Sulfur burps have a foul, rotten egg smell due to the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas. This gas may be a byproduct of digestion or the result of an underlying gastrointestinal issue.

Burping, or belching, happens when air or gas from the stomach gets released through the mouth. Burps are typically harmless and people may burp up to 30 times per day.

That said, excessive or foul-smelling burps may be a sign of an underlying gastrointestinal condition that may need medical attention.

This article discusses the causes and treatments for sulfur burps, and when a person should see a doctor.

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Photo by Rafa Elias/Getty Images

Burps may simply be caused by swallowing excessive air or eating too quickly. They typically smell like the food that caused them or the current contents of the stomach.

However, a sulfur burp is accompanied by a foul, rotten egg smell, which comes from hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas in the gut.

Different causes may lead to sulfur burps.

Eating certain foods

H2S is produced when bacteria in the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract break down food. This may result in foul-smelling burps or flatulence.

Certain foods may cause excessive belching or sulfur burps, including:

Some foods may also be more odor-forming, including:

Gastrointestinal issues

Sulfur burps may also be caused by digestive conditions, such as:

These may cause gas from the stomach to rise up as burps or stomach acid reflux.

Other causes

An infection in the upper gastrointestinal tract caused by the H. pylori bacterium may also cause problems, such as bloating, heartburn, and sulfur burps.

Certain prescription medications like Ozempic, which is used to help treat type 2 diabetes, may cause side effects like excessive gas.

Other issues that may cause or be associated with sulfur burps include:

If a person is experiencing excessive belching or sulfur burps more than three days a week, they should speak with a doctor. This may be a sign of an underlying condition that may need specific treatment.

That said, some dietary and lifestyle changes may help reduce or eliminate sulfur burps.

Green tea and herbal teas

Green tea may promote digestion and help the body remove toxins, which might lead to better overall health.

Peppermint and chamomile teas may also have several benefits, such as:

  • boosting the digestive and immune systems
  • helping against diseases like IBS
  • helping treat symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain


Drinking enough water may help decrease belching, eliminate morning bad breath, and improve a person’s overall health.

Manuka honey

Manuka honey is a medically-active honey harvested from the tea tree family. It may help relieve digestive symptoms and kill off potentially infectious bacteria in the gut, such as:

Baking soda

Food-grade baking soda, made from sodium bicarbonate, is sometimes used as a natural remedy for many symptoms of digestive problems including heartburn, ulcer pain, and bad breath.

However, recent studies suggest that it may actually cause gastrointestinal disturbances.

A person should consult a doctor before using sodium bicarbonate for sulfur burps.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another ingredient that some people use to help balance their digestive system and reduce symptoms of digestive disorders. The acetic acid in the vinegar is believed to help keep gut bacteria from overgrowing.

That said, further research is needed to confirm these claims.

Trigger foods

Reducing the consumption of trigger foods, such as milk products and cruciferous vegetables, may help relieve the symptoms of sulfur burps.

A person may consider an elimination diet, which aims to identify foods that trigger symptoms in the individual and remove them from the diet.

Reduce alcohol intake

Excessive alcohol use may be another culprit for sulfur burps.

At the very least, alcohol consumption may disrupt effective digestion in the body and lead to stomach acid reflux, which may influence sulfur burps.

Some people may find their digestive symptoms go away simply by reducing their alcohol intake.

Limit carbonated beverages

If burps smell like sulfur, adding more gas to the mix may cause more foul-smelling burps. Reducing carbonated drinks, including soda and sparkling water, may help cut burps.

Avoid sugary foods

Sugar may be another contributing factor for sulfur burps as it feeds the bacteria in the gut that causes H2S sulfide gas to build up. Avoiding sugary foods may be enough to reduce symptoms in some people.

Avoid large meals

The release of sulfur gases may result from the digestive system breaking down a large or protein-rich meal. Reducing portion sizes or eating more slowly may help reduce these digestive issues.

Avoid foods high in preservatives

Processed food is usually high in preservatives. It may include packaged foods, canned goods, or fast foods. The high level of preservatives may worsen digestive symptoms and sulfur burps. Cutting out processed foods from the diet may help improve the digestive system.

A person should see a doctor if they experience persistent burping more than three times per week, or if their burps are accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

A doctor will perform a physical and medical history examination and may run other diagnostics to identify what digestive issues might be behind the persistent symptoms.

They may also prescribe antacids to help with symptoms.

Here are some frequently asked questions about sulfur burps.

What does it mean when you burp sulfur burps?

Sulfur burps may be due to consuming certain foods, such as beans or vegetables. Gastrointestinal conditions, food poisoning, and some medications can also cause sulfur burps.

Are sulfur burps serious?

Sulfur burps may simply happen due to eating certain foods. That said, a person experiencing persistent sulfur burps should contact a doctor, as it may be a sign of an underlying condition that may require medical treatment.

What digestive issues cause sulfur burps?

Some digestive issues that may cause sulfur burps include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), lactose intolerance, and celiac disease.

How do I get rid of sulfur burps?

Treatment for sulfur burps will depend on what is causing them. Some home remedies to help treat them include:

  • avoiding certain foods, such as dairy products, cruciferous vegetables, and some meats
  • avoiding carbonated and alcoholic drinks
  • trying an elimination diet
  • drinking green, peppermint, or chamomile tea
  • eating honey

If none of these remedies help, a person should consult a doctor. They will help develop a treatment plan to help a person with sulfur burps.

Sulfur burps are characterized by their foul, rotten egg smell. This comes from hydrogen sulfide gas in the gut.

Having the occasional sulfur burp is not cause for concern.

However, if a person is experiencing them more than three times per week, they should speak with a doctor. This may be a sign of a medical condition that needs treatment.