Picture this: you’re sitting outside, enjoying the cool evening breeze, when all of a sudden you let out a loud buuurp. But it’s not just the normal “excuse me” burp. This was sulfur, bubbling up from the depths of heck escaping from your mouth -- what gives?!
Before we dive into everything you need to know about these foul-smelling burps, let’s get one thing clear: everyone burps!
Sure, gas of any kind can be pretty awkward, but burping is totally normal and a common experience. In fact, the average person passes gas 13 to 21 times a day.
However, if your burps happen to taste like rotten eggs or something else not-so-pleasant, it’s understandable to feel a bit confused (or concerned).
So, what are these mysterious-smelling burps, you ask?
Is Burping Normal?
Burping is a very common occurrence that happens when gas builds up in your intestinal tract. You see, your body must remove this gas either through burping or flatulence.
When you let out a loud burp, your body is releasing gas upward from your digestive tract through your mouth.
In most cases, the gas you expel is often odorless. This is because your body generally lets out gas that isn’t typically smelly, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide.
However, in other cases, the gas you let out has been mixed with a gas called hydrogen sulfide (sulfur), somewhere along the digestive tract (more on this below). This mix of gases can cause a strong smell when we burp or pass gas from the other end.
What Causes Sulfur Burps?
Sulfur burps are pretty much what the name sounds like. That is, they are burps that smell like sulfur, oftentimes described as smelling like rotten eggs.
Most burps come from swallowed air that gets trapped in the esophagus and burped back out without ever reaching your stomach. But sometimes, some of the air you swallow goes through the esophagus into your stomach, where it mixes with digestive gases -- like smelly sulfur -- before being burped back up.
These digestive gases are the source of your not-so-lovely burp odor -- a.k.a. sulfur burps.
Sulfur burps are typically pretty harmless, but if your burping becomes excessive, it could be a sign of an underlying digestive issue.
There are many different reasons why you might be experiencing incredibly strong-smelling burps, some of which include:
- You ate lots of high-sulfur foods. Most commonly, burps with a foul rotten-egg smell are due to hydrogen sulfide gas, which is naturally created when your body digests food high in sulfur. The potential culprits include proteins (eggs, meat, seafood, and dairy), veggies (like broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts), processed foods, aromatics (onions, leeks, and garlic), and drinks like wine and beer, which all contain sulfur in some form. If you happened to have lots of these on the menu recently, likely all you need to do to alleviate your nasty rotten-egg-smelling burps is to take a little bit of time off from these triggers.
- Chronic acid reflux could be the culprit. Are your stinky burps accompanied by heartburn that strikes more than, say, three to four times a week? You might have GERD, which causes the acidic contents of your stomach to rise back into your esophagus. When this happens, the gas that bacteria release as part of the digestion process enters into your esophagus, which can give your burps a particularly rotten smell. If good ol’ Pepto isn’t cutting it, you might want to get with your doctor, who can prescribe antacid medications. Once your GERD is under control, your burps should follow suit.
You loaded up on too much fiber. Granted, the vast majority of U.S. adults don’t get enough fiber, if you loaded up on too much of the stuff -- whether you just started taking a fiber supplement or began eating high-fiber cereal for breakfast -- it could be the cause of your smelly burps. Why? Well, for starters, fiber-rich foods like chia seeds, whole grains, peas, and beans can lead to excessive gassiness and strong burps in some people. If you suspect that this might be your situation, take a break and then slowly add these foods back into your diet.
Fiber has a ton of proven health benefits like improved digestion, blood sugar control, improved cholesterol, and not to mention a feeling of fullness after you eat that may help you to maintain your weight. If you’re not getting enough fiber through the foods you eat, consider Sparkle Fiber from Love Wellness. This super supplement not only helps to fuel your body with the fiber it needs to function at its best, but it also helps to remove toxins from the body for glowing skin while boosting your energy levels so you can take on your day.
- A pesky food intolerance could be to blame. If you’ve got stinky burps plus a slew of misery-making GI symptoms such as cramping, belly bloat, constipation, diarrhea, and even nausea, you could have a food intolerance. Those who have food sensitivities often can’t properly digest certain foods with gluten or lactose because they don’t have the enzymes required to break them down. If you feel you might have a food intolerance, it’s best to make an appointment with your doc so they can run the proper tests.
- You ate a heavy dinner. Rich meals high in oil, butter, and other yummy fats are yet another diet-based trigger for smelly rotten-egg burps. You see, high-fat foods tend to sit in your stomach longer, taking more time for your stomach to fully digest, which increases the likelihood that you’ll have foul-smelling belches afterward. This is due to a fermentation process -- as your food slowly makes it through your colon, bacteria in your cut eat up the sugars and starches, creating stinky gas as a byproduct.
- Your gut microbiome might be out of whack. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can also cause smelly burps. Why? Because excess bacteria produces an abundance of methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen sulfide gases in your small intestine. Usually, your small intestine is relatively low on bacteria compared to your large intestine because it’s designed specifically for nutrient absorption, but sometimes, bacterial overgrowth can occur, which causes your burps to smell pretty rotten. Thankfully, taking a great probiotic like Good Girl Probiotics from Love Wellness is all you need to bring balance back to your gut microbiome to keep sulfur burps at bay.
How To Get Rid of Sulfur Burps
Want to get rid of those pesky sulfur burps? Here are some of the best tips and tricks you can try:
- Turmeric. This popular Indian spice has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4,000 years. Among other things, Turmeric is used to reduce gas and soothe heartburn. Researchers found that people taking turmeric supplements showed statistically significant improvement in both flatulence and heartburn symptoms, which is why it’s a common spice used to combat smelly burps.
- Green tea. Green tea is powerful and has been used for many centuries due to all of its amazing health benefits. One of the most notable benefits is its ability to aid digestion while promoting overall good health. Chamomile tea is another natural remedy for gas.
- Bye Bye Bloat. If you’re struggling with sulfur burps that just won’t quit, consider Bye Bye Bloat from Love Wellness. Each capsule is packed with organic dandelion root, organic ginger, organic fenugreek, and powerful digestive enzymes to help bring order back to your gut to kick sulfur burps to the curb while also alleviating belly bloat.
A Final Word
It goes without saying that sulfur burps can be off-putting -- but thankfully, they’re rarely a sign of a serious issue.
Almost all cases of these strong burps are nothing to worry about, but if they’re driving you nuts (understandably so), you can try to get rid of them with turmeric, green tea, or with a top-notch supplement like Bye Bye Bloat to bring order back to your digestive tract.
If you experience smelly burps frequently, it could be due to your gut microbiome being out of balance, so it’d be wise to start taking a probiotic like Good Girl Probiotics.