On average, we pass gas between 13 and 21 times each day, but some people fart much more—or less—than usual. This process, along with burping, or belching, is the body’s way of ridding itself of gases that build up inside us.

Often, these gases are odorless and pass unnoticed. But, sometimes, flatulence is smelly because the gases in our bodies contain sulfur.

Still, passing bad-smelling gas isn’t usually a health issue, or a crime. But when flatulence occurs excessively (and this may be different for each of us), docs caution there might be an underlying health problem such as irritable bowel syndrome, a common digestive illness that causes bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

In addition, excessive flatulence might be caused by eating gassy foods, such as broccoli or cabbage, or eating and drinking too fast.