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.

If you are concerned about flatulence you can use our online Flatulence Symptom Checker to find out what to do.

Things you can do to cut down excessive or smelly wind


  • eat smaller meals, more often
  • drink or chew food slowly, with your mouth closed
  • exercise 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

Foods that are difficult to digest include:

  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • brussel 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 wind

Speak to a pharmacist about excessive or smelly wind.

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 your nearest 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

What causes excessive or smelly wind

Excessive or smelly wind 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.

Don't self-diagnose – see a GP if you're worried about flatulence.

Symptom - Difficulty pooing
Possible cause - constipation

Symptom - Bloating, stomach pain and diarrhoea or constipation that comes and goes
Possible cause - irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Symptom - Indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and stomach pain
Possible cause - coeliac disease

Symptom - Diarrhoea, bloating, stomach pain, feeling sick
Possible cause - lactose intolerance

Excessive or smelly wind can also be a side effect of some medicines, including:

Don't stop or change your medication without speaking to your GP first.

The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website nhs.uk
Last Updated: 05/03/2024 10:43:33