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Does Celiac Disease Cause My Farts to Smell?

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When you have celiac disease, your immunity reacts to foods with gluten, rye, barley, or a protein found in grains like wheat. You can get very sick if you eat bread, cereal, or other foods which contain gluten when you have the disease. Celiac disease can also be the reason why your farts are smelly.

Unfortunately, when the topic of farts comes up, even the most mature adult seems to morph back into a middle-schooler. Passing gas, however, is entirely normal and a very significant indicator of good digestive health and overall well-being.

What Causes Farting?

Passing wind, which is sometimes called flatulence, farting, or passing gas, is a biological procedure that aids in releasing gas when digestion is taking place. Farting becomes very uneasy when it's loud or accompanied by a foul smell. In some cases, though, farts might be silent and not smelly. People typically pass gas an average 14 times a day as one of the everyday processes of the digestive system.

Why Do Farts Smell So Bad?

Smelly gas is not uncommon, and most people often consider this normal, but the causes of flatulence can vary. Some medications, foods, and other factors can affect the quantity and smell of gas in the digestive system. There are, however, instances that some smelly first can be an indicator that there is an underlying infection, disorder, or digestive issues.

Causes of Foul-Smelling Farts

There are multiple reasons why farts smell bad. In most cases, foul-smelling farts are associated with the food you take and an unbalanced diet. Nevertheless, rotten-smelling gas can be an indicator of a more severe problem.

Food Intolerance

If your stomach is sensitive or reacts to certain foods, then the gas you release could have a foul odor. For example, when you have lactose intolerance, your body is unable to break down the lactose. As a result, the bacteria in your gut ferment it, leading to a foul smell.

Gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease in its severe form, is the most common cause of smelly farts. It is an autoimmune sickness that has an immediate immune response to the protein gluten. This condition eventually leads to inflammation and intestinal injury combined with malabsorption, causing flatulence.

Other than bad-smelling farts, celiac disease usually causes additional symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

You should take a visit to your doctor and get tests done to know if you may be having sensitivity that makes your farts smell.


Although it is not uncommon, specific medications can be a cause of smelly farts. When you swallow antibiotics, they kill harmful pathogens in your body. Besides, they also destroy some good bacteria in the stomach, which play a significant role in digestion. Lack of these good bacteria in your gut could lead to constipation, bloating, and smelly gas release. The doctor should be able to treat this by changing your medication.

High-Fiber Foods

Most high-fiber foods make you pass gas more than often. Unfortunately, this type of food usually takes longer to break down in your digestive system, so it ferments over time.

Sometimes high-fiber foods can also be smelly, causing your farts to smell bad too. This is exceptionally common with strong-smelling vegetables like:

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  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Bok choy
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Onions

Super-smelly gas is also due to consuming sulfur-rich foods, which the digestive tract breaks down into odorous compounds known as sulfides. Americans eat a lot of two high-sulfur foods, namely are eggs and meat. If you have ever had gas that smelled like rotten eggs, it was likely from a by-product known as hydrogen sulfide.

Other foods that commonly cause sulfide-related smelly gas include dried fruits preserved with sulfur dioxide, garlic, and wines that contain sulfates.


Constipation is an indication that you have had a buildup of stool in your colon. Not passing stool regularly causes the development of odor and harmful bacteria. The result is a foul-smelling gas release, sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain. You can take over-the-counter laxatives to treat constipation as a simple home remedy.

Bacteria Buildup and Digestive Tract Infections

The stomach digests food and extracts nutrients, which are sent to the bloodstream. The waste products are sent to the large intestines or colon. When this digestive process is disrupted, it can cause an overgrowth of bacteria.

Some bacteria are the cause of infections in the digestive tract and the intestines. This causes a foul-smelling odor and a higher production of gas than usual. If you suffer from digestive tract infections most of the time, you will also have diarrhea and abdominal pain.

A doctor's visit is paramount to get an antibiotics prescription to clear the infection and restore your digestive system health.

Gut Microbiome Imbalance Like SIBO

The cause of foul-smelling gas can be a result of bacteria imbalances. This occurs to people with low bacterial diversity in their gut, which happens because of excessive use of antibiotics or diets high in animal products and low in fiber.

Another common cause is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This refers to a case of excess bacteria building up in the small intestine, affecting the absorption of nutrients and causing various digestive symptoms.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is a less common cause of smelly gas. When tumors or polyps form in the digestive system, they can lead to partial bowel obstruction, bloating, and gas buildup.

You should get checked by a doctor for a complete evaluation when you begin to experience abnormal smelling farts and discomfort. If you change your diet or medication and the symptoms remain, your doctor will determine whether a colonoscopy is warranted.

Colon cancer treatment varies depending on the stage of cancer. It could include chemotherapy to kill cancer cells or surgery to remove the polyps or tumors.

If smelly farts are a great concern to you, it is time to see your doctor to rule out celiac disease and colon cancer.

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