Pass gas, break wind, burning air biscuits, cut the cheese, fart, toot, poot, or pop. Call it whatever you want but it’s all the same and we all do it! My inspiration for this blog started with the most amazing book (No One Likes a Fart by Zoe Foster Blake) I purchased for my grandsons (on my recent trip to Target. Ultimately the book was more about finding your own tribe and not worrying about what others think of you than digestive health. The word “fart” was on every page and as you can imagine the word “fart” or the sound of them (check my Alexa transcripts, it’s true) incites the most contagious laughter with little boys. No, not laughter, howling! We do howl together too by the way…like full on cry of the wolfpack stuff.
On a more serious note, while passing gas is totally normal, it is also a sign of what is going on behind the scenes. The gas itself is a byproduct of the digestive system’s processing and breaking down of your food. Some of the gas is created by the action of eating, chewing, and swallowing that can escape via a burp. Simply put, the gas builds up, you release it, you feel better. End of story? Not at all. The frequency, the odor, and any accompanying symptoms can be major clues to your health.
Here are some specific gassy situations you may want to take note of and what they could mean for you.
Way more tooting and a lot less pooping – We could all probably stand to have more fiber in our diets. Chances are if you’re passing a lot of gas but not having bowel movements, you may be eating too much of it. Fiber helps to bind the toxins, bulk up, and solidify the poop. If you’re taking in too much fiber the poop can become very hard to pass. Look at your fiber and water intake and adjust.
You’re tooting all day everyday – Do you have a lot of carbonated drinks? Soda water, soft drinks, even beer, hard ciders, and wine coolers (do those even exist anymore?) can add more air/gas to your digestive tract. What goes in must come out! Try cutting back on those drinks and see if there is a change in situation.
Your toots can clear the room – It could be the type of food you’ve eaten. While garlic, onions, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are super for increasing sulfur pools for your homocysteine, they also let off an “egg like” smell with the gas. That same rotten garbage smell can happen with beans, dried fruits, cheese, and …wait for it…wine. In most cases there is nothing to worry about but if it’s happening all the time, it may be time to speak to a healthcare professional.
Your tooting seems to have a cycle and they smell awful – Ladies, here’s another one they didn’t tell us about. Right about the time your period strikes you may experience something called, you guessed it, “period farts”. Just like everything else period related, it’s all hormonal. We know that the estrogen is increasing, and the body is producing other hormone-like chemicals at this time of the month which help shed the uterine lining. If too much is produced it can work its way through your system and make other organs contract, including your bowels. Your microbiome changes during this time as well which can cause smellier gas. Try eating foods that are easy to digest and hold off on the bean burritos until Aunt Flo has passed.
You’re tooting and pooping more than usual – Stress. Let’s talk about it honestly. When we’re stressed it causing pressure in our bodies and our minds. When we have a thought that our brain accepts as truth it can cause a feeling. Sometimes we choose to handle those feelings with food and may turn to foods that we wouldn’t normally eat. Our brain is trying to find comfort and sometimes that can satisfy the chemical process but totally upset the digestive process. When you find yourself stressed out, try to remove yourself from the stressful situation (if you can). Take a walk, go get a drink of water, maybe do a few pushups or yoga poses. I’ve found the “Breathe” feature on my apple watch very helpful. Mindfulness and mediation are profoundly helpful not only in the stressful moment but for overall healing as well.
Looking at the foods we eat, the products we put on our skin, and the air and water we’re exposed to can tell us a lot. Food and chemical sensitivities change the way our bodies process foods and nutrients, respond to immune threats, and experience daily living. We all have stress and we’re all busy, but no one has time to not feel their absolute best!
If any of this resonates with you let’s talk about ways to do things differently. Our summer of self-care challenge is starting soon. Find us on Facebook and/or Instagram for information and inspiration to support your long-term wellness.