Welcome to the OutUK series looking at gay men and their health brought to you in association with the NHS website.
Each week we'll tackle a different topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We'll have features and advice on everything from relationships, sexual health, mental and physical conditions and how to stay fit. You can follow any of links provided below for more information direct from the NHS website, or view any of our Previous A to Z Features.
You should also know that OutUK has produced a special report about: Coronavirus Covid-19.

This Week - F : 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.

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, with your mouth closed

  • 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

  • do not drink too much beer, wine or fruit juice

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

Find a pharmacy

See a GP if:

  • farting is affecting your life and self help and pharmacy treatments have not worked
  • 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
  • you've had blood in your poo for 3 weeks

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.

Symptoms Possible causes
Difficulty pooing and stomach pain Constipation
Bloating, stomach pain with diarrhoea or constipation that comes and goes Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and stomach pain Coeliac disease
Diarrhoea, bloating, stomach pain, feeling sick Lactose intolerance

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.

We'll have more information and advice next week on another topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We have covered many subjects in this series and you can catch up with all of our Previous A to Z Features.

If you want to find out more about this week's subject you can visit the Original article on the NHS website. If you are worried by any aspect of your health make sure you go and see your doctor or book an appointment at your local clinic.

Photos: LightFieldStudios and one of VladOrlov, Stockcube, darak77, ajr_images or rawpixel.com.

 

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