Sulfur burps are typical dispelling of foul gas from the oral cavity which has a strong and offensive odor like spoilt eggs. Sulfur burps are usually indicative of an indigestion or gastric disturbance, but sulfur burps can be fairly distressing and embarrassing especially in social events.
Sulfur burps may also be associated with a host of other distressing gastrointestinal complains like bloating, indigestion, retrosternal burning, retching, etc.
What Causes Burps That Smell Like Sulfur?
The causes of sulfur burps can be classified in three broad categories which include medical reasons, dietary reasons and medication reasons. Below is the list of causes that can contribute to sulfur burps,
- The most important and leading medical cause for sulfur burps includes Helicobacter pylori or H. Pylori infection, which affects the stomach mucosa and interferes with breakdown of food in the stomach. This condition is associated with other more severe conditions like peptic ulcers.
- Parasitic infestations by Giardia are another common cause of indigestion and can contribute towards sulfur burps. These parasites enter the body through oro-fecal transmission.
- Some foods can also lead to sulfur burps. In some instances, delay in digestion of a high protein diet can result in breakdown of the protein by gastric acids into hydrogen sulfide which causes a sensation of belching and can also lead to sulfur burps. Foods loaded with proteins like animal meat, legumes, pulses, etc can cause sulfur burps if consumed in excess.
- Certain medications are also associated with sulfur burps which include antibiotics and analgesics. These drugs can increase acidity in the stomach resulting in rapid breakdown of accumulated food causing sulfur burps.
Other causes include faulty dietary practices like skipping a meal, excessive smoking or consumption of alcohol, excessive intake of soda drinks or processed foods, etc.
Home Remedies For Sulfur Burps
There are certain home-remedies that can help improve digestion and prevent the recurrence of sulfur burps,
- Add a tablespoon of turmeric and raw honey to a glass of warm milk and drink about twice each day. Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties, while raw honey can help in fighting bacterial infections. Milk has a soothing effect since it is alkaline in nature and neutralizes the effect of gastric acids.
- Avoid high protein foods including red meat, legumes, cereals and pulses. Avoid aerated drinks and fermented foods. Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol. All these factors can increase the risk of gastric inflammation and in turn trigger occurrence of sulfur burps.
- Mint and herbal tea is also considered very vital in the treatment of gastric indigestion and reduces dyspepsia and formation of gas. Also natural mint has a pleasant odor and can help mask the smell of sulfur burps.
- Homeopathic drugs namely Lycopodium and Nux Vomica are considered to have a strong and potent effect on the gastric system and prevent burping. Lycopodium acts on the liver to improve the digestive process while Nux Vomica helps improve the gastric functioning and improves gastric motility. Both these drugs should be taken in low potency and be repeated at least three times a day.
Certain yoga postures like Gaumukhasana (or Cow Pose) and Virbhadrasana (or the Warrior Pose) are useful in improving gastric motility and functioning and should be practiced for about five to ten minutes each day. They help dispel gas and improve digestion.