Burp/Belch with sulfur/rotten egg smell: Causes and Treatment

Burping or belching is a normal bodily function that helps get rid of excess gas in the digestive system. Usually, burps smell and even taste like your previous meal but producing sulfur burps or rotten egg burps can be embarrassing. When particular proteins are broken down in the digestive tract, this generates hydrogen sulfide gas which is expelled from your body in the form of sulfur “egg” burps.

One does not have to eat a bunch of eggs to produce smelly burps. Some of the causes are:

  1. Poor Eating Habits. Bigger meals take a longer time to digest and end up staying in the stomach and small intestine for a longer time. This causes an accumulation of hydrogen sulfide within the gut, resulting in the expulsion of smelling gas through burping.


  1. Certain Foods. Eating meals rich in protein (red meat, poultry, dairy products, beans, eggs) and sugar can cause sulfur burps. Soft drinks are part of the list, including canned foods. Healthy foods can also cause an eggy burp. You may cut down on garlic, onion, tomato, sweet potato, coconuts, cashew nuts, peas, soy, coffee, tea, bananas and broccoli.


  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). An empty colon may cause an egg burp. IBS is a common disorder that affects the large colon and is not a severe bowel condition. Fortunately, IBS can be treated.


  1. Sulfur-filled Medication. Certain medicines containing sulfur compounds can cause smelly burps. If you experience smelly burps on newly prescribed medication, discontinue usage after speaking with your doctor.


  1. Gastrointestinal Infection, Bacteria. Bacteria help to break down and absorb food eaten. A balance of bacteria is essential to maintain good gastrointestinal health. Drinking or eating contaminated liquids or food products can lead to gas production. This can cause bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained weight loss and fatigue.

Egg or sulfur burps are not a thing to worry over and can be handled comfortably. The remedies are within reach and include:

  1. Drink Enough Fluids. Fluids will aid digestion and keep you hydrated. A glass of warm water with honey and lemon juice every morning will boost digestion, while diluting stomach contents and reducing the chances of egg bumps. It is important to reduce the amount of alcohol and carbonated soft drinks consumed. A mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda in warm water is also advised. Two glasses of green tea daily also help.


  1. Eat Right. High fiber foods like whole grains (brown rice) and fresh vegetables should be chosen over others. Reduce the consumption of meat and sugar, and consume smaller meals. Sprinkle few drops of olive oil over your food every day and consume a glass of milk mixed with apple cider vinegar, once a week.


  1. Avoid food triggers. Triggers differ from person to person. Knowing your personal smelly-burping triggers is essential to avoid the embarrassing moments. Most food triggers consist of foods with high protein content.


  1. Be Careful with Medication. Go for alternative treatments if your burping is due to medication. Antibiotics can help with burping caused by other bacterial infections. Removing the gallbladder to treat gallstones can also cure smelly burping. Gallbladder tests should be conducted to diagnose gallstones.

Although smelly burps are embarrassing, they are not a sign of any serious underlying medical condition. Where smelly burping is accompanied by long-term symptom of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and/or fever, it becomes expedient to speak to a doctor to ensure you do not suffer from a serious condition.

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