Passing Gas and Belching and Your Health

Passing Gas and Belching and Your Health

Does Farting Burn Calories?

Nowadays, with the way that the internet works, health myths can get started that are completely false. Anybody can answer a question on an informational website. Once the answer is picked up by the search engines, it can spread throughout the internet in a way that can grant legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

This is exactly what happened with regard to the issue of whether or not passing gas can burn significant amounts of calories. On one site, it was said that one fart burns approximately 67 calories. Farting 52 times in a day can burn off one pound of fat.

As it turns out, the myth that got rolling is completely false. This is because, when you pass gas, all of the work is done by the gas itself. Even if you really strain when you pass the gas, the exertion will not burn more than a miniscule amount of calories. Your heart will not start pumping harder, and the whole process doesn’t last for more than a few seconds.

So, the painful truth is that there is no shortcut to losing weight. There is no substitute for eating in a healthy way and exercising.

Gas and Your Health

What Is Gas?

Gas is a mixture of swallowed air that comes into the digestive system and gas that is produced by bacteria in the lower intestine. The air that is swallowed can come in because of gum chewing, drinking carbonated drinks, or eating too quickly.

The bacteria in your intestines produce gases when they decompose the sugars and starches that your body does not digest. This process makes about two to six cups of gas per day. As it builds up, it must have a way of exiting the body. If you pass gas on a regular basis, it can be a sign that you’re eating enough fiber and have enough healthy bacteria in your intestines.

The type and frequency of farts can give you some clues to your health.

Stinky Farts

Around one percent of the gas manufactured by the intestines has a scent. That smell comes from hydrogen sulfide. This is a gas that is made when the body breaks down food that contains sulfur.

Many healthy foods make gas that has sulfur in it when they are digested. This gas is expelled from the body as a smelly fart. Foods that can do this to you include red meat, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, and dairy products.

Really Stinky Farts

While no fart smells terribly pleasant, if you have gas that has a really bad odor, then it may be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you need to pass gas right after you eat dairy products, this can indicate that your body is having difficulty breaking down the lactose. Most people have lactose intolerance at some level.

What is less common is that really smelly gas can indicate that you have a chronic health issue. This could be irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, or an infection. There are also other health issues that might pertain.

Scentless Gas

Gas that doesn’t have a scent to it is entirely healthy and normal. This gas might come from air that has been swallowed earlier. This kind of gas is similar to a burp. It merely exits the body in a different direction.

Frequent Gas

There is really no problem with frequent farting. Most people will pass gas about 20 times each day. However, the bloating that accompanies the gas may be uncomfortable or even painful.

People on a vegan diet may have more gas than those who keep to a standard diet. This is partially the case because of the carbohydrate-rich diet that vegans eat. Also, a lot of vegetables are sulfuric. Garlic and onions are particularly this way.

Frequent gas that comes along with discomfort, bloating, or a very bad smell may indicate a food allergy. If you notice that you pass gas more frequently after eating foods that have wheat in them or dairy, then you may want to have a doctor test you for a food allergy.

Myths about Gas

Holding in gas is not harmful to your body. However, it might cause you some discomfort. When you hold in your gas, it will not make it go away. You are better off going to the bathroom and letting it go.

There is also no health difference between loud farts and quiet ones. The loudness of a fart has a lot to do with the position that your body is in when you make it.

With respect to differences between the sexes, it is normal for women to pass gas just as frequently as men do. The only difference between men and women is the social stigma that goes along with passing gas.

A Surprising Truth

A compound within gas, hydrogen sulfide, can actually be good for your health. This comes to you when you smell the scent. A study was conducted where researchers determined that inhaling small amounts of the compound provides some protection from damage of cell mitochondria and cancer. The mitochondria is known as the “powerhouse” of the cell. Preventing mitochondrial damage is important for treatment of conditions such as stroke, heart failure, and diabetes. Mitochondria determine whether cells live or die and regulate inflammation.

Treating Gas

If your gas pain is caused by an underlying health issue, then treating that issue will help the problem. Besides that, you can treat your gas problem with diet, lifestyle modifications, and over-the counter medications.

The following dietary changes will help reduce the amount of gas you have and also help the gas move more quickly through your system:

  • – Identify problem foods.
  • – Reduce your consumption of fried and fatty foods.
  • – Temporarily cut back on high-fiber foods.
  • – Cut back on fiber supplements.
  • – Reduce your intake of dairy products.

Over-the-counter Remedies

Consider using:

  • – Beano
  • – Lactase supplements
  • – Simethicone
  • – Activated charcoal

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

  • – Try smaller portions of food.
  • – Eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and don’t gulp.
  • – Avoid chewing gum, sucking on hard candies, and drinking through a straw.
  • – Check your dentures.
  • – Stop smoking.
  • – Exercise regularly.

Burping and Your Health

Belching is the act of expelling air from the stomach through your mouth. It generally happens when the stomach expands because of too much swallowed air. You burp to reduce the distention of the stomach.

What Causes Burping?

Burping happens when your stomach gets filled with swallowed air. There are several reasons for this occurrence:

  • – Eating or drinking too rapidly
  • – Drinking drinks that are carbonated
  • – Anxiety

Babies and young children can swallow a lot of air without being conscious of it. Mothers burp their babies after they drink breast milk or formula to get rid of the air that they swallowed while drinking.

A person can burp even when the stomach is not full of air. This happens primarily because the burping has become a habit for reducing discomfort. The truth is that burping will only relieve the discomfort associated with swallowing air.


Aerophagia is when you swallow air. This can happen when:

  • – You eat and talk at the same time.
  • – You chew gum.
  • – You suck on hard candy.
  • – You drink with a straw
  • – You smoke.
  • – You wear poorly fitted dentures.
  • – You have anxiety.
  • – You hyperventilate.
  • – You breathe through your nose


Some foods and drinks cause more burping. These include:

  • – Beans
  • – Broccoli
  • – Peas
  • – Onions
  • – Bananas
  • – Raisins


Some medications may lead to burping or the problems that cause burping. These include:

  • – A diabetes medicine called acarbose
  • – Laxatives
  • – Some pain medications


Some medical conditions have belching as a symptom. These include:

  • – Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • – Gastroparesis
  • – Gastritis
  • – Peptic ulcers
  • – Lactose intolerance
  • – Fructose or sorbitol malabsorption
  • – Helicobacter pylon
  • – Celiac disease
  • – Dumping syndrome
  • – Pancreatic insufficiency

Burping usually is not any cause for alarm. If it is frequent or excessive, then it may signal a problem. If your stomach has been distended for a long time and burping doesn’t relieve it, then seek medical attention. This is particularly the case if the pain is severe.

Treating Belching

Normal belching does not require any treatment. If the belching becomes excessive, then you will need to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause of the problem.

If you find that you are burping excessively, then lying on your side may help the issue. Take a knees-to-chest position.

If you find that you have a belching problem, then try to avoid:

  • – Eating and drinking quickly
  • – Drinking carbonated beverages
  • – Chewing gum

Medical Care

If you have excessive belching, then you need to speak to your doctor about it. The doctor will ask questions about your eating habits and your anxiety issues. Your doctor will give you an examination and may order tests such as abdominal x-rays or gastric emptying studies.


While passing gas and belching may be unpleasant to those around you, they usually are not the sign of any underlying problem. However, when either one of these becomes excessive, this might signal a real health problem. Farting and belching are in no way valid ways to burn calories. To even think that this would be the case seems a little bit silly.

Cheat Sheet

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HealthStatus Team

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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