Fact Check

Hitler Had a Condition That Made Him Fart a Lot?

Hitler was a hypochondriac and took his personal doctor everywhere he went.

Published April 20, 2024

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Adolf Hitler had a digestive disorder that caused him to fart often.

For years, a rumor has circulated that Adolf Hitler had a digestive condition that made him pass gas often. The claim has appeared on Reddit for at least 13 years, and a post in early 2024 included details about the medical treatment he followed:

This post was upvoted 29,000 times and had received 1,500 comments, as of this writing. The rumor also spread on X (formerly Twitter) starting in 2011 (archived), and repeatedly in the years since then.

This claim is true. In a secret file made public in 2009 in England, one of Hitler's aides wrote that he had appalling table manners. The document also made a reference to his digestive disorder

Other scholarly sources have referred to his gastrointestinal problems, including a 2005 article from The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, which said it seemed to have been a lifelong condition:

By his own account, since childhood he had suffered recurrent attacks of abdominal colic alternating with diarrhoea and constipation, and what he described as "gas, clearly related to episodes of stress or crisis". The clinical features suggest spastic colon or irritable bowel syndrome but no such terms appear in records.

Hitler was also a hypochondriac, obsessed with the idea that he might die young. Because of this, he took his personal doctor everywhere he went. The doctor, Theodor Morell, reportedly used unorthodox treatments that most likely affected Hitler's mood and his ability to think rationally, especially toward the end of World War II. This has led some historians to theorize that the condition and ensuing treatment accelerated the demise of Nazi Germany, according to Daven Hiskey of the YouTube channel Highlight History

The treatment consisted in part of tablets of Mutaflor, a medicine that still exists today. The tablets are "enteric coated," which means they dissolve only once they reach the intestine, and they contain a "non-pathogenic strain of E. coli." Morell also administered pills made of atropine and strychnine known as Dr. Koster's Antigaspills.

He also gave Hitler cocaine eye and nasal drops, daily injections of methamphetamines, opioids, glucose, testosterone, estradiol (which mimics the female hormone estrogen) and steroids. The journal article includes a full list of medications Hitler received while he was in the care of Morell.

In the secret file found and published in 2009, the aide also mentioned Hitler's poor dietary habits. Quoting the aide, an article in The Daily Mail reported:

Hitler ate prodigious amounts of cake (this cake eating was responsible for a slight digestive disorder and the addition of a bay window to his already not too fortunate figure).

The dossier was supposed to have been destroyed soon after Hitler died.


'Adolf Hitler Had Poor Table Manners and Suffered Flatulence'. The Telegraph, 17 Feb. 2009, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4678840/Adolf-Hitler-had-poor-table-manners-and-suffered-flatulence.html.

Doyle, D. 'Hitler's Medical Care'. The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, no. 35, 2005, pp. 75–82, https://antville.org/static/sites/infam/files/hitlers_medical_care.pdf.

Beckers, Milan, et al. 'Berlin Bowel Bothers: Might Adolf Hitler's Gut Problems Have Been Parkinson-Related?' European Neurology, vol. 86, no. 3, July 2023, pp. 222–27. Silverchair, https://doi.org/10.1159/000530166.

Highlight History. How Hitler's Flatulence Defeated Nazi Germany. 2023. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gt6fHJ4Vw0.

Preskar, Peter. 'Adolf Hitler Farted Like a Horse'. Medium, 5 May 2021, https://short-history.com/adolf-hitler-farting-b7e27477971b.

Salkeld, Luke. 'Hitler Had Shocking Table Manners, Gorged on Cake and Suffered Flatulence, Reveals Never-before-Seen Profile'. Mail Online, 17 Feb. 2009, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1147744/Hitler-shocking-table-manners-gorged-cake-suffered-flatulence-reveals-seen-profile.html.

Zhang, Lisai, et al. 'Meteorism'. StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 2024. PubMed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430851/.

Anna Rascouët-Paz is based in Brooklyn, fluent in numerous languages and specializes in science and economic topics.