Is excessive wind a sign of cancer?

Even though this might seem like a straightforward question, the answer isn’t quite as simple. Excessive wind can be a sign of cancer; however, it is way more likely that the cause for your unpleasant problem is a lot more harmless than that. But let’s dive into it.

What's normal and what isn't?

On average, people pass gas anywhere between 14 to 23 times per day. Anything above the 25 times mark is classed as excessive wind according to medical terminology. So if you fart more than 25 times per day, you might wonder what’s going on with your digestive system.

Is it cancer?

Although excessive flatulence can be a sign of bowel cancer it very rarely turns out to be the case. It is much more likely that your excessive wind comes from a harmless cause like swallowing too much air, food and beverages that produce gas, anxiety, or simply some side effects of getting older.

So, how do I know if it’s cancer?

If excessive passing of wind turns out to be a symptom of bowel cancer, it will rarely be the only symptom you are experiencing as it only tends to occur when the illness has already progressed. However, if your flatulence is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should make it a priority to go see your GP:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t fully empty
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or a change in the consistency of your stool

Your GP will be then able to send you for a necessary scan, usually within 2 weeks of your appointment.

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