Q. I have been troubled with “sour stomach” throughout my life. Even the tiniest burp smells like sulfurous rotten eggs and can be smelled across large rooms.
I also pass huge amounts of foul-smelling gas. My body has turned into a gas factory! This seems to flare up every few months. My symptoms will lessen or go away and then one day they’re back with a vengeance.
My family is suffering and my coworkers are becoming more vocal about my problem. Please, tell me what I should be doing. My life is miserable!
A. Ask your doctor to test you for celiac disease. This inability to digest gluten from wheat, barley or rye may set off a variety of digestive tract symptoms. Another possible culprit would be lactose intolerance (trouble digesting milk sugar).
While you are at it, the doctor could check you for infection with the stomach bacteria Helicobacter pylori. It can contribute to bad breath, gastritis, ulcers and gas.
Even if you can’t find a cause, there are some approaches that may help, including probiotics, Pepto-Bismol, fennel tea and Angostura bitters. We provide more details about such remedies and treatments for H pylori in our brand new Guide to Digestive Disorders.