Excessive farting is often a sign that the body is reacting strongly to certain foods. This can indicate a food intolerance or a digestive disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Typically, people pass gas 8–14 times per day. Dietary changes, altering eating patterns, and identifying food intolerances can all help prevent excessive flatulence.

This article looks at the possible causes of excessive flatulence and ways to prevent it from happening.

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Simply eating or drinking is enough to cause gas.

As people eat or drink, they tend to swallow a bit of air. The body may release this air as a burp, or the air may make its way to the intestines, where it eventually leaves the body as a fart.

Farting is also a sign of natural activity in the digestive system. The bacteria in the gut create different gases as they break down foods, and the body releases these gases as a fart.

People may notice they fart more after making changes to their diet. Changes could include:

  • eating a vegetarian or vegan diet
  • cutting out food groups
  • eating new foods.

In these cases, any digestive disturbances — including nausea, upset stomach, and constipation or diarrhea — should settle down as the body adjusts to the new diet.

If it does not settle down, this may indicate the new eating pattern is triggering a food intolerance.

Some foods cause more digestive gases to build up than others. Foods that cause gas include many carbohydrates, starches, and foods high in fiber.

In contrast, proteins and fats do not typically cause gas, though specific proteins can intensify the odor gas gives off.

The following types of foods may lead to excess flatulence:

High-fiber foods

Fiber is the tough part of plants or carbohydrates that the human body has trouble breaking down. It does not break down in the small intestine and reaches the colon undigested. Bacteria in the colon break down the fiber in a fermentation process, producing gas.

This includes soluble and insoluble fibers, which only occur in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and greens.

High-fiber foods are good for the gut, but eating too much can cause digestive upset. People can avoid this discomfort by introducing high-fiber foods into the diet slowly over several weeks to let their digestive system acclimate to them.

High-fiber foods include:

  • beans and legumes
  • vegetables
  • whole grains

Learn how much fiber is too much.

Foods that contain raffinose

Raffinose is a complex sugar that causes gas.

Beans contain large amounts of raffinose. Other foods that contain smaller amounts include:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • whole grains

Starchy foods

Starchy foods produce gas when the body breaks them down in the large intestine.

Starchy foods that can cause gas include:

  • wheat
  • corn
  • potatoes

According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, rice is the only starch that does not cause gas.

High sulfur foods

Sulfur is necessary for overall health, but eating too many high-sulfur foods may cause excessive gas.

Sulfuric foods include alliums, such as onions and garlic, and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower.

Sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols, such as xylitol and erythritol, give the sweetness of sugar without the calories. However, they may also cause digestive issues, such as flatulence, because the body has trouble digesting them completely.

Constipation may also cause more frequent flatulence. As waste sits in the colon longer than usual, it ferments, releasing extra gas.

A person with lactose intolerance may produce more gas when they eat or drink dairy products, such as cheese, butter, or yogurt. This occurs when the body cannot break down lactose, a sugar found in milk.

Someone with lactose intolerance may experience other symptoms when they eat dairy products, such as:

When a person has celiac disease, their digestive system cannot break down gluten, the protein in wheat. They may experience a wide range of digestive symptoms if they eat gluten, including excessive gas and bloating.

While gluten and dairy are common intolerances, the body can develop an intolerance to various foods. Eating these foods may cause digestive disturbances, including excessive farting.

Keeping a food and symptom diary may help someone identify trigger foods so they can avoid or limit them.

IBS is a digestive disorder that causes a range of digestive symptoms, including:

  • excessive gas
  • abdominal pain
  • regular diarrhea or constipation

A person with IBS may notice symptoms more during periods of high stress or when eating certain foods.

Several other digestive disorders cause excessive farting. Each condition has its own causes and symptoms.

Some possible digestive issues that contribute to excessive farting include:

People can often relieve gas by changing their eating habits, identifying and avoiding or limiting trigger foods, or making lifestyle changes.

Some methods may work better for one person than another, so if one does not work, try another. Methods include:

Eating slowly

Much of the gas that farts release comes from eating because people swallow air with each bite.

Eating in a rush may make matters worse. People who eat in a hurry may not chew their food completely and may swallow bigger chunks of food, making the food harder to digest.

Chewing is an integral part of the digestive process. Thoroughly chewing food makes it easier for the body to break it down. Taking the time to chew food slowly before swallowing may help the body digest this food and reduce the air that enters the intestines.

Avoiding chewing gum

Chewing gum may cause a person to swallow air along with their saliva. This may lead to more gas in the intestines and, therefore, more flatulence.

Getting regular exercise

Moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes per day may help prevent gas buildup in the body. It may also stimulate the digestive system, which could help with other issues, such as constipation.

Reducing trigger foods

Many foods that cause gas are a vital part of a complete diet. For instance, fiber is essential for digestive health, but eating too much may cause flatulence.

Some potential trigger foods that a person can reduce include the following:

  • beans
  • broccoli
  • wheat
  • cabbage
  • Brussel sprouts

Following a nutritious, balanced diet is unlikely to cause long-term gas. However, any dietary changes can cause short-term gas while the body gets used to the new foods.

Identifying food intolerances

People with digestive disorders could keep a food journal to help them identify the possible trigger foods that are causing their reactions, such as lactose or gluten.

Once someone identifies these trigger foods, avoiding or limiting them may help prevent excessive farting.

Avoiding or limiting carbonated drinks

Carbonated drinks add gas to the digestive system. This generally comes back up as a burp but can continue through the intestines and cause flatulence.

To avoid this, reduce or eliminate sources of carbonation, such as:

  • soda
  • beer
  • sparkling juices
  • sparkling water

Taking digestive enzymes

People with difficulty digesting certain food groups but want to continue eating them might try taking digestive enzymes specific to those foods.

For instance, people with lactose intolerance could take the enzyme lactase before eating dairy products to help them digest it.

There are different digestive enzymes for each food type, so be sure to get the correct enzymes to help with digestion.

People can buy digestive enzymes in drug stores or online.

Taking probiotics

Probiotics are supplements containing similar healthy bacteria to the ones in the digestive system. Adding more of these bacteria to the body might make it easier for the body to break down certain foods, which may reduce flatulence in some people.

For some people, however, probiotics may cause more gas. Doctors may recommend introducing probiotics slowly to see if they cause gastrointestinal upset, such as increased bloating and gas.

Probiotics are available in supermarkets, drug stores, and online.

In most cases, excessive farting is the result of eating too much of a food that the body does not agree with or eating too quickly. In these cases, there is generally no cause for concern.

However, people experiencing other digestive symptoms may want to talk with a doctor, especially if these symptoms get in the way of their everyday life. These symptoms may include:

Doctors will check for underlying conditions in the digestive tract and prescribe treatment if necessary.

Here are some frequently asked questions about gas.

Why am I passing so much gas all of a sudden?

Suddenly passing a lot of gas may be due to changes in a person’s diet. For example, consuming a lot of fiber may cause more gas symptoms. A person’s doctor can help them determine if their diet is causing an increase in gas.

Is it unhealthy to pass a lot of gas?

An increase in gas may be due to an underlying health condition in some cases. IBS and other digestive disorders can cause gas and other digestive symptoms.

If a person begins to pass more gas than usual, it is best to contact a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. If a doctor suspects that a food intolerance or certain foods are causing an increase in gas, they may recommend dietary changes.

Most of the time, farting too much is a sign of eating something the body does not agree with or eating too fast.

Some people may also have underlying conditions that cause excessive or frequent flatulence. They will likely experience other symptoms.

Most people can use simple home remedies and lifestyle changes to relieve gas. Anyone experiencing worrying or additional digestive symptoms may wish to contact a doctor for a full diagnosis.