Whether you call it gas, flatulence, or farts, passing gas is a normal part of a person’s daily bodily functioning. Typically, farts are caused by excess air that is swallowed. This can be from chewing gum, smoking, or taking in excess air while eating.
It can also be caused by eating foods like beans and broccoli. They can release extra gases that cause too much air to build up in the intestines.
Sometimes you may experience a fart that isn’t just air escaping. This is the case for a “wet” fart. The sound may have a bubbling or liquid quality to it or be accompanied by liquid stool. Wet farts can indicate an underlying medical condition.
Typically, the anus releases extra gas from the rectum without any stool releasing. However, when a person makes a wet fart, there is some kind of fluid or mucus present in the rectum that is either released with the gas or makes additional noise when the gas is passed.
There are several reasons why this could happen.
Sometimes when a person is sick from a bacteria or virus affecting their stomach, food may pass through the digestive system very quickly and come out as watery stool (diarrhea). When a person passes gas, the watery stool can cause a wet fart.
If a person eats a food that irritates their digestive tract or that can’t be absorbed by it, they may be more likely to experience a wet fart.
Examples include eating lactose-containing foods when they’re lactose intolerant. Drinking too much prune juice can also stimulate the bowels excessively.
If you’ve pooped recently and have a wet fart shortly after, this could indicate that you hadn’t fully emptied your bowels.
Medication side effects
Taking a new medication can be irritating to the digestive tract and lead to diarrhea and wet farts. However, you shouldn’t stop taking a medication without your doctor’s okay unless it causes a severe allergic (anaphylactic) reaction.
Severe stress can cause abdominal cramping, and that, in turn, can make digested food pass more quickly through the digestive tract.
Babies and children can also have problems with wet farts.
As a parent or caretaker, you may notice the child’s diaper or underwear has stains on it even if a formed stool isn’t present. This can be especially common for babies because their stools don’t start becoming more solid until their diet changes to solid foods. As a result, they’re more likely to have wet farts.
While this isn’t usually harmful to your baby, you should check their diaper after each fart to ensure the stool won’t irritate baby’s bottom.
For an older child, wet farts can be less common and so are more likely to indicate one of the conditions listed above. This can include possible infection, problems digesting certain foods, or difficulty with a new medication.
Preventing wet farts often depends on the underlying cause. If you’re having diarrhea most days of the week or frequent stomach upset, you should see your doctor.
However, there are some ways to maintain bowel regularity and reduce the likelihood that stool will be liquid, including the following.
Increase fiber intake
Slowly introducing more fiber into your diet can help to solidify stool. Examples of fiber-containing foods include:
- whole grains
Increasing your water intake while you boost fiber intake can help promote better digestion. Ideally, you will take in 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day.
Avoid foods known to cause stomach irritation
Lactose- and gluten-containing foods are two examples of foods known to cause stomach irritation. However, there are many more foods, drinks, and spices that can lead to stomach upset and that might contribute to wet farts. Keep a food diary to figure out what foods cause you digestive issues.
Talk to your doctor about digestive enzymes
Sometimes you may be able to take digestive enzymes to promote the digestion of foods known to cause stomach problems, such as lactose.
Make sure you completely empty your bowels
Sitting on your toilet an extra two to five minutes could ensure you’ve completely gone to the bathroom, making a wet fart due to retained stool less likely.
Just as there are beneficial ways to prevent wet farts, there are potentially harmful ones. For example, don’t cut back on drinking water to try to reduce the wet or watery nature of the flatulence. This isn’t an effective approach and can also leave you dehydrated.
Occasional wet farts are to be expected. They usually indicate gastrointestinal upset. But if wet farts continue to occur on a chronic basis, you should talk to your doctor about potential treatments.