Why Does Some of Our Gas Smell and Other Times It Does Not?

Everybody passes gas, but not every passing is as stinky as others. Have you ever wondered why sometimes gas smells, but sometimes it is just loud? What comes out of your body in the form of gas is strongly related to what you put in it.

Essentially some foods create stinkier gas than others, according to MentalFloss. That childhood rhyme about beans is a clear example. Other examples of stench-inducing gas include broccoli, cabbage, onions, eggs and meat. These foods contain high amounts of sulfur, the chemical that gives rotten eggs their signature scent. When your body’s bacteria breaks down these foods, the sulfur is released in the form of methanethiol, a stinky gas.

Your gas contains other chemicals too, including oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, methane and carbon, but the smelliest is sulfur. So the more sulfur in your food, the more sulfur in your gas and the stinkier the result.

Other foods like carbohydrates found in potatoes, bread and vegetables are not completely digested in your stomach. Instead, they pass into your intestinal tract, and the bacteria will eventually break them down into scentless gases, including hydrogen and carbon dioxide. These gases are odorless, so they do not cause stinky flatulence. However, other bacteria in your body can take the same materials and create other gaseous compounds that do smell.

In fact, there are around five different types of gas that your body can make according to Bustle.

  • Gas that does not smell is the most common type of gas.
  • Gas that smells depends on what you ate.
  • Gas that reeks and seems really smelly means that you probably ate a lot of things like beans and broccoli. Really smelly gas on a regular basis is not normal and a sign of gastrointestinal distress. If you notice this in addition to digestive discomfort, you could have a food intolerance.
  • Silent bombs are often noted because they are not accompanied by sound. This type of gas may or may not be accompanied by an odor. The sound is caused by the position of your sphincter, while the smell is caused by your food choices and how it is broken down by the bacteria in your body.
  • Recurrent gas can be normal if you eat a high fiber diet or a lot of vegetables. It can also be a sign of other issues in the digestive system. If you are frequently flatulent and experience other discomforts, then you might want to have your symptoms checked. Food sensitivity or food intolerance are often hallmarks of frequent gas, especially if it is smelly or accompanied by stomachache, bloating, diarrhea or other discomforts.

Some gas is not related to food at all, and merely a result of swallowing air, like when talking or chewing gum. While it may be embarrassing, know that regular gas is actually healthy and a sign that your digestive system is working properly.

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