Foul smelling gas?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 3/18/2012 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I need some help here. I was speedreading an article a few days ago about the amino acid ornithine from 1999 that was blah blah, just casual amino acid hooplah to stay fresh.

What sparked my interest was a bit of info in this magazine I came across today that blew me out of the water. You know when that little lightbulb goes off over your head? I started putting two and two together and I'm kinda onto something here.. no joke.

Here's where I need ya'lls help and please don't be shy, this is big boy stuff here and you know I don't BS if any of you have read anything I've written.

From the experiences of those of you who have enter/exited flares have any of you noticed smelly (rotten egg, decayed flesh, etc) gas during an onset or exit of flare? This is all about putrescine and cadaverine at the moment.

For me over the years I have always noticed when a flare is about to hit I get rotten gas for a couple days. If I couldn't manage it and it turned into a flare, the gas was usually accompanied by loose BMs for a few more days. As the flare continued, the gas smell dissipated and was replaced by frequent and urgent loose BMs. It wasn't until I began to exit the flare and form mushies the gas returned and replaced the BMs. As I began to form solids and the BMs became less frequent the gas smell went away again and into remission I went.

Can any of you here relate to any of this or have had any deviations of this process?

Thank you guys and gals in advance.
35 yrs old, had this thing since 95 blah blah I hate it
in remission -I know what I'm doing, college grad, researcher, more blah blah
Been away for awhile and didn't die yet, now stronger faster bigger smarter
Coconut Oil, Tons of multi-strain Probiotic Yogurt, lactose n fatfree protein shakes, Metamucil, Hi Glycemic sugars, raw foods, AAKG, oysters, MCTs, wanna know more? just ask

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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 723
   Posted 3/18/2012 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I must confess that foul-smelling gas has definitely been a factor since my DX 6 years ago.   And yeah, more intense during flare-ups which is most of the time.
I'm sorry I can't shed more light or offer any advice on the subject ucwarrior, but the general consensus amongst the medical/scientific community and indeed patients, is that in short UC is considered a gassy disease.
As for your putrescine and cadaverine observations, given that an inflamed colon is riddled with mainly undigested rotten decayed organic matter with sloughed-off flesh, it's easy to join the dots when it comes to figuring out that a bad smell will be ensuing.
69m Dx'd may'06 (prob had since'04)
150mg azathioprine-stopped jul28-11
.05mg Lorazapan nightly to help sleep
on and off pred last 5 yrs
started 25mg MTX/folic acid Oct'11-stopped after 3 mo.
started 15mg pred mar4'12
1st infsn. Remicade mar8'12
2000mg vit D daily
800mg calcium daily
Slip. elm daily
Psyllium seed and/or metamucil/benfiber daily

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 3/18/2012 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your response Mackster. I know alot of people don't like talking about this subject but it's for science. I'm trying to figure out how common it is and how much of a role it plays during onset and exit of flares. Could be a cause, not an effect. Idk.

Everyone wants a better understanding of this disease and its friends like you that help me do my thing. Thank you. This is everyone's chance to contribute a bit to assist some real science. I'm assimilating alot of good information from reading posts from everyone here.

Its a bit more complicated than just observing the gas and connecting dots my friend. Sheesh, give me some cred here.. I'm a biochemist not an observer.. Lol

I know this is probably a bunch of blah blah right now but this is where I'm at so far: (I promise I will make sense of it at some point, I just need to do some thinking for awhile)

A limiting step in polyamine synthesis/utilization is production of putrescine from ornithine. That all makes sense, but here's where it gets tricky.. This reaction is catalyzed by ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) yet inhibited by difluoromethylornithine. ODC levels are skyrocketed when stress levels are increased. With that mouthful said, bacteria in the intestines produce large amounts of said polyamines. Polyamines are majorly responsible for the repair of ulcers in the mucosa..

Anyone see where I'm going with this yet? Hopefully it is tying in stress and bacterial imbalance. I'll try and clear it all up and make a better model of it all at some point when I can clear it all up in MY head first. haha. Alot of open-ended questions that need to be answered.

I'm not stupid my friends, I know what I'm talking about and this is real deal stuff. Call me crazy, but hopefully it will take a crazy guy like me to hit this moving target someday.
35 yrs old, had this thing since 95 blah blah I hate it
in remission -I know what I'm doing, college grad, researcher, more blah blah
Been away for awhile and didn't die yet, now stronger faster bigger smarter
Coconut Oil, Tons of multi-strain Probiotic Yogurt, lactose n fatfree protein shakes, Metamucil, Hi Glycemic sugars, raw foods, AAKG, oysters, MCTs, wanna know more? just ask

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 12295
   Posted 3/18/2012 10:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel that the worse the odor, the worse the inflammation. Not necessarly gas related, but when I am flaring, don't use the bathroom after me! I had really bad odor a few times recently unrelated to a flare up so you shouldn't always think bad odor equals flare. I used to think like that and it made me a crazy worrier. My fiance jokes with me that mine smell like dirty diapers. He tends to go in the rotten egg direction. haha. My dogs ALWAYS have rotten egg smell when they have gas.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: Asacol (2800mg) + 6mp (25mg) + Pristiq (50mg) + prilosec (40mg) +Canasa (1g PM) + cerazette

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 3/19/2012 12:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your reply. I hear ya on the don't use the bathroom after me when flaring. Actually everyone knows not to use the bathroom after me even when not flaring. LOL. Strangely my dog has the same problem with gas. So does the cat, especially when company comes over. I'm sure they both secretly hate me after years of falsely being accused of gas issues and being ousted from the room. Not sure if anyone still buys it but it still gets a laugh. and so far from what I'm thinking you may not be all that far off with the increased intensity correlating to increased severity of the flare.

Its the odor that I'm paying attention to right now. It seems putrescine may be the indicator, or even the cause, of a biochemical imbalance.

Here's what I have so far (sorry about the lack of spacing, I'm just going to let it flow)

ODC levels are increased from stress, the more stress the higher the levels. That equals more putrescine made from ornithine (stinky). The main enzyme involved in polyamine regulation is ODC. Increased ODC levels from the stress possibly downregulates polyamine levels. This has the potential to affect bacterial populations as they are large producers of polyamines. Bacterial imbalance is created as the body tries to regulate the production of these polyamines so certain bacterial populations could be targeted if the body sees them as threat to this critical polyamine balance. This trigger could shift the microflora balance around so the bacteria that produce less polyamines are allowed to survive. This can be a major cause of food intolerance and could possibly allow for bad bacterial populations to increase temporarily, thus weakening the mucosa of the colon. This could be one of the reasons why we respond so favorably to probiotic supplements. While damage-repairing polyamines are being held in check, the mucosal lining is not being replenished fast enough.. thus creating bleeding ulcerations. The body's immune system now sees this as a threat and begins attacking the bacteriod infections caused in the perforation of the mucosal lining of the intestine (possibly naturally present B.Fragilis, or even some friendlies, and could be why pathogen testing comes up negative and why pus and mucus are found in stools). That could be why anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs work so well (polyamines affect gene expression) and why UC is thought of as an autoimmune disorder. The worse the mucosal lining gets, the more colon is affected. As these drugs hold the immune system in check (somewhat), the body is able to naturally resume its polyamine balance and begin healing. The genetic/hereditary component could be attributed to a genetic defect in the ability of the body to resume its polyamine balance correctly.

Thats my hypothesis so far. Its a bit out there right now and in raw form but agree with it or not, I managed to tie it all together with some hard science. Ugh, brain hurts now.
35 yrs old, had this thing since 95 blah blah I hate it
in remission -I know what I'm doing, college grad, researcher, more blah blah
Been away for awhile and didn't die yet, now stronger faster bigger smarter
Coconut Oil, Tons of multi-strain Probiotic Yogurt, lactose n fatfree protein shakes, Metamucil, Hi Glycemic sugars, raw foods, AAKG, oysters, MCTs, wanna know more? just ask

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2172
   Posted 3/19/2012 4:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I honestly never thought this deep. I always thought its microbial flora that gets messed up during the flare resulting in fermentation of left over/unprocessed food resulting in tooting and this smelly outbursts.

Your theory is plausible. What do you hypothesize will happen if we starve a subject (not in flare) of Ornithine? There is no substrate for the enzyme to act on so essentially polyamine production should reduce and it will/should result in flare like symptoms, at least gas in part. For mucosal lining effect, colonoscopy is needed.
other way, figure out what those polyamines are exactly and find a way to deliver them to the site of inflammation, say using enema and it should help controlling inflammation.

Interesting and I am impressed that you dug so deep.
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC at the age of 30.
Currently on,
Colazal 9 daily, Imuran, 200mg daily, Vit. B12, 1mg, Multivitamin, 1 tablet daily, Fish oil 2400mg daily, Vit D 2000 IU daily.

Verapamil 240mg for migraine, Migraine episode now at least twice a month,
Ibuprofen 400mg is the only solution (but leads to bleeding). Looking for alternatives.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 3/19/2012 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Thx my friend.. I welcome any and all input you have because I need brains like yours on this as well. Just from what I have read from you so far I respect your mind. Thank you my friend for going 20000 leagues under the sea with ole Capt Nemo here. Help me put some of these pieces together I'm missing in this puzzle.

I'll be honest I had to reread this hypothesis a few times myself this morning and I only got a couple hours of sleep last night. LOL, it was a bit in the deep end. Work is gonna be rough today.

It appears I completely destroyed the living room last night in my frenzy. Papers, printouts, magazines, open books, I actually managed to dig out my cellmol and biochem books from college. Lol. Not even going to get into what the computer zone looks like I'm sitting amongst..

I think I have a better chance of convincing you guys here I'm not crazy than my own family sometimes. LOL. They understand how I get.. I just hope I don't end up like that guy from A Beautiful mind movie and wake up one day in a mental hospital with my family sitting around me with loving concerned faces. A doc will walk in carrying a bunch of my assorted papers with gibberish, stick figures and smiley faces.. a testament to my "research." LOL.

I'm running low on time right now to get into anything and I'm going to attempt to pull this living room together quick before I get the "he's at it again speech". I need to do some thinking..

Thank you all so far.
35 yrs old, had this thing since 95 blah blah I hate it
in remission -I know what I'm doing, college grad, researcher, more blah blah
Been away for awhile and didn't die yet, now stronger faster bigger smarter
Coconut Oil, Tons of multi-strain Probiotic Yogurt, lactose n fatfree protein shakes, Metamucil, Hi Glycemic sugars, raw foods, AAKG, oysters, MCTs, wanna know more? just ask

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 412
   Posted 3/19/2012 7:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I want to add to your hypothesis- I have only flared twice in my life, onset and now (about 15 years apart).
Both times, prior to obvious symptoms, I had gas. Both times it was the EXACT same smell. I knew right
away (recently) I was about to flare. Went to the Dr, no symptoms-no treatment. I went into a full on flare
with obvious symptoms (it took about 6 wks from smell to symptoms) then I got taken seriously.

The sense of smell is the sense that is the most connected to memory (good or bad). My Dr thought I was insane
I cannot thank you enough-

50 mg zoloft
Asacol 400mg 2 tablets 4x a day
1 Canasa suppository
Prednisone 40mg daily beginning of November, taper ended January 3, flare
Began Entocort 3- 3 mg 1/9, blood on paper 1/27
Began Prednisone 40 mg 2/18 with Entocort 3- 3mg caps and a hydrocortisone enema nightly

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 4686
   Posted 3/19/2012 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
What you posit is very interesting.
I've noticed that when I eat the wrong things: gluten, dairy, wheat - that's when I get the noxious, cadaverous gas.
And based on your postulate, it makes sense since your gut is unable to digest those food intolerances...creating stress... and thus a vicious cycle is borne?

Dx - UC 09/2010.Tried various Mesalamine enemas/suppos/pills with Prednisone for several rounds without any help.PaleoDiet of proteins,veggies,salads, fruits, & protein shakes w/almond milk, Liquid Minerals& Vitamins,Maca powder,L-Glutamine 15g, D-Ribose 5g,L-ArgEthylEster,chia seeds,VSL#3,K2,VIt. D3 100,000 IU every 10 days.Transdermal LDN put me remission!

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/2/2015 3:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I have noticed the same thing.

about 1-2 weeks before every flare I've had, my gas changes it's smell into a very foul egg/sulfer scent. It is unlike any other smell I produce. I always thought this was strange and clearly some indicator that some type of bacterial imbalance might be occurring in the gut. As the flare ends, the scent goes away with it.

How is your research going? More needs to be done to learn why UC occurs instead of just producing drugs that mask the problem. I've had UC now for 12 years and they are as clueless today as they were back then.

Old Mike
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3208
   Posted 4/2/2015 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Rotten egg smell, sulfur smell, probably do to increased SRB's.
Not enough sulfur detox going on in the colon.
To much sulfatase from bacteria in general,possibly,attacking the sulfur amino acids in the mucus,
and other proteins.
To much taurine conjugated bile, generating excess Bilophila wadsworthia.

Before my son got his first attack, he could clear a room for 15 minutes, bad sulfur smell.
I don't have much smell anymore, unlike my wife, who has what I would call healthy poo smell.
My son says americans don't know what healthy poo should smell like.
Speaking for myself I have not been able to find a aboriginal person to check poo smell.

Just noticed this is an old thread.

Old Mike

Post Edited (Old Mike) : 4/2/2015 3:19:29 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 578
   Posted 4/2/2015 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
It's amazing how noxious the smell can be. Mine's pretty smelly even when not flaring. However, one thing that's helped me with that is four tablespoons of potato starch every day. My poop and gas smells completely normal now. I love it!

I do think this resistant starch is helping me overall but I'd take it even if the only benefit was reduced smell. It took only a few days for me to smell the difference. If I reduce my potato starch or miss a day, the smell starts getting worse.
F, mid-40s. Diagnosed early 30's. Grandfather and 1st cousin also had UC.

Daily: 3 grams Doctor's Best Curcumin (6 g while flaring), 4 TBSP resistant starch (potato starch), vit D, folic acid, other B vits, Wellbutrin 450 mg/day, Prevacid 2x/day, Olympian Labs 400 mg grape seed extract 2x/day, Align, Culturelle, 5 oz of yogurt.

Can't tolerate 5-ASAs, Remicade, or psyllium seed powder

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/3/2015 6:53 AM (GMT -6)   

I've been lurking for over a year since my wife contracted UC in 2014. A colonoscopy showed minimal inflammation in her lower colon. The cramping's gone, but the mild bloating remains. She's a Thai national incidentally, 35 years old, medium build and weight, physically active and consumes a healthy diet.

Her symptoms are exactly the same. These occasional smelly farts DO precede a flair and I guess I didn't make the connection before. Her food choices are generally the same; fish, vegetables, fruit, rice... and that's it. I can't tell y'all enough how close to the edge of the bed I need to be just to keep my nose away from these suffocating toxic fumes. I'd go far enough to say her gas is flammable. It only occurs during the span of about 24 to 36 hours, then afterwards it subsides followed by sudden urges to rush to the nearest toilet five or six times daily. The crushed pink Prednisone enemas clears things up rather quickly after that.

"Perhaps it was something she ate." I'd think, yet never tends to deviates from her strict food regimen. We're trying different things: yogurt with live bacteria in it, Thai tree bark juice for now. We're not even sure if that or the Salofalk is even working. I guess we'll know with further experimentation.

* She's currently taking 750mg Salofalk (250mg x 3), Vitamin D 2000ui, Magnesium supplements.
* Crushed Prednisone enemas whenever needed.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 4/4/2015 7:40 PM (GMT -6)   
why yes, before I got diagnosed i had INSANE gas problems like ridiculous and then i was diagnosed but your right too sometimes when i feel im coming out of a flare i also will be extra gassy, so weird. I feel like im always gassy though flare or no flare lol
26 female diagnosed dec 2012
been in and out of flare the past 2 years (aug 2013 till now), currently on no drugs since suppos started to react badly too and still experiencing mucous- longest point of remission maybe a month?
SCD strict diet, vitamins galore, acupuncture, vitamin e enemas

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 4/6/2015 6:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I have the same issue as most of the posters.. for a couple of days ahead of the flare I get the sulphurous smelling gas... it is disgusting and does smell like something died. My flares are now so painful that I have to go on prednisone almost immediately so the gas goes away in a few days.

suffering succatash
New Member

Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/6/2015 1:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so excited to have found you. I thought i was the only one suffering with these smells. It started last week. I had a very rotten smell witha a lot of gas and then the flare. I currently take lomotil and welchol. Together they work. However because of a delay in my refill i was a week late in getting them. Because of the stress of fighting with my drs. Office and the fear of going in to flare-up i went into flare-up. I never put the 2 together until now. Question. Did anyone else have to quit work because of your UC? I had no choice but to quit. After several explosions at work my boss sat me down and advised me me to quit.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/6/2015 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I get nasty gas too, but it seems to be less of a problem as long as I don't have Red meat, eggs or other foods that break down into a lot of gas.
I think it's awful that your boss made you quit. Honestly having to quit or being fired from jobs because of my UC is one of my biggest fears for my future life with this condition.
21 M, left side colitis diagnosed in summer 2014.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 7/6/2015 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
SufferingSuccatash: don't know where you live but having to quit because of a few explosions is just not on. You should not be victimised due to an illness ... Really not one to accept in my view. It will be depressing to hear if others say they've been pressurised into leaving. 😞
Diagnosed: January 2000
Drugs: currently Azathioprine 150mg (Imuran) [14yrs], Humira, B12, Clexane, vitamin D3.
Previous drugs: been through the sweet shop
Bonus probs thanks to Crohns: osteoporosis and blood clots
Age: 49 (but feel over 80 when ill)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 993
   Posted 7/6/2015 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I think that stinks ( no pun intended)
It's horrible to lose your job because of UC
And I also noticed before I got really sick that my farts were horrific and lingering
20 year old female
Diagnosed with severe uc on 4/27/15
Prilosec 40mg
Medrol 12 mg ( tapering it)
Imuran 50 mg
Low residue diet (hopefully temporary)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/6/2015 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I think I have experienced the same ucwarrior, foul smelling gas on the onset which disappeared during the flare. I thought the bacteria that produced the gas just died off during the flare.

New Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/23/2015 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I experience this as well - very foul gas while entering and exiting a flare but not much gas or smell during a flare.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 8/27/2015 5:43 PM (GMT -6)   
This hypothesis has merit. Anecdotally, I have produced seriously foul flatus at the beginning phases of the flares I have experienced.

If you ask my wife, she'd tell you that was true long before I was diagnosed.

I walked into a bathroom at work today and felt like I stumbled headlong into a forcefield of stench, and I swear I could taste it as much as I could smell it. This was a tremendously severe assault on my olfactory system. What's interesting is the culprit, who I know, has no GI disease that he has ever discussed with me. I know this because I've spoken about my UC with him.

Now, of course it's possible he does have a GI disorder and chose not to share that information with me. However, I've been subjected to similarly horrendous olfactory assaults by other people.

The moral of this story is that while anecdotal evidence supports the contention that smelly flatus=UC flare, controlled experiments are required to make a definitive causal link.
Male, 40-something
Ulcerative proctitis (2012)
Asacol 800
Salofalk supp once daily
Grape seed extract
Multivitamin and Vitamin D
VSL-3 (good results, stopped, no difference)
Metamucil twice daily

Ari Bema
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 8/31/2015 4:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I have the same experience as warten, UCfishD, suffering succatash, talliecat, McCool and Carlie. Evil smelling gas a few days before serious symptoms of a flare appear. In fact, this smell is my 'Oh crap!' trigger when alarm bells start to go off. As for causes, I suppose this odor occurs because your microbial flora (your gut bacteria) have gone out of balance - the good guys are getting massacred and the bad guys are taking over (I suppose).
Diagnosed May 2014 with pancolitis and anemia. Male, 59. Celiac, hypothyroid and spent several years with IBS. Flared three times in first year - each time worse than the previous. Mesalamine does nothing. Imuran is toxic for my liver. Now corticosteroid resistant. Currently in remission with Humira supplemented with Claversal and Entocord. Humira took 4 months to kick in. Taking 3g curcumin and drinking homemade kefir daily. I retreat to a low fiber diet for a few days if any symptoms appear - this seems to work for me.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 4403
   Posted 8/31/2015 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I've had terrible smelling gas since my uc diagnosis. My farts can smell like a pig copulating with a skunk in a dumpster full of dirty diapers. Mind you, not that I'm complaining at all. I'm a guy and that's very amusing to me. My DW, co-workers, and other victims would likely disagree though :-)
Moderator ulcerative colitis
John, 37, uc proctosigmoiditis in remission
Rx: Remicade 5mg/kg/8 weeks and 6MP 50mgs/day
Diet: Diet mods and supplements haven't done a thing for me
Only taxes and prednisone side effects are a certainty in life.
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