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.

Check if your farting is normal

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.

Things you can do to cut down excessive or smelly farts


  • 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


  • 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

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

A pharmacist can help with excessive or smelly farts

Speak to a pharmacist about excessive or smelly farts.

They might be able to tell you:

Non-urgent advice: 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

What causes excessive or smelly farts

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.

Page last reviewed: 7 June 2022
Next review due: 7 June 2025