Just in case you need to hear it: Farting is normal. People break wind an average of 14 times a day, emitting anywhere from half a litre to more than 2 litres of gas over a 24-hour period. And, believe it or not, 99% of gas is odour-free. But sometimes your farts are just downright funky, forcing you to ask yourself, “Why do my farts smell so bad?”
Luckily, there’s a pretty valid reasons for your not-so-pleasant smelling gas: “Silent-but-deadly ones, the really smelly guys, are due to fermentation by bacteria in your colon,” says Patricia Raymond, a Virginia Beach-based gastroenterologist and assistant professor of clinical internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
If you’re having wicked gas, it’s probably something you ate–and not necessarily a bad thing. Gas is a healthy, normal byproduct of digestion, after all. While the smell may be embarrassing in social situations, it might mean you’ve fed your gut nutritious, fibre-rich, plant-based foods. However, sometimes a bad odour can signal a more serious health problem requiring a thorough workup by a GI doc.
Here are eight reasons why the gas you pass can sometimes be offensive.
(Also read: 6 Things Your Farts Can Tell You About Your Health)