Whoopi Goldberg has a reputation for causing quite the stir by expressing her often-controversial opinions on her daytime talk show The View, but the actress-turned-TV host has recently been kicking up a stink online for a very different reason: her habit of breaking wind live on-air.
Now, after the 67-year-old sparked a frenzy among viewers with her latest gassy interruption, doctors have revealed exactly what might be causing her on-air flatulence – detailing how her diet and her struggle with sciatica could be to blame.
The actress’ co-hosts burst into laughter Wednesday as she appeared to break wind, with Whoopi seemingly confirming their suspicions when she admitted: ‘That was gas.’
But for all the laughter, millions will also sympathize with the Oscar-winner’s bouts of inopportune gas, which are commonplace, particularly as people get older.
For Whoopi in particular, who suffers from sciatica and is known to indulge in fast food, her age is just one factor which experts cite as a contributing factor.
Dr Ahmed Albusoda, a gastroenterologist at The Princess Grace Hospital in London, told DailyMail.com: ‘In general, people with sciatica are less active, which is a risk factor for constipation because there is more fermenting in the stools.
‘They also take painkillers, and a lot of those can cause constipation because they cause more fermentation and gas in the stools.’
The iconic Hollywood star was also diagnosed with sciatica in 2021, leading to her stepping away from the show for a week last summer.
Sufferers of sciatica, which affects up to 40 per cent of people at some point during their life, experience pain, weakness, numbness and tingling on their legs.
It is caused by an issue with the sciatic nerve — one of the longest in the body that runs from the buttocks down to the foot.
It is not clear whether she is still taking pain medications for the condition.
But doctors warn that these can raise the risk of flatulence because they slow movements in the bowel, leaving food more time to ferment.
This also happens with age as the muscle lining of the gut weakens, which medics say can also cause flatulence.
When people get older the anal sphincter — or exit from the intestines — may also weaken, raising the risk of uncontrolled flatulence.
As well as sciatica, the Hollywood stalwart makes no secret of her love for fatty foods.
‘Of course, we need to talk to a patient specifically,’ Dr Albusoda said.
‘[But] if she is eating a lot of junk food, or anything that has a lot of fat in it like processed foods, that can also slow down your bowel movements and cause constipation.
‘Junk food is not healthy for the bowel and may also change the population of gut bacteria.’
He added that a shift in diet towards more healthy foods and more leafy greens could also cause the bout of flatulence because it shifts bacteria in the gut.
Asked what may be causing Goldberg’s on air ‘hot air’, Dr Jessica Cording, a nutritionist in New York City, also suggested it could be linked to diet.
‘If somebody is experiencing excess amounts of gas, something that might be contributing to that is certain foods,’ she said.
‘Cruciferous vegetables, legumes, lentils that sort of thing… are known to be more gas producing.
‘Somebody who is just starting to add more fiber to their diet that can cause more gas in their bowels.
‘If they ingest a lot of air while eating — so eating very quickly — chewing gum, that can also cause you to swallow a lot of air — so more flatulence.’
She added: ‘What I would tell someone if they experience it to the point where it seems excessive or uncontrollable, I would encourage them to check in with a gastroenterologist, just in case it is anything underlying.’
Other causes of flatulence include intolerance to various foods such as any dairy products.
He said people who regularly pass gas should ensure they see a doctor, adding that they would be happy to see her at the Harley Street Clinic in London.
Goldberg’s representatives did not reply to a DailyMail.com request for comment.
Goldberg loudly passed gas on national television only Wednesday, throwing her off her talking points.
‘That was gas’, she told the audience before being greeted with bouts of laughter.
Incidents like this have become commonplace on the daytime talk show ‘The View’ in recent years, with a similar situation unfolding just weeks earlier when viewers reported hearing a flatulent-sounding noise mid-discussion.
In yet another incident in 2014, a segment on flu shots was interrupted by a loud toot that prompted Goldberg to stand up from her seat and say: ‘Excuse me! Oooh, Oooh.’
She later denied farting on air, however, saying ‘there was a sound that we had never heard before’.
There is even footage online of her farting live on air back in 2011 while filming another segment for The View, where she said: ‘I feel like I just slipped a frog out of there.’
Previous concerns have been raised over Goldberg’s diet after the Globe reported in February last year that she weighed 350lbs, calling her ‘Wobbly Whoopi’.
In late 2021 a report from Enstarz citing the National Enquirer also claimed that she was causing irritation on set because of her ‘poor diet — including dining out on frozen pizzas, takeouts and candy.
These frequent bouts of gas have left viewers across the nation wondering what is happening to the ‘The Lion King’ star.
Despite the host admitting that she had indeed experienced a moment of gas, viewers are split on whether it was a burp or a fart.
‘Ughhh!!! Spare me. Wait! Did Whoopi just pass gas?’ one person said.
Another fan agreed, saying: ‘That was gas!’
One person, however, said they believed it was a burp rather than a fart.
‘She burped. They are soooo loud and talking over each other,’ the fan wrote.
The loud gassy noise comes just weeks after the show was briefly interrupted by another noise that stopped both the hosts and the viewers in their tracks.
The noise was heard as the ladies were just beginning to discuss the classified documents found inside the home of former Vice President Mike Pence.
In a segment during the show, Goldberg is seen pointing out a puddle of water to Sara Haines, prompting Haines to move her chair which is when the noise is heard.
Goldberg is quietely heard saying ‘umm’ as Haines jumps back, saying ‘oop.’