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What Causes Sulphur Burps?

By Chris Sherwood ; Updated April 18, 2017
Protein could be causing your sulfur burps.

What is a Sulfur Burp?

A sulfur burp is a dispelling of gas through your mouth that has a strong smell of sulfur or rotten eggs. This can be an embarrassing and distressing problem for those affected. These sulfur burps come from three main sources.

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Medical Reasons for Sulfur Burps

The first common, and most serious, cause of sulfur burps is an infection from Helicobacter pylori or Giardia. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that can cause serious infection and ulcers within your stomach. Giardia is a parasite that makes its home in your lower intestine and reproduces to cause serious stomach problems. The most common ways to introduce either of these infections is through unclean water sources or poor hygiene and oral-fecal transmission. Sulfur burps can be a symptom of both of these infections.

Food Reasons for Sulfur Burps

Some food may also cause sulfur burps. This is especially true in those with diets high in protein. The main culprit in food-related sulfur burps is hydrogen sulfide. If your stomach takes longer than normal to process and expel a meal high in protein, the lingering food can actually start to build up acid and cause a chemical reaction that creates hydrogen sulfide. This can also explain why someone suffering from sulfur burps may feel bloated. In these cases, the sulfur burps usually go away once the lingering protein and hydrogen sulfide is expelled.

Prescription Medications That Cause Sulfur Burps

Prescription medications may also cause sulfur burps. A quick way to find this out is to look at your prescription label, or do a quick search for your prescription online. This should give you access to a list of ingredients. If any of the ingredients include the word sulfur, that may be producing the sulfur taste and smell of your burps.

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About the Author

Chris Sherwood is a professional journalist who after years in the health administration field and writing health and wellness articles turned towards organic sustainable gardening and food education. He now owns and operates an organic-method small farm focusing his research and writing on both organic gardening methods and hydroponics.

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