I did not learn about this in medical school
January 15, 2020 8:52 PM   Subscribe

I had the flu about a month ago. Since then, I’ve had this stupid stinking problem...

For the past month, despite no change in diet, any gas I pass is foul. I’m so tired of it; if this gas were coming from a roommate, I’d seriously be considering moving out.

The smell is the only change, so far as I can tell. Frequency and volume seem normal, and I don’t feel bloated. It’s all gas, not only after particular foods.

Living in this stink is insufferable. Help meeeeeee.
posted by ocherdraco to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Did you take any medicine like an antibiotic? Maybe not, but maybe get some probiotics and start taking them? The flu timing might be a coincidence...
posted by bluedaisy at 9:04 PM on January 15, 2020 [12 favorites]

As someone with both IBS and diverticulosis, I would also suspect that something bad has happened to some of your gut bacteria. You also may have developed a food sensitivity of some kind outside of any illness/medication; there are several foods that I can now eat to enable Noxious Amnesia Gas, should I so choose. They did not have this effect in years past.
posted by Scattercat at 9:40 PM on January 15, 2020

Any chance you were exposed to giardia? Truly horrific gas is a cardinal sign.
posted by jesourie at 10:55 PM on January 15, 2020

What exactly do you mean by the "flu"? Do you mean classic influenza or were you throwing up, vomiting?
posted by Feminazgul at 4:59 AM on January 16, 2020

All fart composition is directly due to diet and gut flora community structure. If diet is unchanged then change in gut flora has to be the proximate cause, whatever the ultimate cause may be.

Options for changing gut flora include: waiting, changing diet, fecal transplant, probiotics.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:20 AM on January 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Seconding the suggestion of a probiotic, and also saying that sometimes perimenopause can do this in the early stages.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:23 AM on January 16, 2020

Response by poster: Classic influenza, no vomiting. No drugs except some NyQuil and ibuprofen.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:43 AM on January 16, 2020

Response by poster: (And definitely no giardiasis.)
posted by ocherdraco at 5:43 AM on January 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

The type of medication had a greater influence on the gut microbiome than the number of medications. NSAIDs were particularly associated with distinct microbial populations.

—Rogers et al (2016)
Looks like ibuprofen can change the community of gut flora.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:57 AM on January 16, 2020 [6 favorites]

Yep, try a probiotic. Works for me when this happens.
posted by Automocar at 6:13 AM on January 16, 2020

Try eliminating dairy for a while. Noxious gas was the 1st sign I had of lactose intolerance.
posted by theora55 at 8:19 AM on January 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Someone close to me had bowel surgery a few years ago, and it took years for his farts to stop stinking. Probiotic yogurt did the trick but any time he ran out the problem recurred. After about four years things resolved.

So, yeah, probiotics, and a lot of them.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:21 PM on January 16, 2020

Response by poster: Well, probiotics from Trader Joe’s have done the trick, and quickly. Hooray! I’ll keep an eye out for the effects of dairy, too.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:04 AM on January 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

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