It’s been said (by an unknown number of laypeople) that very stinky farts mean GOOD health.
But can really foul smelling gas mean an illness?
Truth is, the only people seemingly capable of announcing that really bad smelling farts means that a person is healthy are those who have really wicked smelling farts.
It kind of gets them off the hook (or so they think) next time they let a really bad one rip.
The Link Between Stinky Gas and the State of One’s Health
“To my knowledge, such odors bear no signs of ill health,” says Morton Tavel, MD, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, and author of “Health Tips, Myths and Tricks: A Physician’s Advice.”
“Moreover, it’s unlikely that this will be subjected to future scientific analysis, since judgment of odor quality is highly subjective,” adds Dr. Tavel.
Is there really a such thing as nice smelling gas?
The passing of gas has a bad smell (except maybe to the person who’s doing it).
But let’s face it: Sometimes one’s farts reek a lot stronger or “worse” than they usually do. And why does this sometimes happen?
This is related to what a person has eaten. For instance, if you’ve eaten a food that promotes the release of gas, the odor may be a lot more evil than what you’re used to.
This may occur if you’ve eaten a food with a high amount of inulin.
Inulin is a starchy substance that the “good” bacteria in your gut likes to feed on.
And when the bacteria do this, they release gas. And this can make you pass a lot of gas — that makes anyone near you want to hold their nose.
And we all know that farts smell the worst when they are passed by someone other than yourself.
But (no pun intended) whether your health is good, decent or bad, the state of your health will not affect the smell of your gas.
Dr. Tavel’s medical research includes over 125 publications, editorials and book reviews in peer-reviewed national medical journals. He was formerly director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at St. Vincent Hospital in Indiana. mortontavel.com
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.