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What is a sour burp?

Sour burps are sulphur burps caused by the presence of excess gas in the stomach. This gas is due to swallowing excess air when eating fast, smoking or chewing gum. Gas can also be caused by certain gas-forming foods.     

What are its signs and symptoms?

Sour burp is usually seen in individuals suffering from reflux disease, hence experiencing heartburn, bloating, gassy feeling, flatulence, nausea and offensive oral smell are all associated symptoms. Symptoms may get worse after meals and at night, compelling the patient to sleep in a propped-up position.

What are the main causes?

Sour burps occur due to the production of hydrogen sulphide gas. This gas is produced as a result of the breakdown of ingested food by the bacteria in the oral cavity and the digestive system. Foods that release hydrogen sulphide are high protein-foods and vegetables like broccoli and alcohol. The other common causes of frequent and chronic sour burps are digestive ailments like gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome. These cause gas from the stomach to rise up as frequent burps. Other causes include food poisoning, certain drugs, stress and pregnancy.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis of sour burps is made on the basis of symptoms and a detailed history. Endoscopy might be done to rule out GERD.

Dietary and lifestyle changes can help the patient eliminate unwanted and annoying sour burps. Certain home remedies may help reduce sour burps. Green tea is one of the best agents to aid digestion; it also has great antibacterial properties. Apple cider vinegar is another super ingredient used to maintain a healthy balance in the gut. It helps to keep a check on the gut bacteria from overgrowing. Gas-triggering foods such as broccoli, sprouts and garlic must be avoided. Smoking must be stopped. Milk products should be cut down. Carbonated drinks, an important contributing factor to sour burps, must be discontinued, as should alcohol.

A doctor must be consulted if the above remedies fail who might advise antacids to reduce gas production, and may also run diagnostic tests to identify any digestive issues causing persistent symptoms.

  1. Medicines for Sour Burp
  2. Doctors for Sour Burp
Dr. Suraj Bhagat

Dr. Suraj Bhagat

Gastroenterology
23 Years of Experience

Dr. Smruti Ranjan Mishra

Dr. Smruti Ranjan Mishra

Gastroenterology
23 Years of Experience

Dr. Sankar Narayanan

Dr. Sankar Narayanan

Gastroenterology
10 Years of Experience

Dr. Sanjiv Saigal

Dr. Sanjiv Saigal

Gastroenterology
30 Years of Experience

References

  1. Tack J et al. Functional gastroduodenal disorders. Gastroenterology. 2006 Apr;130(5):1466-79. PMID: 16678560
  2. Bredenoord AJ, Weusten BL, Timmer R, Akkermans LM, Smout AJ. Relationships between air swallowing, intragastric air, belching and gastro-oesophageal reflux. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2005;17:341–347. PMID: 15916621
  3. Bredenoord AJ. Management of Belching, Hiccups, and Aerophagia. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11:6–12. PMID: 22982101
  4. Scheid R, Teich N, Schroeter ML. Aerophagia and belching after herpes simplex encephalitis. Cogn Behav Neurol. 2008;21:52–54. PMID: 18327025
  5. HealthLink BC [Internet] British Columbia; Dyspepsia
  6. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Gas
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