9 Possible Reasons You Feel So Gassy All the Time

9 Possible Reasons You Feel So Gassy All the Time

news image

Real talk: Everybody farts, including supermodels, politicians, actors—everybody. While it can be embarrassing and awkward to let one rip in front of a crowd, that doesn’t mean it’s not perfectly normal (same goes for burping).

Still, if you’re suddenly letting flatulence fly like it’s your job, you might take a beat to wonder, Why do I have so much gas? Also, if you’re farting that much, you might be a little uncomfortable, too, whether you’re also dealing with bloating or just feeling anxious about the idea of accidentally clearing a room in public.

Again, farting is a fact of life, but it’s not typical to desperately hold back your gas to the point of constant discomfort. Not sure if you should be concerned? Here are the most common excessive gas causes, and how to get some relief already.

What causes gas in the first place?

Gas forms in your digestive tract for two reasons: from the air that you swallow and from the breakdown of undigested food by the trillions of bacteria that live in your large intestine, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. “We all have bacteria in our gut, which produces gas—and it has to go somewhere,” Sophie Balzora, MD, gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF.

Whether you fart or burp, gas comes out of your body in one form or another. In fact, we all pass gas an average of up to 20 times each day, according to the Mayo Clinic. In most cases, the gas you expel from your body is odorless, a mix of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, and sometimes methane. Sometimes, however, the bacteria we mentioned release gases that include sulfur, which is the culprit behind the unpleasant odor associated with passing gas, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Occasional gas is perfectly healthy. Excessive gas, however, can cause discomfort to the point of bloating and abdominal pain, and it can actually be a symptom of a more serious condition.

Back to top

Why do I have so much gas?

There’s a pretty wide range of excessive gas causes, and some are more easily remedied than others. Here are the most common ones to be aware of:

1. You’re eating a lot of fiber-rich food.

Usually, the food you’re eating can be to blame for any excessive gas you’re dealing with. A food that causes gas in one person may not in another, but there are some common culprits. “The classic food groups are high-fiber foods such as whole wheat and grains, fresh fruits and cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, etc.),” Felice Schnoll-Sussman MD, gastroenterologist and director of the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, tells SELF.

Fiber is usually recommended to combat constipation, but it can lead to excessive gas if it’s eaten in excess. This is because fiber isn’t fully digested by the small intestine, and the bacteria required to ferment or break down fiber-rich foods in the large intestine produce gas as a by-product, per Johns Hopkins Medicine.

So, as with all good things, moderation is key. “Fiber must be slowly incorporated into the diet,” Dr. Schnoll-Sussman explains. “If you binge on kale for its obvious nutritional value, you will most likely feel it with gas and bloating.”

Another tip? Make sure you’re drinking enough water, as fiber promotes healthy bowel movements best when there’s an adequate amount of water in your body.

2. You have a sneaky food sensitivity.

“Many people as they get older have difficulty digesting milk products,” Dr. Schnoll-Sussman says. So even if you’re not full-on intolerant, your body’s level of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) may be lower than it used to be, making dairy a problem food. “Someone who is very lactose intolerant may experience bloating, cramps, and flatulence as soon as they ingest milk or other dairy products.” But your level of gassiness will vary depending on ho

Read More