It’s a serious question I’m asking you today, “Do you smell like rotten eggs?”

For years, I had no clue what this meant. The first time I ever smelled it was in my solo college dorm room. This was documented in My Story under the “College” time period.

Alternatively, you can now hear me tell this full story in podcast episode 1 HERE.

And if you want the truth, even when I wrote Wicked Winter Squash, I thought it was simply just a matter of food fermenting in the gut.

In fact, it wasn’t until just recently that I could pinpoint it to a ‘T.’ It kind of happened on accident by way of research in combination with my own journal.

I was researching all things hydrogen-dominant SIBO.

One of the unique symptoms to hydrogen (vs. methane – which I think produces more of the “barn smell”)-dominant SIBO is a rotten egg smell. You know, the smelly toots, sulfur farts, whatever you want to call them.

Upon further investigation, though, I learned that this is because of that “third” type of SIBO: Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO (H2 SIBO).

I began seeing the correlation between foods I was eating and the days/time when the rotten egg stench was filling the room.


So here we go…..

Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO

Do You Smell Like Rotten Eggs hydrogen sulfide sibo #sulfur #ibs #sibo

As I noted in the hydrogen-dominant SIBO post, there isn’t a lot that is (currently) known about Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO. Currently, there are no official tests to confirm or deny its existence, either.

{However, there is a breath test at home that can help identify problematic foods. Check out Hydrogen Breath Test at Home HERE.}

Here is what we do know about Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO:

  1. Bacteria called sulfate-reducers feed on hydrogen produced by other bacteria and produce hydrogen sulfide.
  2. Typically present in patients who experience diarrhea.
  3. Will usually react to sulfur or sulfur containing foods or thiols.
  4. The impact of glyphosate on the sulfur production in the body is profound.
  5. Alcohol sensitivity.
  6. Histamine and sulfur overlap.
  7. This gas is implicated in the development of SIBO and LIBO, and can be the underlying culprit in treatment resistant IBS, SIBO, and functional digestive disorders.
  8. Hydrogen sulfide gas smells like rotten eggs, and is toxic to our nervous systems and our mitochondria (the engines of our cells). According to one GI doctor, “To add insult to injury, SIBO can turn dietary sulfur or sulfate into hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a foul gas that smells like rotten eggs. Temporarily reducing intake of high-sulfur/sulfate foods, beverages and supplements can help get rid of SIBO.”

Sources: HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Do You Smell Like Rotten Eggs FoodMarble breath test #foodmarble #SIBO #breathtest #foodintolerance

Do You Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

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So, if you smell like rotten eggs, Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO could be the culprit. How to determine if you have this third type of SIBO:

  1. Mark down your signs and symptoms, bring them to your doctor, and ask for a SIBO test. (OR, order the SIBO test yourself RIGHT HERE, online.)
  2. If the test is positive and shows SIBO, great – you’re on your way. But also remember, that if it doesn’t, you might still have SIBO – this Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO form – because also remember, there is currently no test to determine it for sure.
  3. And in the meantime, if you want fewer sulfur smelling farts, you could try a test of removing the high sulfur foods for a few days (you’d likely see massive improvements in that time alone – I know because I did!)
Do You Smell Like Rotten Eggs A Gutsy Girl SIBO #guthealth #ibs #sibo

Burping? Are they Sulfur Burps?

Remember, one of the signs of an unhealthy gut is stinky breath. 

And sometimes, that stinky breath wreaks of rotten eggs.

Similar to the rotten egg smell that can come via gas out of your bottom, burping which smells like rotten eggs is also common.

These are known as sulfur burps, and they are common in those with Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO.

High Sulfur Foods

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Please make note: These lists below of high and low-sulfur foods are not meant to be exhaustive. In fact, the only food lists I have that are fairly exhaustive are the ones found in A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut (i.e. gluten, dairy, beans, corn, etc.).

Do You Smell Like Rotten Eggs high sulfur foods #sulfur #highsulfur #sibo
  1. Almonds
  2. Asparagus
  3. Beef
  4. Bok Choy
  5. Brazil Nuts
  6. Broccoli 
  7. Brussels Sprouts
  8. Cabbage
  9. Carrageenan
  10. Cauliflower 
  11. Cheese; mostly, Cheddar and Parmesan
  12. Chicken (light meat)
  13. Chives
  14. Dried Fruits (sulfured)
  15. Eggs
  16. Fish (not all; only the fish with less fat)
  17. Garlic
  18. Kale
  19. Leeks
  20. Milk; Cow’s milk; especially from grass-fed cows
  21. Mustard Greens and Mustard
  22. Olive Oil
  23. Onions
  24. Peanuts
  25. Salmon
  26. Soybeans
  27. Spinach
  28. Tomatoes
  29. Turkey (light meat)
  30. Watermelon


Low Sulfur Foods

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Do You Smell Like Rotten Eggs high sulfur foods #sulfur #lowsulfur #sibo
  1. Apples
  2. Beets
  3. Bell Peppers
  4. Berries
  5. Butter
  6. Carrots
  7. Celery
  8. Chicken (dark meat)
  9. Cinnamon
  10. Citrus Fruits
  11. Corn
  12. Cucumbers
  13. Fennel
  14. Flax seeds
  15. Grapefruit
  16. Honey
  17. Kiwi
  18. Lemon
  19. Lettuce
  20. Mangoes
  21. Oats
  22. Parsnips
  23. Pea Protein
  24. Pumpkin Seeds
  25. Rice Protein
  26. Squash
  27. Sunflower Seeds
  28. Sweet Potatoes
  29. Turkey (dark meat)
  30. White Rice
  31. Yams
  32. Zucchini 

Sources: HERE, HERE, and HERE.

One other thing that’s interesting to note is that Dr. Elena Klimenko gives the following supplements as potential problems for those with Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO.

  • ALA
  • Bromelain and papain
  • Chlorella
  • NAC
  • MSM
  • Milk thistle
  • Turmeric
  • DMSO
  • Dairy source acidophilus
  • Cysteine

I’m not telling you to not take these.

What I’m saying is that if you’ve been taking any of them and have been keeping track in your journal, you can possibly find some correlations.

Can you see why this can all get so tricky for anyone trying to heal from SIBO? The food lists are super conflicting, and you really need to know exactly what YOU are dealing with versus a templated plan. 

Get tested! ASAP.

My final note on this topic is this: IF you don’t have a problem with sulfur, then for the love of God, do not stop eating it. When you answer, “No” to the question, “Do you smell like rotten eggs,” get out the garlic, onion, and/or eggs, and whip something good up to eat! 

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  1. Reasonable SIBO
  2. Why Can’t I Digest Sweet Potatoes?
  3. Why Can’t I Digest Eggs?


Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO A Gutsy Girl SIBO #guthealth #ibs #sibo #eggs

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  1. Hi, I just wanted to let you know there actually is a test for hydrogen sulfide sibo available at Cedars Sinai Hospital in LA. Dr. Mark Pimentel is the leading GI doctor in this field & his research lab has created tests for 6 types of intestinal gases (including Hydrogen, Methane, and H2S SIBO) along with a few other gasses. I called their office last week & found out each test is $1,000 out of pocket (not sure if insurance will cover it) and the tests can only be administered at their hospital, they are not commercially available yet. You must have a medical doctor order the test for you through their lab (I don’t think functional doctors will qualify). Just wanted to share this as I just found out about it last week!

    1. This is very helpful, I have been struggling with SIBO and desperately need help. I live in Southern California and want to see this doctor. Do you know how hard it is to get an appointment or if any insurance covers the test? Thanks!

  2. Love your posts ! Makes loads of sense. So the only meat/fish low sulphuric is dark chicken meat? 😢
    Does this stem from methylation issues?
    How can you fix this ?

  3. Hi all. I have both types of sibo and have been told to take molybendum (sp) and bismuth whilst I lower my sulphur intake. Hope this helps!

  4. Hi! I saw your list of tests that can be order but there was multiple SIBO tests, could you help me figure out which test I should order?

  5. Me too. However my sibo test was negative for hydrogen and methane via The Functional Gut Clinic. It was only 9 months later that another private Clinician spotted that my results had ‘flatlined’ which was often a sign of hydrogen sulphide sibo. I did see some improvement following the plan but worried about the effects of limited sulphur on my body. Also decided to reduce meat intake as much as possible for faster results.

  6. Yo thanks for the great info. I’ve been reading though that not everyone with hydrogen sulfide sibo experiences the rotten egg smell- I am convinced I have this type of sibo based on how much better I felt cutting out some sulfur foods and adding a molybdenum supplement- but the rotten egg thing is only something I experience occasionally and not all the time. Just pointing that out For ppl that it’s still possible you have hydrogen sulfide sibo without that symptom. Other symptoms associated with it (source dr Allison Siebecker’s podcast about her clinical experience with it) are fibromyalgia type muscle pain, temperature regulation issues, night sweats.

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