Why Do Your Burps Smell Like Rotten Eggs? Common Causes And When To See A Doctor About Them

Date September 14, 2018 14:02

Although burps are unpleasant, they are usually nothing to worry about. Everyone burps occasionally. Regular burps have no smell – they’re just odorless gas, such as carbon dioxide or oxygen, escaping your digestive tract. But if burps smell like sulfur (these are also called “rotten egg burps”), should you be concerned?

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What causes burps to smell like sulfur?

Many things can cause your burps to smell like sulfur. Most of the time, sulfur burps are caused by eating too much of certain foods or by eating habits. Less often, sulfur burps may be caused by medical conditions. So, here’s what contributes to sulfur burps:

Certain foods

Eating sulfur-rich foods in large amounts can cause your burps to smell like sulfur. These foods include cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, protein-rich nuts and legumes, garlic, and onion.

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Habits and eating behaviors

Eating large meals infrequently and overeating can cause hydrogen sulfide to accumulate in the digestive tract and lead to burps.

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Medical conditions and medicines

Sulfur burps may be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, giardiasis (a parasitic infection), gastroparesis, liver disorders, and gallbladder disorders. Certain medicines may also cause sulfur burps.

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When to see a doctor about sulfur burps

Occasional burping is normal, but you should see your doctor if it's too frequent and/or it’s accompanied by digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Other accompanying symptoms that should set off alarm bells include chest pain, weight loss, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

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How to reduce sulfur burps and burping in general

To reduce burping, the following may help:

  1. Limit foods that cause too much gas to accumulate in the body. Also, check if you have an intolerance or sensitivity to any of the foods you eat.
  2. Change your eating habits. Eat smaller portions, chew thoroughly and slowly, and don’t talk while eating.
  3. Get regular exercise – it’s beneficial for your digestion in general and may reduce burping.
  4. Natural remedies such as peppermint tea, green tea, and lemon with honey may help reduce sulfur burps.

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If you have any concerns about burping or any additional symptoms, please talk to your doctor.

Source: HealthLine, Doctors Health Press

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.