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Farting (flatulence)

Farting, also known as flatulence or wind, is normal. There are things you can do if you fart a lot or it's smelly. Sometimes it can be a sign of a health condition.

Farting is usually nothing to worry about. Everyone farts, some people more than others. The average is 5 to 15 times a day.

What's normal is different for everyone. If you notice a change or it's affecting your life, there are things you can do.

Do

  • eat smaller meals, more often

  • drink or chew food slowly

  • exercise regularly to improve how your body digests food

  • drink peppermint tea

Don't

  • do not chew gum, smoke, or suck pen tops or hard sweets to avoid swallowing air

  • do not wear loose-fitting dentures

  • do not eat too many foods that are difficult to digest and make you fart

Food and drinks that can make you fart
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • brussels sprouts
  • pulses, like beans or lentils
  • dried fruit, like raisins or apricots
  • onions
  • food or drinks containing the sweetener sorbitol
  • fizzy drinks and beer

Speak to a pharmacist about excessive or smelly farts.

They might be able to tell you:

  • if you can buy something to help – for example, charcoal tablets or special underwear and pads that absorb smells
  • if you should see a GP

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • self help and pharmacy treatments have not worked and farting is affecting your life
  • you have a stomach ache or bloating that will not go away or comes back
  • you keep getting constipation or diarrhoea
  • you have lost weight without trying
  • there's blood in your poo

Excessive or smelly farts can be caused when you swallow air or eat foods that are difficult to digest. It can also sometimes be a sign of a health condition.

Do not self-diagnose. See a GP if you're worried about your farting.

Excessive or smelly wind can also be a side effect of some medicines, including:

Do not stop or change your medicine without speaking to a GP first.