Sulfur Burps

May 28, 2014 | 0

A burp refers to dispelling of gas through the mouth. Sulfur burps are those burps which smell like rotten eggs. It can be a very embarrassing condition for patients. Sulfur burps are usually an indication of some underlying digestive problem. A persistent case is often associated with the manufacture of hydrogen sulfide in the intestines.

Intake of excess amounts of protein-rich foods having sulfur can result in sulfur burps. Individuals who eat a lot of meat are more prone to this condition. During the normal digestive processes, good bacteria in the tract facilitates the breakdown of proteins present in consumed meats.Hydrogen sulfide gets produced during such metabolic processing of animal proteins by the intestinal bacteria. Such hydrogen sulfide gas gets removed from the body as sulfur burps. It may be noted that the production of hydrogen sulfide and its subsequent elimination as sulfur burps is directly proportional to the quantity of meat present in your daily diet.

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The process of animal proteins breakdown also involves stomach enzymes. However, whenever there is a shortage of stomach enzymes then the entire onus of metabolizing meat proteins is passed onto the intestinal bacteria. This can eventually lead to increased formation of hydrogen sulfide gas and subsequent frequent instances of sulfur burps, which may often occur along with smelly flatulence.

burping girl

Causes of sulfur burps

Some of the causes of sulfur burps and the accompanying symptoms are listed below:

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  • Gastrointestinal tract infections: When the lining of the stomach gets infected by H. pylori bacteria, then it can result in formation of ulcers as well as increased instances of foul-smelling burps. This is one of the reasons why sulfur burps are also known as ulcer burps. Sulfur burps are regarded as one of the main symptoms of ulcers in the stomach. Giardiasis is another common cause of sulfur burps. It is a type of parasitic infection that affects the small gut.
  • Different gastrointestinal diseases: Sulfur burps can also arise due to underlying presence of varied gastrointestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease, IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc. Affected individuals may additionally experience other symptoms like constipation or diarrhea, abdominal distress, and nausea. Patients with heartburn, pancreatitis, and GERD/gastro-esophageal reflux disease may also suffer from rotten eggs-like smelling burps.
  • The diet: Intake of increased quantities of protein and sulfur-abundant foods can also cause sulfur burps. Intake of foods such as red meat; eggs and poultry products; dairy items; vegetables like sweet potato, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, legumes, and onions; and fruits like avocados, bananas, and watermelon can increase the risk to development of sulfur burps. One of the most common causes of sulfur burps is the consumption of four-course meals that are full of proteins. It is important to note that excess food just tends to rot within the digestive tract. This results in excess gas production which then not only causes smelly breath, but also stinky nasty burps.
  • Gastroparesis: It is a condition characterized by slowing down of the food passage process from the stomach to the small gut. This means that food stays put in the stomach for longer periods. Such delays in clearing of the stomach can also lead to release of terrible smelling sulfur burps.
  • Food allergies: Foul smelling sulfur burps can also arise after consuming certain foods that cause allergic reactions in the body. For example, individuals with lactose intolerance will experience frequent sulfur burps all through the day after eating dairy products; especially if it is taken in excessive amounts.
  • Medications: Prolonged use of sulfur-containing drugs or sulfa medicines which are usually given as antibiotics can also increase the vulnerability to release of continuous burps with a powerful sulfur odor. Check the prescription label on any medicine that you buy. If sulfur is listed as one of the ingredients then the use of that drug is most likely to cause putrid sulfur burps.

sulfur burps pictures

Treatment of sulfur burps

Sulfur burps can be treated in the below listed ways:

  • Medicines
    • Pepto-Bismol tablets has the ability to absorb hydrogen sulfide present in the colon, thereby alleviating a case of sulfur burps. It is one of the most common drugs suggested for relief from the smelly burps.
    • Different drugs that help reduce the secretion of stomach acids can also be taken by patients.
    • Antacids can also decrease the symptoms.
    • Herbal tea
      • Have a cup of herbal tea after every meal. This will help decrease the instances of sulfur burps.
      • Patients are also advised to reduce or stop the intake of carbonated beverages.
      • Changes in the diet
        • Decrease the intake of protein-rich foods. Instead eat more high-fiber fresh foods.
        • Chocolates, cakes, pastries, and other such sugary products should be avoided till the episodes of sulfur burps completely stop.
        • Drink lots of fluids
          • Sulfur burps are usually the result of digestive problems. Drinking plenty of water and other fluids can help maintain the overall health of the digestive system and prevent the onset of abnormalities. A healthy digestive system can thus help alleviate sulfur burps.
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