Sulfur Burps

What are sulfur (Sulphur) burps?

Sulfur Burps occur due to accumulation of gas in stomach and need to expel to relief the discomfort.  The forceful expulsion of gas sometimes makes sound. Burps expulsion is quite embarrassing in front of public; it gets expelled as a loud sound or with sulfur smell.

Sulfur Burps

Image 1: Sulfur Burp

It is relatively common digestive disorder which is experienced in almost all age group. ‘Sulfur Burp’ term comes from Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) gas which has a typical smell of rotten egg. Egg is a rich source of protein. Sulfur protein digestion error produces H2S gas in alimentary canal. In intestine, sulfur reducing microbes metabolises the protein and produces H2S gas.  This gas expels as sulfur burps through mouth.

This condition is common with pregnancy, as during this time digestion process is delayed and may accumulate gas in stomach and intestines. Different home remedies are available to treat this condition. Medical assistance is required when it comes along with diarrhoea or vomiting. Prolong untreatable condition may turn into Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Associated Symptoms



Image 2: Symptoms of Sulfur (sulphur) Burps

Rotten egg smell is common with sulfur burps, other associated symptoms are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Stomach Spasm
  • Hard Stool along with loss motion

In untreated cases, it may cause constipation along with diarrhoea which are the initial symptoms of IBS.

Causes of Sulfur Burps

Sulfur burps are common with certain infections in digestive tract, sulfur containing proteinous diet, prescribed medication, imbalance of intestinal microbes and other associated diseases.

Infections in Digestive Tract

The two most common infections which can cause sulfur burps are giardiasis and bacterial infection- caused by Helicobacter pylori.

Giardiasis: Giardiasis is parasitic water born infection and termed as zoonose parasitic infection because the infected parasites pass on from animal to human body. Giardiasis is caused by the transmission of zoonose parasites from contaminated water and food items and soil.

Water, food items and soil contaminated by stool obtain from infected person or animals due to poor hygiene. The symptoms of this infection are nausea, vomiting, flatulence with sulfur burps, stomach spasm, abdominal distend etc.

Helicobacter pylori Infection: Helicobacter pylori bacteria cause stomach ulceration which is associated with gastric burning with sulfur burps. Severe stomach spam is common with skipping of meal.

Sulfur containing proteinous diet

Sulfur containing proteinous food is not digested properly or delayed digestion occurs due digestion disorder caused by fermentation of food and resulting in hydrogen sulphide gas production and accumulation in the stomach. Excess intake of sulfur containing proteinous diet such as red meats, eggs, milk, peas, mustard, cabbage, onions, parsley, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, soy etc. causes sulfur burps if improper digestion occurs.

Prescribed medications

Certain medications contain sulfur in their constituents and that causes sulfur burps. Consultation with doctor and changing of the prescribed medications may resolve the problem.

Imbalance of intestinal microbes

Excess bacterial growth in gut is caused due to Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and faulty fructose absorption or lactose bigotry. The initial outcome of the bacterial growth in gut wall is sulfur burps.

Other associated medical conditions

One of the primary symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome is sulfur burps. Gastero-esophegal reflex disease (GERD), gall bladder stone, cholecystectomy, stress, hernia are the other associated medical conditions which cause sulfur burps.

Treatment of Sulfur Burps

Antibiotics: For treatment of moderate to severe giardiasis and H. Pylori infection, antibiotics are mostly prescribed. The most successful antibiotics which yet discover to kill the giardiasis parasites are metronidazole and/or tinidazole. The recommendation of the antibiotic depends upon patient condition, severity of the disease and physician’s choice.

Carbonated Water: In carbonated water, carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved by generating pressure and produce effervescent. Usually carbonated water helps to expel the excess stored gas from stomach and gives relief from indigestion.

Acid Neutralizing Agent: Combination of acetylsalicylic acid, anhydrous citric acid and sodium bicarbonate helps to neutralize the acid and gives symptomatic relief associated with sulfur burps. Available brand in the market is Alka-Seltzer. Patients those who are using this product have given good reviews to this.

Medication for sulfur burps

Image 3: Medication for sulfur burps

Home Remedies for Sulfur Burps

Following simple home remedies can get rid of sulfur bumps:

  • Proper food habit such as fresh fruits and salads which contains adequate fluids and dietary fibres and sufficient water intake help to reduce the incidence of sulfur burps.
  • Avoid red meat, egg, processed canned food and fatty dairy products.
  • Once a week, drink one tablespoonful of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water.
  • In empty stomach, take a glass of lukewarm water with one teaspoonful of lemon juice and one teaspoonful of honey and a bit of turmeric powder.



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