How to Make Gas Go Unnoticed

Learn what causes gas to smell, plus smart tips for making the odor go away.

man eating big bean burrito

Updated on September 9, 2022.

Everybody farts. Passing gas is a normal biological process, and the average person does it about one or two dozen times each day. Typically, you don’t even notice it’s happening, and most of the time, there’s no odor involved.

Most of the time.

On occasion, however, breaking wind stinks. The smell can be caused by many things, from constipation to certain illnesses to some medications. But the most common culprit is what you eat.

Foods that cause stinky gas

Some high-fiber foods release hydrogen sulfide when they’re broken down by bacteria in your gut, creating gas with a distinctive, rotten-egg scent. These eats include:

  • Eggs
  • Meat and poultry
  • Alcohol
  • Legumes, such as beans and split peas
  • Alliums, such as onions and garlic
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts 

Some of these may be healthy favorites of yours, so don't feel like you have to give them up completely. To avoid the smell, a healthcare provider (HCP) may recommend popping a probiotic pill along with the odor-producing foods. For beans, which are full of good-for-you nutrients you shouldn't pass up, soak them ahead of time, or try a little Beano. If you're already passing gas, you could just wait it out; the aroma will dissipate with time.

People with certain food intolerances or sensitivities can also develop smelly gas if they eat problematic foods. The simple solution: Avoid those items.

Tips for reducing gas

If you find that you pass gas frequently, you may need to not only avoid certain foods but change your approach to eating. Try these tips to reduce your gas in general:

  • Eat smaller meals more often. Along with fighting flatulence, frequent mini-meals can help control appetite throughout the day.
  • Pace yourself. Chew each bite of your food slowly and thoroughly. Drink at a relaxed pace. Keep your mouth closed when you eat or drink so you don’t swallow too much air, which contributes to gas. 
  • Limit gum and hard candies, don’t smoke, and be aware of loose dentures. Each of these can also lead you to swallow excess air.
  • Get moving. Regular exercise makes for better digestion since it helps usher food through your system.

If your gas is excessive, doesn’t respond to dietary changes, interrupts your daily life, or is accompanied by other symptoms, speak with an HCP. Together, you can narrow down the cause of your problem and get to work on finding the right treatment.

Article sources open article sources

Cleveland Clinic. Why Am I So Gassy? 6 Tips To Find Relief. March 28, 2022.
National Health Service (UK). Farting (flatulence). Last reviewed June 7, 2022.
American College of Gastroenterology. Belching, Bloating, and Flatulence. Accessed September 8, 2022.
Cleveland Clinic. Why Do Farts Smell and What Does That Say About Your Health? May 2, 2022.
Mayo Clinic. Belching, gas and bloating: Tips for reducing them. January 6, 2022.

More On

4 probiotic-rich foods to boost your gut health

video

4 probiotic-rich foods to boost your gut health
If you have had issues with digestion, you have probably heard of probiotics.
3 Acid Reflux Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

article

3 Acid Reflux Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore
Uncontrolled reflux could lead to more serious health conditions, such as Barrett’s esophagus or cancer.
What It's Really Like Living With Ulcerative Colitis

slideshow

What It's Really Like Living With Ulcerative Colitis
Life with UC has its struggles—and also its triumphs. Here's one patient's story.
People with IBD need to safeguard their heart health

video

People with IBD need to safeguard their heart health
If you suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, you may be at increased risk of having a heart attack or ...
How do probiotics work?

video

How do probiotics work?
Probiotics, the good bacteria that help maintain the integrity of the digestive tract, work to protect our intestinal lining and digest some nutrients...