Sulfur, Rotten Eggs Burps (Belching), Foul Smelling Gas, Foods High in Sulfur

What Is Burping (Belching)?

Burping (belching) means expelling of the air or other gases from your stomach through your mouth. Many healthy people expel some non-smelling air after eating or drinking. Various health disorders can causes excessive burping.

What Are Sulfur Burps?

The smell of sulfur (sulphur) or rotten egg burps comes from hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a gas originating from sulfur-containing proteins in certain foods (see below) after they are broken down in the stomach or small intestine by sulfur-reducing microbes.  These microbes may be normal intestinal bacteria or pathogenic bacteria.

Sulfur Containing Foods

Removing sulfur containing foods from the diet may reduce the smell of sulfur burps:

  • Sulfur containing food preservatives, like guacamola, often used on dried fruits, salads in hotels, meat in fast-food restaurants or in pre-prepared canned foods
  • Poultry
  • Red meats
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products, especially milk
  • Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, mustard, onions, pack choi, parsley, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watercress, yams
  • Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, soy, carob, jicama, alfalfa
  • Fruits: avocado, bananas, watermelon
  • Grains, nuts and seeds: corn, sunflower seeds, oats, cashews, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, coconut.
  • Tea and coffee
  • Whey proteins
  • Amino acids: cysteine, methionine
  • Vitamins B1 (thiamine) and H (biotin)
  • Certain medicines may contain sulfur (also check labels for amino acids cysteine or methionine that contain sulfur).

Sulfur Reducing Microbes

Examples of sulfur reducing bacteria and some other microbes that can use sulfur compounds from the food and yield hydrogen sulfide as an end product:

  • Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium causing chronic gastritis, gastric or duodenal ulcer, upper abdominal bloating, heartburn and burping. H. pylori is diagnosed by urea breath test; treatment is by antibiotics.
  • Giardia lamblia, a one-cell parasite, usually contracted by food or water poisoning, causing diarrhea, bloating, foul smelling burps or farts. For diagnosis and treatment read about human intestinal parasites.
  • Intestinal bacteria that are part of normal intestinal flora but can cause bloating, burping, flatulence or diarrhea when they overgrow; condition is called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) . SIBO may be also  present in lactose intolerance or fructose malabsorption. In certain diseases like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, foods may not be digested completely and can be therefore broken down by sulfur reducing bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide.

How To Get Rid Of Sulfur Burps?

  1. Remove as much as possible sulfur containing foods from your diet. This may reduce sulfur smell of burps and gas in a day or two. After that, you will still need to find the cause of belching or gas themselves.
  2. If you suspect you might have celiac disease, besides the low-sulfur diet, try a gluten-free diet (no wheat, barley and rye). If your symptoms disappear or lessen considerably within a week or two, this speaks for celiac disease.
  3. If you have history of peptic ulcer, stomach burning, gastric reflux and heartburn, visit a gastroenterologist and ask for a breath test for Helycobacter pylori. This bacterium is a common cause of sulfur burps. Treatment is with 7 or 10 day course of antibiotics.
  4. If you are bloated and have excessive foul smelling gas or loose stools with mucus, ask your doctor for a stool test for ova and parasites (O&P) since you may have infection with a parasite giardia. Treatment is with anti-parasitic drugs.
  5. If you suspect Crohn’s disease – symptoms include low grade temperature, nausea, fatigue, blood in the stool, diarrhea, bloating – visit gastroenterologist and ask for appropriate tests that may include colonoscopy.
  6. If all above tests are negative, ask for breath test for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) .
  7. Gastric emptying test may reveal slow stomach emptying (gastroparesis).
  8. Some people with gallstones reported that sulfur burps disappeared after gallbladder removal. Diagnosis of gallstones is with abdominal ultrasound or other gallbladder tests.


  • To get rid of sulfur burps, sometimes you only need to remove some particular food(s) rich in sulfur, for example, Pina Colada, containing coconut cream.
  • If you have sulfur burps but NOT sulfur gas (flatulence) the cause is probably in your stomach (H. pylori infection, gastroparesis). If you suffer from both sulfur burps and gas or only sulfur gas you may have small intestinal or gallbladder disorder.
  • Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate), a popular antidiarrheal drug, binds hydrogen sulfide and removes it from the gastrointestinal tract thus reducing sulfur burps and gas. Pepto Bismol should NOT be used in children, and no longer then 2-3 weeks in adults. Pepto Bismol usually colors your tongue and stool black.

Related Articles:


  1. Sulfur containing foods  (
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
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  • Hi Johanna. The fact that this happens just once a year is unusual. If it was frequent then it could be related to some medical condition, dietary or lifestyle factor. But an incident just once a year does not conclusively point towards this. It is important to take note of what happens prior to these incidents – like what he ate or did. However, it will be difficult to find a pattern that may be useful in diagnosis solely based on an episode that occurs so infrequently. Nevertheless speak to your family doctor or a pediatrician.

  • Megan

    I know this is an old post… My baby who is six years old.. Has been having this chronically for the past three months I don’t know what to do there seems to Be no exact cause… Every time he burps it is chronic rotten egg smell(sulphur burp) he says it is starting to hurt when he burps… And it makes him sick… Any ideas? I’m begins here to help him… I’m scared he has an underlying problem… This has been going on for months now at first I thought well maybe he just isn’t brushing his teeth good but that’s not it at all… Please email me at MeganjonestxATyahooDOTcom put sulphur burp as the subject line so I can find easily

  • sands

    I worry I might have a parasite. Can I still breast feed safely?

  • Rashed

    Hey.. Before 4 days ive gotten the rotten egg burp and then it went but it recently came but this time with diahriaa plz tell me what to doooo

  • Dallas

    What foods can I eat if I am trying to stay away from sulfur containing foods

  • Tanya

    Jordan, I can’t tell by your posts if you are male or female, so based on your comment regarding ‘cycling’, I’m going to assume you are talking about a menstrual cycle. If you are male, then no need to read the rest of this post.

    I used to have the same type of bowel problems, not so much the burping, but the bowel movement warning, the nausea, the vomiting, the severe pain, the knowledge that if you needed a BM, you needed to stop NOW, not in 3 minutes, but right now. After complaining for 10 years and passing every test I was ever sent for, a new doctor discovered I had endometriosis, which was severe enough to require surgery, fairly quickly (3 months from initial diagnosis to operating room).

    My surgeon found that my colon was folded back on itself and fused, basically everything that took that way out had to make a 360 degree turn before exiting, the severe pain was from my colon stretching for the fecal matter to make that corner. Ever since he freed my colon I don’t suffer from the extreme pain, the nausea, I have better menstrual cycles, and generally I am feeling much, much better. I suggest you ask to see a Gynecologist, to see if you too may be suffering like I was. Endometriosis sounds scary, but it can be relatively easy to manage, there is only one cure, a complete hysterectomy, which you are too young for, but there are other ways to manage it.

    Best of luck and I hope you feel better soon.

  • Cairrean

    I have minor lactose intolerance, and I get this when I eat too much dairy in a given day. It’s usually gone by the time I wake up the next morning, and I usually keep peppermints nearby to help tolerate the taste. The first few times were accompanied by major stomach pain for a few hours before I vomited, which got rid of it completely. It hasn’t been that bad since, and as long as I avoid Cheddar chips they don’t usually happen.

  • Denise

    Hi I am suffering badly with fowl smelling gas and my breath is smelling of feaces. My personal hygiene is very high on my list. I constantly wash myself and brush my teeth because of this, nothing helps. I see my dentist every 6 months and everything is normal. I was told by my GP that I have IBS but have not had a proper investigation. Iv lost my career because of this and i have depression. Does anyone know what it is please?

  • Zoe

    Megan, I have had this very same thing at a very young age, I too was only about 6 or 7 years old, maybe younger, I just don’t remember. But mine was so bad that I had/have to curl up fetal position on the bathroom floor and cry. I’ve went to emergency rooms ever since I was a baby, and they just did ultrasounds and they couldn’t find anything, they told me I had ulcers, and gerd, gave me a cocktail of some different medicines and sent me home, I am now 20 years old and still get this on a regular basis, last night in fact was my second or third one this month, and all I ate all day yesterday was cinnamon toast. Back in December I got tired of getting these flare ups so often I made an appointment with a GI specialist and they put a scope down my throat and they found nothing except mild gastritis. I don’t believe that is true because these symptoms are way to severe to just be “mild” everytime I get a flare up, it starts with the burps, I can always tell I’m about to get sick when my burps smell so bad, but I don’t have diarrhea, I do have some gas at the other end but it doesn’t smell like my burps, it’s just normal. Then I throw up from how horrible the burps taste/smell and I throw up a real thick brown, almost black vomit. Then after that I get the excruciating pains right in the middle of my upper abdomen, so bad like I said I curl up in fetal position and cry, and if they are really bad, like last night, I almost want to pull my hair out. Now I’ve been doing everything that I’m supposed to, I stopped drinking sweet tea, it’s been about 1 week and a half that I didn’t drink any tea, I don’t eat spicy foods, I don’t like chicken, nuts, I eat a lot of cereal and I have been like “craving ” bananas really bad the past couple of weeks. Do you think I should go to another GI specialist? Is there any type of surgery I can get done to stop this, because I am so fed up with feeling like this I will get any surgery that I have to to end this now, please help me!

  • Hi Denise. There are many possible causes as you can see from the article above. It could be a condition like gastroparesis where food doesn’t empty from your stomach fast enough and therefore ferments in your stomach. But it could also be a throat or even a lung problem. It is really difficult to say for sure through an online platform. It may be a good idea to consult with a medical specialist as this point. Possibly start with an otorhinolaryngologist (ENT specialist) and move on from there. Many gastrointestinal conditions can present in a similar manner to IBS. Therefore various investigations should be conducted to first exclude these other diseases before IBS is confirmed as a diagnosis.

  • Denise

    Thank you for the advice I appreciate it.

  • George Marquez

    My daughter is 17 months old,she just started burping, and passing gas when she visited her mom. Her mom said it started after she fed her eggs for breakfast. It hasn’t stopped since. Its been 2 days now. Smells like rotten eggs. What can I do?

  • Willow

    I get these burps and have had them on and off for about 2 years. When I get them they are accompanied by bloating flatulence that doesn’t smell as bad gurgling of my stomach feeling like I am about to have diarrhea occasionally having diarrhea but usually constipated my stool occasionally has blood and mucus not sure if it’s Crohn’s but I also get a little nauseous I don’t know what to do

  • Shianne

    I ate hamburgers on Friday night with meat that I purchased at our local family fresh. On Saturday morning when I woke up I experienced the burping. Then as Saturday progressed, the diarrhea started. Now it’s Sunday, and I’ve been throwing up brown liquid for about 3 hours. I just took pepto So I am hoping that helps. I’ve never had these before so I’m assuming it’s just the meat that I ate. What also seems to help ease the discomfort is a heating pad on my stomach.