smaller bites, and chew your food completely.
  • Avoid eating on the run.
  • Do not use straws when you drink.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages
  • Gradually introduce more insoluble fiber into your diet.
  • Eat fewer carbohydrates, including pasta, bread, and corn.
  • Avoid lying down immediately after eating.
  • Stop chewing gum.
  • Quit smoking.

How to Treat Excess Gas

In most cases, excess gas can be treated by changing the way you eat or by avoiding foods and medications that cause gas.

There are also over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements that can help if gas is causing distress or is accompanied by bloating, cramping, and abdominal pain.

OTC treatment options include:

  • Simethicone: This is an anti-foaming agent found in products like Gas-X.
  • Beano: This a supplement that contains an enzyme called alpha-galactosidase (α-GAL) that breaks up gas-producing carbohydrates.
  • Laxatives: These OTC medications can move food through the intestine faster, reducing fermentation, but are only intended for treating occasional constipation.
  • Lactase supplement: This includes products like Lactaid that prevent digestive symptoms in people with lactose intolerance.
  • Probiotics: These supplements contain healthy bacteria that help restore the natural flora of the gut. This, in turn, helps suppress bacteria and fungi that promote fermentation and gas.

You can also apply a heating pad to your belly whenever you're gassy. The heat will relax muscles in the large intestine, causing them to release trapped gas.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If the frequency of farting concerns you, speak with your healthcare provider. It may help to keep a diary so that you are able to describe when and how often you experienced farting, including what you ate, when, and the amount.

It is especially important to see a healthcare provider—including a specialist known as a gastroenterologist—if gas and bloating are severe, persistent, or accompanied by:

  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain and cramping
  • Chronic heartburn
  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Chronic constipation
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Blood in the stool
  • Mucus in the stool


Gas is a normal part of life, especially after you've eaten and your food is digesting. Gas becomes excessive when you fart more than 25 times per day. This is usually caused by something you ate—or the way you ate—but could also be caused by a medical condition or certain drugs.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have excessive gas or if frequent farting is making you uncomfortable. By changing the way you eat or avoiding certain foods or medicines, you may be able to bring the symptom under control. There are also over-the-counter drugs or supplements that can help.

1 Source
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms and Causes of Gas in the Digestive Tract.

By Julie Wilkinson, BSN, RN
Julie Wilkinson is a registered nurse and book author who has worked in both palliative care and critical care.