Reality television star Stephanie Matto allegedly made $200,000 selling her farts in a jar to fans in just a matter of weeks. But the foul-smelling business — and the diet that made it possible — came with a significant cost.
The 31-year-old self-proclaimed "fartpreneur," who debuted on "90 Day Fiancé," decided to retire from the lucrative venture recently after she wound up in the hospital experiencing shooting pain in her chest, the Daily Mail reported.
Matto reportedly thought that she was having a heart attack or stroke and believed she could face death at any moment. But after running blood tests and an EKG, doctors informed the reality star that her symptoms were not the result of cardiovascular trauma but excess gas.
To keep up with the massive demand of her business — the Connecticut resident made upwards of $50,000 a week — she started eating a steady high fiber diet of mostly beans, eggs, and banana milkshakes.
"I thought I was having a stroke and that these were my final moments," Matto reportedly told U.K. news site Jam Press. "I was overdoing it."
She recounted that leading up to her hospital visit, she consumed "three protein shakes and a huge bowl of black bean soup" within 24 hours.
"I could tell that something was not right that evening when I was lying in bed and I could feel a pressure in my stomach moving upward," she told the outlet. "It was quite hard to breathe and every time I tried to breathe in I'd feel a pinching sensation around my heart, and that, of course, made my anxiety escalate."
"I actually called my friend and asked if they could come over to drive me to the hospital because I thought I was experiencing a heart attack," she recalled.
While at the hospital, Matto said she didn't tell doctors about her business but did inform them of her strange diet, after which, she said, "It was made clear that what I was experiencing wasn't a stroke or heart attack but very intense gas pains."
"I was advised to change my diet and to take a gas suppressant medication, which has effectively ended my business," Matto acknowledged.
Matto explained that she decided to start the fart business "on a whim" after receiving requests from a few fans. But the health consequences of the business soon proved to be too significant.
She noted, "I think my family is relieved [about my retirement], and honestly so is my colon," adding, "The diet was never sustainable and there was always an expiration date."
The reality star is now apparently selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of her fart jars, according to multiple posts on her Instagram account. It's still very strange, but much less dangerous.