Avatar universal

Cause of foul burps that sound like I inhaled helium?


About a year or so ago I had an episode of foul smelling/tasting burps that led to an episode of severe upper abdominal pain. Like call an ambulance type pain.It was accompanied by nausea/vomitting/diarrhea.

This happened about every month for 3-4mos. Sometimes there was diarrhea sometimes not. Over time it seems I am just getting the burping with milder stomach pain. If I even suspect it will turn into a major pain episode I take buscopan and pain killers right away. No idea if they work but I don't take any chances. Nothing worked for the pain once it got going in the past.

The burps are big, foul and sound like I've inhaled helium. I can't relate it to specific events or food. Sometimes it nauseated me. I go to be sick and instead of vomitting a massive burp comes out.

I've been tested for H. Pylori. Came back negative although I don't know if it was accurate because it's not 100% and I had constipation at the time making the stool sample not great.

Had abdominal ultrasound. Nothing remarkable although it did show a random liver cyst :-/

Any ideas/thoughts?

My mom and daughter have IBS but I've never had stomach problems and I'm 57. I do have GERD and been on meds for same forever(PPI's).
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Avatar universal
I don’t have an answer, but I can tell you the exact same thing happened to me about 4 years ago. The pain was so terrible that I had nightmares about it for months. Tonight I’m having the helium burps totally out of the blue and I’m terrified that it’s happening again.
Helpful - 3
Sorry to hear that :(

As soon as I get the helium burps I start drinking half a cup of kefir in the morning. So far it's always taken the burps away and I've never had the pain again...thank g*d.

My husband can usually tell me before I even notice that the burps are coming back.

Avatar universal
Please research BILE REFLUX. You may have similar symptoms.
Helpful - 3
I have GERD! That can cause these symptoms??? I'll check it out. Thanks!
Avatar universal
I just started having helium burps and was researching what it was when I came up on this thread. So far I've burped 5x and the only thing I've had that has caused this was juicing. I juiced 5 celery sticks, 2 apples, 1 pear, 1/2 a lemon and a thumb of ginger along with a cup of power greens that should have expired, but we had wrapped them in a paper towel in their container, prolonging their life. Any of the leaves that weren't wrapped had become foul, slimy and definitely bad. I picked those out and juiced the rest of the leaves like normal. I'm wondering if the "helium" gases are coming from some bad greens. I was very bloated before and was surprised the juice started releasing gases so fast. Did anyone eat something similar before the onset of helium burps? Not looking forward to any accompanying pain that might be headed my way.
Helpful - 2
I don't think so but it has been quite awhile since I had a bad episode. I will occasionally still start to get the smelly burps(my husband usually notices before me). I get some kefir and take daily for awhile. They then go away.

I eat Greek yogurt almost daily. Not sure if this is helping keep the burps away or not.
Avatar universal
This happens to me all the time, except for I call them "rotten egg burps"
Look into gastroparesis also called delayed stomach emptying, that's what I have and that's what causes the burps and the other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Gastroparesis is often caused by damage, usually of unknown origin, to the vagus nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body and is the nerve responsible for sending the signal to the stomach to break down and empty food into the small intestine to continue digestion. However, when the vagus nerve has sustained damage, sometimes it doesn't send the signal to the stomach, which means no food is being emptied out properly, and all the while, you're still eating regularly not yet aware the food in your stomach isn't emptying until you have a "Gastroparesis attack"
An attack is almost always accompanied by foul smelling burps and intense pain usually in the upper and middle abdomen, this is simply your body realizing the food sitting in your stomach is starting to rot (hence the awful burps) and it needs to get rid of it, and since making the regular exit has been hindered, your body sends the signal to a different nerve that you need to vomit, hence the nausea and aforementioned vomiting.
I was told I had IBS my whole life until when I was 20 I met a gastroenterologist who really knew his stuff and he scheduled a test where a tube with a camera would be inserted into my esophagus (while I was under anesthesia obviously) to get a visual on my stomach to see if what was causing me these episodes originated there, that's when he discovered the food in my stomach looked like i had just eaten it even though I cut off all solid foods at midnight the night before for the test, which is how we finally found out what was making me sick all this time.
While there is no cure for gastroparesis making dietary changes and eating foods that are more easily digestible does help a great deal.
Helpful - 1
Omg! This would account for all the symptoms! Thank you for sharing.
Wow I just read ozempic can cause gastroparesis. I've been on Saxenda for over 2yrs! I'm guessing it could do the same thing? Could this be the answer I've been looking for?! :)
Avatar universal
I posted a reply on this thread a year ago, then last weekend it happened again. I went to my primary care doctor a few days later and he said he's almost positive this is a transient small intestine blockage. He suspects a loop of small bowel gets twisted, and that's what is causing my symptoms - and that I'm lucky my body has been able to correct it so far but I'm tempting fate by not having it addressed. He's set me up with a GI referral and strict instructions to go to the ER as soon as I have an onset of these symptoms, which I will absolutely be doing.
Helpful - 1
To clarify, my symptoms are very specific when this happens:

* Severe upper stomach pain - like the top of my stomach hurts HORRIBLY (as the OP said, "call an ambulance type pain")
* Burps that sound like helium and smell awful
* Nausea that may or may not lead to vomiting but leads me to avoid all food and liquids
* Of the three times this has happened to me, only once did I have diarrhea
* Two episodes lasted about 18 hours, one lasted about 6 hours
Avatar universal
I had your exact symptoms when I got giardia and it will come and go like your describing if untreated.
Helpful - 0
Sorry to be more descript. My father went to Mexico and caught giardia down there and came home and the whole family caught it cuz he’s the primary preparer of food and he made my birthday dinner immediately after getting back from his trip before he knew himself he had it. Well I ended up catching it and I had every symptom you describing. Bloated crampy upper stomach and gurgling with sulfur burps thaat make my voice sound like ive inhaled helium. Giardia is extremely easy to catch, even though doctors will pass off this idea because they seem to think adults have better hand washing habits then children so they think it’s more prevalent in day cares and not adult to adult transmission which is clearly a ludacris theory but I had my dr tell me that and low and behold I had it! It’s a food born parasite you can get from literally ANYWHWERE. And it only takes a microscopic amount of this thing to infect you on epic proportions. I’d maybe insist on having them test you for that maybe of the blockage thing doesn’t pan out
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