The act of expelling gases from your stomach is known as burping. It’s a normal phenomenon that affects every person on the planet.
Sulfur burps, on the other hand, aren’t normal. They’re a sign that your lifestyle and/or dietary habits should change.
In this article, we’ll talk about what causes them, as well as what you can do about it.
What Are Sulfur Burps?
A sulfur burp is simply a burp that originates from sulfur-containing proteins in the stomach. The four most common ones are:
As these proteins get broken down in the stomach by sulfur-reducing microbes, they release a gas called hydrogen sulfide.
This gas can have a terrible smell. Most people describe it as smelling like rotten eggs.
In a nutshell, that’s what is causing your symptom. Below, we’ll talk about some specific strategies for getting rid of it.
Foods That Contain a Lot of Sulfur
A simple way to lessen or eliminate your symptom is to change your diet.
Specifically, you should minimize the intake of sulfur-containing foods. These include:
- Red Meats
Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, bananas, and sweet potatoes also contain sulfur.
However, we don’t recommend that you cut these from your diet. Why? Because they’re extremely healthy and aid in overall health.
Focus on removing animal-based foods from your diet and your sulfur burps should go away.
About Sulfur-Reducing Microbes
As we mentioned earlier, each of our stomachs contain millions of sulfur-reducing microbes.
As they digest sulfur-containing foods, they release hydrogen sulfide as a waste product.
This is what causes your burps to smell like rotten eggs. The two main microbes responsible for this are:
- H. Pylori: Not only can H. pylori lead to gastric ulcers, bloating, and heartburn, but it can also cause sulfur burps after meals. The best way to treat an H. pylori infection is with antibiotics.
- Giardia Lamblia: This single-celled parasite can cause foul-smelling burps, bloating, diarrhea, and more. Most people get it by consuming contaminated foods and/or water.
Be careful about consuming contaminated foods/or water. While giardiasis typically resolves on its own within a few days, the symptoms aren’t fun.
You may experience pain, fatigue, and chronic sulfur burps that won’t go away.
How to Get Rid of Sulfur Burps
Here are our top 10 tips for getting rid of sulfur burps:
- Stay Hydrated: Water is required for nearly every chemical reaction in your body. Without it, the “bad” microbes in your stomach will flourish.
- Drink Green Tea: Green tea contains various compounds that have been shown to aid in digestion and help the stomach function more efficiently.
- Get More Fiber: At a minimum, you should get getting 20-30 grams of fiber per day. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source.
- Honey and Lemon: Another way to get rid of your stinky burps is to eat lemon and honey. They can help prevent bacterial grown in the stomach.
- Brown Rice: If you currently eat a lot of white rice, replace it with brown rice. Brown rice is healthier and contains more fiber.
- Lime Juice: Another potential remedy for sulfur burps is to consume more lime juice. Drink it at least once per day for maximum results.
- Avoid Large Meals: This tip is recommended for two reasons: First, it reduces smelly burps. Second, it reduces heartburn.
- Avoid Canned Foods: Despite what you may think, canned foods aren’t “health foods”. They’re simply made for convenience. Too much can hurt digestion.
- Reduce Alcohol Intake: Alcohol consumption isn’t recommended since it A) Can lead to smelly burps, and B) Can cause liver damage.
- Chamomile Tea: This herbal remedy offers a wide range of health benefits. Drink it daily and it should help reduce or eliminate your symptom.
Remember that everyone’s body is different. A treatment option that works for you might not work for someone else (and vice versa).
Experiment with each of the ones above to see which makes your symptom go away. Chances are that at least one of them will.
Do You Have Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a condition in which the consumption of gluten causes damage to the walls of the small intestine.
It’s estimated that about 1 in 100 people worldwide are affected. In the United States, an estimated 2.5 million people are undiagnosed.
Celiac disease can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, including:
- Stomach Pain
- Weight Loss
- Lower Abdominal Pressure
Since sulfur burps relate to poor digestion, it isn’t uncommon for people with celiac disease to experience this.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s recommended that you see a doctor. A simple blood test will be enough to determine if you have celiac disease.
If you have celiac disease, then you’ll have higher levels of certain antibodies in your blood.
Experiment with the treatment options above to see if it helps your sulfur burps go away. Chances are that at least one of those will work.
The most important tip is to cut back on animal-based foods (milk, eggs, cheese, etc.).
These foods are notorious for causing burps that smell like rotten eggs (especially cheese). By cutting those out, your symptom should disappear within a few days.
If it doesn’t, you may want to schedule a visit with your doctor who will have more answers.