If you’re not a 13 year old, you probably don’t spend much time thinking or talking about farts!  They’re a worthwhile topic, though, because gas can tell us a lot about what’s happening (or not!) in your digestive tract.

If you’re experiencing gas after you eat, the first thing to know is: you are not fully digesting your food.  

Now admittedly, most of us are mostly focused on the pleasure we get from food.  But food is both our daily fuel, and our raw material for ongoing repairs.  If your gut’s not able to use your fuel efficiently, it’s both wasteful and alarming.  Something’s broken, or missing.

No question that gas can be embarrassing.  But what more can this unwelcome gas tell us?  Surprisingly, it can point to the type of food you’re having trouble with.  

How can we tell?  Simple: does it smell, or not?  If it’s smelly, it means you are not breaking down protein well.  Protein that’s not being efficiently assimilated is going to go bad, and it’s going to create a foul-smelling gas.  

This is a priority problem, and not just because it’s unpleasant. We depend on protein. It makes up about 20% of our bodies, and is a vital part of every cell. Protein is present in every food, not just meat and fish! So we need to be able to replenish these stores, without it rotting “on the shelf”, so to speak.

If gas is not smelly, it tells us that you have a problem breaking down carbohydrates.  That means vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, legumes — for most of us, the bulk of our diet.  

Moral of the story: if you are passing gas frequently, take it as the warning signal that it is. Think of it like an oil light on your dashboard, and don’t wait until it starts getting embarrassing!  

If the holidays have brought some digestive “oopsies” to your attention, consider it a friendly warning from your body!   Caught early, this kind of issue is relatively simple to correct, so don’t shortchange yourself.

If you have concerns about any digestive issues, you can always schedule a free 15-minute discovery call with Dr. Winters.

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