With today’s fast-paced world and our ever-demanding lifestyle, people nowadays are always finding ways to improve their overall health and to avoid and treat different medical ailments that may negatively or adversely impact their quality of life. Improving their overall health will usually entail consuming healthy food items and regularly participating in sports or other physical activities. On the other hand, people who try to treat their different medical ailments or conditions may opt for a variety of different products, including those natural alternative medications, that can help them with the aforementioned medical conditions and illnesses. One such medical condition that may be worrisome to some individuals is the occurrence of sulfur burps. Burping is an altogether normal occurrence but should people be worried about sulfur burps? In this article, we will look at what causes sulfur burps and how to get rid of them.
Sulfur Burps: A Brief Overview
Burping is an occurrence that is considered normal and common. It occurs due to the build-up of gas in the individual’s intestinal tract. This gas can be expelled from the body through flatulence or passing gas and through burping. When people burp, the body expels gas moving upward which results in the said gas moving through the digestive system and finally into the individual’s mouth. The human body has been known to pass or expel gas an average of fourteen (4) and twenty-three (23) times daily.
Gas passed by the body will usually be odorless. This is due to the fact the body usually expels the kinds of gases that are in themselves odorless or without any smell. These gases include oxygen and carbon dioxide. These gases, however, can sometimes mix in with other gases such as sulfur within the digestive tract. This can result in the strong stench we associate with farts and sometimes burps.
Burps that smell like rotten eggs or sulfur are usually nothing to worry about but frequent burps with sulfur or rotten egg smell may be a symptom of some other underlying condition. These frequent sulfur burps can be caused by a number of different or varied reasons and may include underlying health conditions, habits or behaviors, and food or eating habits.
What are some of the Causes of Sulfur Burps?
Sulfur burps cannot be associated with any single major factor as there may be a number of different reasons why we burp. It is a natural and normal occurrence in the life of a person and maybe experienced by different people in different frequencies and intensities. Frequent burping may also be caused by underlying health or medical condition. Burping that is linked to certain behaviors may primarily be the result of taking in too much air. Too much air can be swallowed by individuals due to the following reasons:
- Having dentures that are loose
- Sucking on candies that are hard
- Chewing bubble gum
- Drinking beverages using a straw
- Excessive eating
- Drinking beverages that are carbonated
- Talking while eating
- Eating too quickly
Certain food items and gases can also add to the gas present in the individual’s body. Individuals will note that they are sensitive to certain food items if they do start burping with a strong smell. Enumerated below are some of the food items that may lead to the production of excess gas:
- Onions and garlic
- Foods that are high in fiber
- Certain vegetables such as cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli
- Drinks and foods that contain lactose
- Foods that are high in fat content
- Foods that are fried
As stated earlier, sulfur burps may also be the result of underlying health conditions or certain medications taken by the patient which can lead the body to produce excess gas. These health conditions are:
- Infections such as giardia infection
- Peptic ulcer
- Gastrointestinal reflux disease or GERD
Do Patients Need to Consult with a Doctor?
Passing gas and burping are both natural and common occurrences. There may be other symptoms that are linked to having excess gas which include abdominal pain, the feeling of being bloated, and flatulence. These other symptoms along with burping should not be a major cause of concern for the patient and neither should they warrant a visit to the doctor. That is unless they start to interfere with the person’s daily routine and if they are already adversely affecting the individual’s quality of life.
Patients are advised to seek medical attention if they suspect that their sulfur burps are caused by some other underlying health issue and if they are accompanied by certain other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, weight loss, and pain in the digestive tract and the chest. All these symptoms may point to the possibility of having a serious underlying health condition.
Sulfur Burps: How to Treat Them?
The treatment for sulfur burps will depend largely on what is causing them and may require some very simple modifications from the patient’s side. This may include avoiding certain food items and limiting or avoiding behaviors that may result in excess air being swallowed.
People can remove the intake of certain food items that can result in excess gas. These can change from one patient to another so it is important that the body’s response is monitored to certain foods as it may provide valuable insight to patient’s specific food sensitivities. Behaviors or habits that can result in excess air being swallowed should also be avoided. These include excessive eating, talking while eating, eating too fast, cigarette smoking, sucking on hard candies or sweets, and chewing gum.
Evidence also suggests that regular exercise can also help the body in preventing GI or gastrointestinal problems and excessive burping. Patients can also take certain medications to alleviate the symptoms of sulfur burpings and these include probiotics, simethicone, alpha-galactosidase products, bismuth-subsalicylate products, enzyme lactase products, and antacids.
The patient’s medical partner or professional will help determine if the individual needs to take prescription medicine for their sulfur burps. Burping caused by certain bacteria may be treated with an antibiotic prescription.