What are Sulfur (Sulphur) Burps?
Sulfur burps occur due to accumulation of gas in the stomach and they need to be expelled to relief the discomfort. The forceful expulsion of gas sometimes makes a sound. Burp expulsions are quite embarrassing in public; it gets expelled as a loud sound with/without a sulfur smell.
It is a relatively common digestive disorder which is experienced in almost all age groups. The ‘sulfur burp’ term comes from hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas which has a typical smell of rotten eggs. Eggs are a rich source of protein. A sulfur protein digestion error produces H2S gases in the alimentary canal. In the intestines, sulfur reducing microbes metabolize the protein and produce the H2S gas. This gas expels as sulfur burps through the mouth.
Sulfur burps and diarrhea while pregnant occurs when the digestion process is delayed and gas is accumulated in the stomach and intestines.
Different home remedies are available. Medical help is required when diarrhea or vomiting happens along with sulfur burps in any person. Prolonged untreatable symptoms may turn into Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Image 2: Symptoms of Sulfur (sulphur) Burps
The rotten egg smell is common with sulfur burps and other associated symptoms are:
- Sulfur burps and stomach pain
- Sulfur burps and diarrhea
- Sulfur burps and nausea
- Sulfur burps vomiting
- Stomach spasm
- Hard stools
In untreated cases, it may cause constipation along with diarrhea; which is also the initial symptoms of IBS. [1, 2, 3, 4]
Causes of Sulfur Burps
What causes egg burps and stomach pain? Sulfur burps are common with certain infections of the GI tract, sulfur containing protein diets, prescribed medications, imbalances of intestinal bacteria and other associated diseases.
Infections in Digestive Tract
The most common infections that can cause sulfur burps are giardiasis infections and bacterial infections caused by helicobacter pylori.
Giardiasis is a parasitic water born infection and it is termed as a zoonosis parasitic infection because the infected parasites pass on from an animal to a human body. Giardiasis is caused by the transmission of zoonoses parasites from contaminated water, food items and soil.
Water, food items and soil become contaminated by stool from infected people or animals due to poor hygiene. The symptoms are nausea, vomiting, gas with sulfur burps, stomach spasms and abdominal distension.
Helicobacter Pylori Infections
Helicobacter pylori bacteria cause stomach ulcerations which are associated with gastric burning with sulfur burps. Severe stomach spasms are common when skipping meals.
Sulfur containing protein diet
When sulfur containing protein food is not digested properly or delayed digestion occurs (due to digestion disorders caused by fermentation of food) this results in hydrogen sulphide gas production and accumulation of gas in the stomach. Excess intake of sulfur containing protein diets such as red meat, eggs, milk products, peas, mustard, cabbage, onions, parsley, sweet potatoes, tomatoes or soy can cause sulfur burps.
Certain medications contain sulfur in their ingredients and that can cause sulfur burps too. Consultation with a doctor and changing the medications may resolve the problem.
Imbalance of intestinal microbes
Excess bacterial growth in the gut is caused by celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, faulty fructose absorption or lactose issues. The initial outcome of the bacterial growth in the gut wall is sulfur burps.
Other associated medical conditions
One of the symptoms of IBS is sulfur burps. Gastro-esophageal reflex disease (GERD), gall bladder stones, cholecystectomy, stress or hernias are the other associated medical conditions which can cause sulfur burps. [1, 2, 3, 4]
Sulfur Burps Cure
For treatment of moderate to severe giardiasis and H. pylori infections antibiotics are mostly prescribed. The most successful antibiotics to get rid of the giardiasis parasites are Flagyl or Tindamax. The recommendation of antibiotics depends upon patient condition, severity of the disease and the physician’s choice.
Carbonated water has carbon dioxide gas that has been dissolved by generating pressure and producing effervescent qualities. Usually carbonated water helps to expel the excess stored gas from the stomach and gives relief from indigestion.
Acid Neutralizing Agents:
Adding acetylsalicylic acid, anhydrous citric acid and sodium bicarbonate together helps to neutralize acids and gives relief associated with sulfur burps. An available brand on the market is Alka-Seltzer. Patients that use this product have given good reviews. [1, 2, 3]
Home Remedies (How to Get Rid) of Sulfur Burps
Following simple home remedies can get rid of sulfur burps:
- Proper food habits like fresh fruits and salads that contain adequate fluids, dietary fiber and sufficient water intake can help to reduce the incidence of sulfur burps.
- Avoid red meat, eggs, processed food, canned foods and fatty dairy products.
- Once a week, drink one tablespoonful of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water.
- Use coconut oil or olive oil when cooking.
- Make sure to chew your food properly to lessen the time it takes for your stomach to break the food down. Eat small meals rather than large ones.
- Before you cook beans make sure to soak them first. This will help lessen fermentation and gas.
- On an empty stomach, take a glass of lukewarm water with one teaspoonful of lemon juice, one teaspoonful of honey and a bit of turmeric powder. [1, 2, 3, 4]
- Doctor Decides, Available from: http://doctordecides.com/sulfur-burps/
- Medical Treasure, Available from: http://medicaltreasure.com/sulfur-burps/
- New Health Guide, Available from: http://www.newhealthguide.org/Egg-Burps.html
- Simple Remedies, Available from: http://www.simple-remedies.com/home-remedies/common-digestive-disorders/get-rid-of-smelly-burps.html