Sulfur burps: what is it and how to prevent it

The human being burps or expels flatulence throughout the day. These are normal processes that do not usually indicate the presence of pathologies. However, the expelled gases can have bad odors and be very embarrassing. One of these foul gases is sulfur burps.

Belching and flatulence are caused by the accumulation of gases in the gastrointestinal tract. They are composed of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, in most cases, although they can also contain small amounts of methane, which gives them a characteristic odor.

Gases are usually produced by various causes, from the action of bacteria on food to the ingestion of air during swallowing. Sulfur burps have slightly more specific causes, so they can be prevented by taking appropriate measures.

What are sulfur burps?

Burps are gases expelled through the mouth from the upper portion of the digestive tract, which are usually odorless. This is a physiological phenomenon in most people, however, they indicate the presence of a pathology when they are very frequent.

The expulsion of gases through the mouth is evidenced in various gastrointestinal diseases. In fact, they occur in up to 48% of patients with gastroesophageal reflux. For its part, sulfur or sulfurous burps are those that smell similar to rotten eggs.

This characteristic odor is given by the presence of a gas called hydrogen sulfide, which can appear in the digestion of some foods. This situation is annoying, not only because of the noise that is difficult to hide, but because of the unpleasant stench that they give off.

Also read: Gastroesophageal reflux disease: everything you need to know

Which can be the causes?

There is no specific cause of sulfur burps, since are associated with various lifestyle factors, those that can be modified. However, they may indicate the presence of a food allergy or parasites.

The bacteria H. pylori it can be behind sulfur belching, as well as pathologies associated with gastritis.

Eating of food

Burps often have the smell of food eaten or current stomach contents. In this sense, the intake of products with high sulfur content can cause the appearance of gases with the smell of rotten eggs.

Bacteria in the mouth and gastric juices synthesize hydrogen sulfide. In this way, the gases will be expelled through the mouth if they fail to descend to the lower portion of the digestive tract.

Some of the foods that have been associated with the appearance of these sulfur burps are the following:

  • Products with high protein content.
  • Eggs
  • Whole milk.
  • Beer.
  • Some types of cheese.

For its part, fruits and vegetables can also cause it, because they are difficult to digest. Those that are high in sulfur include artichoke, broccoli, garlic, watermelon, coconuts, cabbage and onion.

You may be interested in: Foods that produce more gases

Drug consumption

All prescription drugs can cause adverse effects in some patients. Those drugs that include sulfur in their composition can trigger the appearance of sulfurous belches.

If this side effect occurs, it is important to consult your doctor and switch to an active ingredient free of sulfides. In addition, it is also possible to use therapies that neutralize the action of sulfur.

Gastrointestinal pathologies

A large group of stomach ailments can cause constant burping, some of them smelling of sulfur. Infection by Helicobacter pylori may be the trigger for the problem, as well as colonization by Giardia intestinalis.

Other illnesses, such as gastroesophageal reflux, irritable bowel disease, or food intolerance can also lead to frequent belching. However, in all these cases the smell of them will depend on what is ingested.

Prevention of sulfur burps

Sulfur burps are easy to prevent. It will only be necessary to eliminate or reduce the intake of compounds rich in sulfur. This measure will decrease the production of hydrogen sulfide by the body.

There are other lifestyle modifications that people can make to prevent burping in general, including the following:

  • Eat slowly and avoid chewing gum to reduce air intake.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption and not smoke.
  • Avoid excessive food intake and large meals.
  • Do not drink carbonated drinks and drink plenty of water instead.
  • Decrease the consumption of carbohydrates.

On the other hand, studies show that many of the burps are supragastric, so they are self-induced by people. In this sense, it is recommended to keep your mouth closed when you feel the urge to burp. In this way, the gas will descend and be eliminated by a different route.

Recommended treatments and remedies for sulfur burps

There are various compounds that people can ingest to minimize sulfur burps. However, it must be taken into account that they are not produced by a specific pathology, so these remedies may not work for everyone.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice from India with components that help in the treatment of some gastrointestinal pathologies. Studies show that the use of turmeric helps to improve the symptoms of diseases such as dyspepsia in 87% of the cases.

Green Tea

Green tea is a plant used as an infusion for more than 4000 years. It has multiple positive effects on the body, many of them similar to those provided by caffeine. It has been shown that increases the secretion of gastric juices, thus facilitating digestion of food and reduces the production of gases.

Green tea helps with digestion, so it may be helpful in reducing burping in general.

Baking soda

One of the most useful compounds in treating stomach diseases is sodium bicarbonate. Taking a tablespoon of the compound diluted in a glass of water helps balance stomach acids, thus reducing the smell of the burps produced.

Drugs

The doctor may prescribe the intake of some medications to reduce sulfur belching when it is a very common problem. In this sense, consuming alpha-galactosidase can aid digestion, while the administration of simethicone relieves bloating and decreases gas.

Sulfur burps are a preventable problem

Any person is capable of burping sulfur. This is a very common discomfort that can be prevented by making small changes in lifestyle. The most effective is to eliminate those foods that contain large amounts of sulfur.

On the other hand, if the symptom occurs regularly, it is necessary to consult a doctor, as it may indicate the presence of a disease. Many natural compounds reduce the impact and their application is safe in most patients.

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