What Causes Excessive Flatulence in the Elderly?

Passing winds are normal for everyone. Most people pass their flatulence 10 times a day.

Passing wind, gas, farting, tooting, and flatulence- these are the very common names for what happens when your digestive system passes the wind through the rectum. Most of the time, flatulence is very common.

Some people do it less whereas some people do it more. Gases inside the digestive tract such as hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide, are released as the body breaks down the food.

But flatulence depends on your diet, lifestyle, what medicines you take, and some other health issues. Older people are more likely to pass more gases for a variety of reasons that I will discuss later.

Here, in this article, I am going to cover up the causes of excessive flatulence in elderly people, and the management as well as treatment of excessive flatulence in the elderly.

Causes of Excessive Flatulence in the Elderly


Farting can be laughed about but excessive farting can be embarrassing and makes you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, elderly people experience excessive flatulence- it can be a worrying issue.

Here, I am putting together a variety of reasons that causes excessive flatulence in the elderly:

#1. Swallowing more air:

Swallowing excessive air passes through the body can lead to excessive flatulence. Senior people may swallow excessive air by drinking carbonated sodas, wearing loose dentures, or drinking or eating too fast. Chewing gum and smoking also lead to swallowing excessive gases.

#2. Lactose intolerance:

Lactose intolerance increases as we grow. This is a common issue among most elderly; but can be solved with a simple solution. As you grow older your body will make less lactase. Lactase is the enzyme that is essential for digestion of lactose.

So over time, you may experience more gases while you eat milk, cheese, and other dairy products.

#3. Dietary choices:

What food the senior’s intake can be a reason for excessive flatulence? The carbohydrates generate more gases. Some veggies that the seniors consume can increase the amount of tooting such as cabbage, beans, peas, corn, lentils, artichokes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

There are a variety of food items that increases the formation of gas in elderly people. These include whole grains, oat bran, wheat, and so on. Fruits like apples, raisins, pears, and prunes, contribute to bouts of gas.

Processed foods, junk foods, dairy products, and milk are known as triggers for flatulence. Since the body of the elderly is unable to completely absorb these foods, they pass through the intestine into the colon without being fully digested.

When these foods reach the colon they are broken down by such bacteria and during this process gases are released. This formation of gases causes flatulence. But all the food items do not cause flatulence in the elderly. Elderly people need to track the food items that cause flatulence.

# 4. Medication side effects:

Farting and bloating are the side effects of some medications. Constipation is another reason for flatulence. Especially those who are of high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Seniors having these health issues are more likely to have flatulence.

#5. High-fibre diets:

According to experts, high-fibre diets may trigger flatulence. The gas occurs in the intestine when bacteria process certain foods but these foods are not being digested by the gastrointestinal system. Then the undigested food passes into the colon through the intestine.

#6. Weakened digestive muscles:

The digestive procedure starts from your mouth when you eat, chew, and swallow the food. Then the food goes to the stomach through the oesophagus; which connects the throat and stomach. The organs of the digestive tract contain a layer of muscles that enhances the walls’ movement and flexibility.

The food that we eat transfers from one organ to another through muscle activity. In elderly people, the Walls’s muscle strength goes down so their digestive system also becomes slow down and more gas is generated.

#7. Slower metabolism:

According to experts, our metabolism slows down with age. In elderly people, the food remains for a longer period in the stomach, so more gases are generated. Thus frequent flatulence is the outcome.

Additionally, older people naturally have fewer stomach acids that are required to digest food properly.

Management and Treatment of Excessive Flatulence in the Elderly

Here are some tips that elderly people can follow to manage and treat excessive flatulence:

# Tip 1: Avoid dairy:

As an elderly, you need to remove dairy products from your diet to check if you have become lactose intolerant.

#Tip 2: Exercise:

You need to stay active for at least 30 minutes every day if possible otherwise you can do it four or five times a week. This will help you to digest the food you eat.

#Tip 3: Avoid veggies that cause gas:

You can avoid some vegetables that may cause gas including cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, and sprouts.

#Tip 4: Avoid soda:

Carbonated drinks can cause gas; so you can avoid these drinks.

#Tip 5: Eat slowly:

You need to chew your food very well. You need to eat your food slowly and carefully. Also, you need to enjoy the food.

#Tip 6: Try natural digestive aids:

Instead of taking medicine all the time, you can take mint tea or turmeric to cure the gas.

#Tip 7: Stay hydrated:

Drinking plenty of water helps you to avoid constipation. This can help your flatulence symptoms.

#Tip 8: Ask your doctor about medicines (if required):

If the situation becomes worsen, then you need to consult with your doctor if there is any need to intake medicines. Medicines can cure your constipation or bowel symptoms. Thus your flatulence can become cured slowly.


What causes excessive flatulence in the elderly?

Ans: Besides lactose intolerance and constipation; there can be some other medical issues that cause excessive flatulence in the elderly. Aged people who suffer from gastroenteritis, diabetes, heart disease, peptic ulcer, and ulcerative colitis can pass gas more frequently.

How to get rid of wind in the elderly?

Ans: as a caregiver you need to encourage elderly people to some natural remedies such as chewing slowly, don’t eat on the go, avoiding carbonated drinks, and doing regular exercise. If your loved elderly people wear dentures you need to check if they fit them properly; it will reduce wind.

When should you worry about flatulence?

Ans: You need to consult with your doctor if your flatulence is very frequent and with bad smell. You should consult with a doctor as early as possible if there are any other additional symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, and consistent abdominal pain.


Small lifestyle changes and little changes in the diet are the natural remedies that can relieve excess flatulence in elderly people. You need to identify the foods that cause gas and you should limit intaking them.

You also need to consume easily digestible carbohydrates such as rice, banana instead of a large amount of carbs that are difficult to digest. Seniors who engage themselves in exercising may experience less flatulence.