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General Practice 2023

Smelly gases: 4 main causes and what to do

Smelly gases: 4 main causes and what to do
Smelly gases: 4 main causes and what to do

Stinky gas can be caused by excessive intake of foods that are rich in protein and fiber, such as eggs, broccoli, cauliflower, red meat, garlic and cheese, because they favor the production of hydrogen sulfide, a substance with “rotten egg” odor that is produced by gut bacteria during fermentation of these foods.

Furthermore, gas with a strong odor can also be caused by situations such as the use of certain medications, food poisoning, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance and colon cancer.

Chewing food well, drinking some types of teas, such as mint and fennel, and reducing the intake of foods rich in sulfur and fiber, are some options that can help prevent stinky gas. See some teas to help reduce gas.


The main causes of smelly gases are:

1. Protein-rich foods

Excessive consumption of protein-rich foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, red meat, fish and eggs, increases the production of hydrogen sulfide by intestinal bacteria, the main substance responsible for making gas more smelly.

What to do: It is advised to eat small portions of protein in the diet, with a suggested intake of 1g of protein per kg of body weight per day. A person weighing 85 kg would consume 85g of protein per day, which is equivalent to 150g of grilled chicken breast and 100g of grilled sardines, for example.

2. Foods rich in fiber

Foods that are high in fiber and also high in sulfur, such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, leeks, onions, radishes, turnips, and Brussels sprouts produce the most smelly gas.

Although they do not directly favor the formation of smelly gases, foods rich in fiber, such as beans, soy, lentils, oats, asparagus, apples, almonds, take longer to be digested in the intestine, which can cause increased fermentation by bacteria, facilitating the formation of gases. Discover other foods rich in fiber.

What to do: It is recommended to reduce the consumption of vegetables rich in sulfur. In addition, one can also try to reduce the intake of vegetables and fruits with high fiber content. However, it is important to emphasize that fibers are essential for maintaining he alth and, therefore, reducing the consumption of these foods should only be done during the period in which you have more gas.

3. Gastrointestinal problems

Some gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhea, food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, celiac disease and colon cancer can cause an imbalance in the intestinal flora, favoring the formation of smelly gases.

What to do: in these cases, it is important to go through a consultation with a doctor and nutritionist so that a complete assessment of the he alth status is carried out, medications are recommended necessary and an individualized diet is prescribed to treat the he alth condition. See an example of a diet to avoid and reduce gas.

4. Medicines

Some medications, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and laxatives, can cause changes in the intestinal flora, modifying the composition of intestinal bacteria and causing an increase in smelly gas.

What to do: strengthen and increase the beneficial bacteria in the intestine, with the use of probiotics such as kefir, kombucha and natural yogurt, it helps to balance the intestinal flora, preventing the smelly gases. Discover other probiotic foods that balance the intestinal flora.

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