Why Do My Farts Smell Like Death?
Oct 18, 2022
You’re cuddled up on a comfy couch, having a romantic moment with your new partner, when suddenly – it happens.
There was no sound, no warning.
The aroma of something rotten hits your nostrils. You hope they won’t notice. It gets stronger, lingering in the air. You desperately wish there were a dog lying next to you to blame. Alas, there is not.
You’ve committed the ultimate act of embarrassment in front of a romantic interest. Could it get any worse?
“I can’t be the only one,” you ponder, “Surely, everyone farts, but why do my farts smell like death?” You’re not alone in this experience, but let’s clear the air about some of the reasons your farts may be more *ahem* potent than others.
5 Reasons Your Farts Smell Like Death
There are a slew of potential causes of especially foul-smelling farts. However, if you are concerned about the odor or frequency, it is always best to get in touch with your physician.
You’ll come to find out that farts (even smelly ones) are completely normal, and it truly is something that everyone does.
I’ve researched 5 reasons your farts smell like death, and what each one could potentially mean:
- Gut Health
- Other Reasons
Surprisingly, you can tell quite a bit about your gut health from the characteristics of your farts. These could be characteristics such as sound, frequency, and odor.
However, farting is usually a good indicator that your gut is performing as it should. Farting, also known as flatulence, is oftentimes the result of healthy gut bacteria after it has done its job by breaking down food.
Which leads us to our next reason you may be experiencing smelly gas!
Food causing your farts to smell unpleasant probably comes as no surprise. We’ve all heard that foods, like beans or fast food, usually leave us farting a bit more excessively than other times. (And, that our farts may pack more of a punch!)
Fiber and Sugars
There’s a good, biological reason for this. Foods that are high in fiber (e.g., beans) and sugars (e.g., carbs) break down in our body to create glucose. Glucose is essential to our body for many reasons, and the main one being our source of energy.
The reason foods high in fiber may lead to smellier farts is because they take a bit longer to be processed by your body. In essence, the food has longer to ferment in there. (Think about old food sitting in your body for a while.)
So, it’s important not to cut out the foods that may lead to frequent flatulence, but perhaps to be more selective on when you want to devour a large bowl of refried beans!
Most foods high in fiber are also high in sulfur. Foods that contain a high amount of sulfur could certainly be a reason your farts seem more odorous than others. This is because sulfur compounds are the biological product that causes your farts to have an odor in the first place!
Foods that have a higher volume of sulfur include leafy green vegetables, broccoli, onions, turkey, whole grains, eggs, chicken, and nuts. There are many more sulfur-containing foods out there, but this list includes some of the more common menu items.
Constipation is an uncomfortable feeling most have experienced. The cause of constipation is when your stool moves sluggishly through your digestive track.
It makes sense that while your stool is taking longer than normal to do its job, that it will become more odorous over time. Therefore, constipation may very well be another reason for some unpleasant smelling gas!
Believe it or not, there are some medications that can contribute to your less-than-pleasant smelling flatulence.
Some common medications that could be a culprit in your investigation to track down the source of your smelly gas could be: laxatives, statins, anti-fungal, and even the common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin.
It’s important to not stop taking medication because of smelly gas, and if you are curious about alternative medications, you should probably have a talk with your doctor.
Thinking About Farts
Something I found interesting was research revealed that thinking you’ll have gas could be the only reason you have it! I know I have avoided certain foods I thought would contribute to gas before a night out or big meeting.
Who knew that the cause of my gas could come from just thinking I’ll have it?
Another reason you may have smellier farts than your friends or family could have to do with your gut flora. Gut flora varies from person to person. (Just think of how diverse all our inside bacteria are!)
Some of the unfortunate few have gut flora that produces more of the smelly farts once that gas leaves their body. It’s usually nothing to fear, however. It just means your gut flora is different than some others.
I say, it’s best to just accept that your insides are specialized to you, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all!
There are some instances where certain medical conditions can lead to foul-smelling farts. We will get into more detail on this later, but it’s important that if you notice your smelly farts persisting over time, you should consult with your general practitioner.
Should I Worry That My Farts Smell Like Death?
While smelly farts can be embarrassing, it is usually an indicator that your digestive system is working as it should. However, I couldn’t help but wonder: should I worry that my farts smell like death?
The only time to have a real cause for concern about your farts smelling, is if you notice other side effects with it and/or your smelly farts increase in frequency.
There are certain medical issues that could cause your farts to smell, and it’s best that you check with a medical professional to rule them out.
Some common medical conditions that could coincide with foul-smelling gas include inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, and infection.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It comes as no surprise that inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) could be an indicator of something more sinister causing your smelly flatulence.
Common signs of IBS such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include diarrhea, blood in stool, cramping, stomach pain, and more. With these signs, you may notice foul-smelling farts as well.
If you experience any of the symptoms of IBS along with smelly farts, it’s best you get checked by your doctor.
Another reason your unpleasant-smelling farts could be a reason for concern is if it is paired with some signs of colorectal cancer.
You’ll want to be sure that if you have any other symptoms of colorectal cancer like persistent constipation, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, or sudden weight loss – that you make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
Bacterial infections, particularly bowel infections, could be a reason you have smelly farts. However, this is not as common. Yet, it is still something to take note of if you have any of the other symptoms of infection.
Like the other medical conditions, you may experience diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and even a fever if you have a bowel infection.
If you experience smelly gas in conjunction with some of the other symptoms, it’s a safe bet to contact a medical professional.
Do Probiotics Make You Fart?
There are many benefits of taking probiotics, and a healthy gut is one of them!
However, a potential side effect of probiotics is an increase in flatulence. So, do probiotics make you fart? Sometimes, but the good news is that it usually subsides.
Function of Probiotics
The role of probiotics is to balance out the bacteria in your gut. Don’t be alarmed, though, it is healthy and necessary bacteria to keep your insides running properly!
It is perfectly normal that once you start taking probiotics, you notice a change in your gut and all its effects. This could include how frequently you pass gas.
The good news is that once your gut becomes more balanced with probiotics, you’ll notice a change. Your body essentially gets back to a place of homeostasis – where everything is running its course as it should.
Yes, probiotics may make you fart, but it typically won’t persist after you’ve been taking them for a couple weeks or so. As always, if you do notice other symptoms or flatulence that persist, it’s probably time to pay a visit to a medical professional.
Why Do My Farts Smell Like Death… Know Your Gut Health
The next time you are sharing a private moment with your partner or speaking at a presentation, don’t be ashamed if you pass some smelly gas. However, you may ask - why do my farts smell like death… know your gut health! It’s really as simple as that.
If you find yourself exhibiting some other symptoms alongside your smelly farts, or if they persist for a long period of time - it’s time for you to get checked out.
Otherwise, embrace the fact you have a fully-functioning inside doing its work to keep you healthy – even if it causes some embarrassment from time to time!