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What Is A GI Cocktail?

A GI cocktail is a mixture of three essential medicinal ingredients. (an antacid, liquid anesthetic, an anticholinergic)  It also is known as the gastric cocktail. When these medical products are gathered for a GI Cocktail, they help to reduce different digestive system complaints collectively such as indigestion.

There is no exact recipe for the GI cocktail. It can be obtained by mixing different ingredients belonging to the following medicinal classes. Also, each mixture can be prepared with different amounts of ingredients.

Several combinations are used, but the most effective has not yet been determined.

A gastrointestinal cocktail refers to a combination of the following three medicinal ingredients:

1. A Liquid Antacid

Antacids are over-the-counter (OTC) medications that help neutralize stomach acid. These medications help to eliminate symptoms triggered by excess stomach acids such as acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion.

2. A Viscous Lidocaine (Anesthetic)

Lidocaine belongs to a class of drugs known as local anesthetics. It is used to stop the pain by numbing the stomach.

3. An Anticholinergic

Anticholinergic drugs are generally used to treat some gastrointestinal disorders. Especially they ease cramps in the stomach and intestines.

These drugs block acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter responsible for certain intercellular biochemical signal transmission. In this way, body functions that cause some disturbing symptoms in the digestive system are prevented.

The commonly used GI Cocktail mixture is ​​as follows:

Mylanta or Maalox (30 mL) + Xylocaine Viscous (5 mL) + Donnatal (10 mL)

What Is A GI Cocktail Used For?

gi cocktail 1

The GI cocktail is a mixture that is effective for treating dyspepsia, colloquially known as indigestion. Dyspepsia is not a disease. It is usually one of the symptoms of an illness or bad condition related to the digestive system.

It may also work for GERD, stomach ulcers from time to time.

A Gastrointestinal cocktail is generally used in a hospital or emergency room setting. It’s both diagnostic and therapeutic.

It may be given to determine whether chest pain, which can be a symptom of a serious health problem, is caused by indigestion or a heart problem. After giving the GI cocktail, the patient is monitored for 15 minutes. If the patient’s complaints decrease, it may probably be thought that the source of their problems is the stomach.

However, there’s limited research to support the effectiveness of this practice. Some case studies suggest that GI cocktails shouldn’t be used to rule out an underlying heart problem.

Does The GI Cocktail Really Work?

A GI cocktail may be effective at relieving indigestion. However, there are not many medical studies about the effectiveness of this mixture. From this point of view, we can say that there is no clear evidence that the mixture is superior to other alternatives used for treatment.

In a study with a limited number of patients with chest and abdominal pain, it was reported that the GI cocktail has a mostly positive effect on reducing complaints. But, in the previous researches, there is uncertainty about how it works alone, as this cocktail is often used in combination with other drugs.

Also, some studies have put forward a claim that the GI cocktail is not more effective than antacid contained in the GI cocktail combination.

This suggests that an antacid alone may be just as effective at relieving pain associated with indigestion, but additional studies are needed to know for sure.

What Are The Side Effects Of A GI Cocktail?

The side effects of this mixture can include the individual side effects of 3 different ingredients that build-up to its composition.

1. Side effects of antacids (Mylanta or Maalox)

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea or Vomiting

2. Side effects of viscous lidocaine (Xylocaine Viscous)

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritation or Swelling
  • Nausea

3. Side effects of anticholinergics (Donnatal)

  • Bloating
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Reduced Sweating or Urination
  • Sensitivity to Light

Warning: Never try to prepare or drink this gastrointestinal cocktail on your own without consulting a doctor.


What Causes Indigestion?

1.  Acid Reflux

Acid reflux happens when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. It often causes burning pain, also known as heartburn. Also, acid reflux is also known as acid indigestion.

2. Ulcer

Stomach ulcers are painful sores in the stomach lining. An ulcer occurs when the mucus layer that protects your stomach from digestive acid is weakened.

3. Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the protective lining of the stomach. The most common symptoms of this stomach disease are nausea, indigestion, vomiting.

4. Other Factors

Apart from digestive system disorders, the following factors may also cause indigestion:

  • Prescription Or Over-The-Counter Medicines
  • Nutrition
  • Bad Habits (Smoking)
  • Lifestyle (Sleep Routine, Stress)

What Are The Signs Of Indigestion?

Indigestion symptom differs from person to person. While some people experience this problem continuously, others complain from time to time. But it usually occurs after eating.

Everyone experiences indigestion from time to time. However,  signs of indigestion are not the same for everyone.

Common symptoms of indigestion are:

  • Abdominal Discomfort
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Chest pain
  • Constipation Or Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Gas
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Nausea

Home Remedies For Indigestion

GI cocktail or other digestive system drugs should be an option only if it is very necessary for the treatment of indigestion. It is possible to overcome your complaints with simple methods that you can apply at home.

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat smaller portions.
  • Eat slowly
  • Don’t lie down after you eat.
  • Avoid foods that are deep-fried, spicy, or greasy
  • Don’t drink excessive coffee, soda, and alcohol
  • Consider the medications you take
  • Get enough sleep
  • Try herbal teas such as chamomile tea
  • Eliminate stress
  • Do exercise

Although it is disgusting for most of the people, burping is an extremely human and natural biological activity. Your body expels the excessive air accumulated in this way. Sulfur burps are basically burping forms that smell like rotten eggs. The reason for the bad smell is that the excess air you swallow mixes with digestive gases in your stomach before being thrown out with burping.

This notorious digestive gas is called hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide released when the sulfur-containing food breaks down in the digestive tract.

Sulfur burps often do not indicate an important problem. They can also be overcome with simple solutions. But if your burping continuous, it could signal an underlying digestive problem.

What Causes Sulfur Burps?

Sulfur burps may depend on many different causes. Burping is a normal incident. You may experience burps more frequently due to behaviors or diet. Also burping may be a sign of another health condition.

Food & Beverages

sulfur burps food

1. Consuming Too Many Sulfur-Rich Foods

Sulfur burps may be linked to the sulfur-rich foods you eat. When these foods break down in your digestive system, sulfur in their composition is released. This causes the gas in your body to mix with sulfur.

Which are sulfur-rich foods?

  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts, kale, callaloo, spinach, asparagus, okra, lettuce, sweet corn, and eggplant.
  • Allium vegetables: onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives. This group is an excellent source of sulfur.
  • Beans: Beans are high in sulfur and steamed soybeans have the highest sulfur content of all.
  • Fruits: The avocado is the fruit with the highest sulfur content, followed by kiwi, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, melons, grapefruit, grapes, oranges, and peaches.
  • Meats: Turkey, chicken, goat, pork, most fish and beef are very high in sulfur.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a great source of sulfur. Chicken eggs, particularly the yolks, are rich in sulfur. One of quail’s egg offers almost as much sulfur as a serving of meat.
  • Other foods: Other high-sulfur foods include dairy products, chocolate, coffee, tea, grains, sesame seeds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios and other nuts.

2. Food Intolerances

Your body is sensitive to certain foods. When these foods enter your digestive system, they can lead up digestive system problems such as gas, nausea, indigestion and diarrhea. This causes your gas to smell worse and creates sulfur burps.

Food intolerance can vary from person to person. So you have to discover for yourself how your body reacts to different food. Dairy products containing lactose and cereals containing gluten often cause food intolerance.


Health Issues & Diseases

sulfur burps diseases

Sulfur burps accompanied by more serious symptoms should be reviewed by your doctor. These may be a sign of another bad health condition and diseases.

1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

GERD is a type of chronic acid reflux. In reflux disease, stomach acid rises upward from the esophagus and creates a bitter taste in the mouth. One of the symptoms of reflux is belching. These burps can smell sulfur.

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD is a general term to include serious digestive system disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis that causes inflammation in the intestines. Sulfur burps may be one of the problems triggered by this disease.

3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a digestive condition associated with the large bowel. Symptoms include gas, bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea or constipation.

4. Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the protective lining of the stomach. This damaged mucus membrane can cause digestive system disorders such as gas, nausea, vomiting, indigestion.

5. Peptic Ulcer Disease

Peptic ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine. this disease can lead to sulfur burps.

6. Bacterial & Parasites Infections

The most famous bacterium responsible for infection-induced digestive issues is Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This bacteria is located in the digestive system of most people. But interestingly, it does not cause the same problems in every person. Symptoms of an H. pylori infection can include frequent burping, bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain.

Another health problem caused by infection is Giardiasis. Giardiasis is an infection in your small bowel. A microscopic parasite called Giardia lamblia is responsible for the infection.


Other Causes

The following conditions can also lead to sulfur burps:

  • Food poisoning
  • Prescription drugs
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Pregnancy

Home Remedies & Treatments For Sulfur Burps

If your sulfur burps are not caused by a serious health problem, there are many home remedies and simple treatments a person can make to help reduce or eliminate completely the unwanted gas that causes sulfur burps.

Healthy Nutrients

sulfur burps remedies

There are many natural and healthy nutritional sources that can heal your digestive system problems. The positive effect of these sources also reduces your sulfur burps.

Turmeric

  • Reduces gas and soothe heartburn, flatulence
  • Eliminates symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

Green Tea

  • Assists digestion
  • Eliminates upset stomach

Chamomile Tea

  • Natural remedy for gas
  • Eliminates upset stomach
  • Be good for acid reflux

Fennel

  • Reduces gas and bloating

Cumin

  • Eliminates symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including gas and bloating.
  • Treats the symptoms of dyspepsia (heartburn).
  • Fights digestive infection H. pylori (black cumin)

Anise

  • Antimicrobial nutrient for digestive infections
  • Fights gas issue

Caraway

  • Overcomes flatulence, indigestion, and heartburn
  • Fights digestive infection H. pylori

Ginger

  • Be good for acid reflux
  • Reduces gas

Probiotics (Kefir, Greek Yogurt)

  • Regulates bacterial flora of the digestive system

Manuka Honey

  • Kills infectious bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Enterobacter aerogenes, Salmonella typhimurium, and S. aureus in the bowel
  • Relieves digestive symptoms

Baking Soda

  • Reduces the odor of burps
  • Eliminates heartburn, ulcer pain, and bad breath

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Regulates digestive system

Changing Habits

sulfur burps habits

You can eliminate your sulfur burps by making minor changes to your lifestyle and eating habits.

1. Eliminate behaviors that cause swallowing extra air:

  • Chewing gum
  • Sucking on hard candies
  • Smoking
  • Eating too quickly
  • Eating while talking
  • Overeating
  • Drinking carbonated beverages
  • Drinking from a straw

2. Do Exercise

  • Prevents burping and other gastrointestinal distress

3. Restrict Sulfur-Rich Foods & Beverages In Your Diet

  • Reducing certain foods that can cause a buildup of gas on your diet can help to prevent sulfur burps.

4. Reduce alcohol intake

  • Prevents your stomach from diseases such as acid reflux
  • Eliminates digestive symptoms

5. Avoid Foods High In Preservatives ( Packaged Foods, Canned Goods, Or Fast Foods)


Over-The-Counter Medicines

1. Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol): Reduces the sulfur smell of your burps

2. Simethicone (Gas-X, Mylanta): Accelerates the gas extraction process

3. Beano: Helps digestion

4. Enzyme lactase (Lactaid, Lactrase, and Dairy Ease): Reduce lactose intolerance

5. Antacids (Pepcid AC or Tums): Overcomes acid reflux symptoms indigestion, and heartburn


#Warning: Always consult your doctor and read the drug prospectus before using these drugs.


Should I See A Doctor?

Burping is one of the very normal functions your body performs. Occasionally, everybody builds up gas and this should be thrown out from the body in one way or another.

However, there may be other digestive complaints such as flatulence, bloating, pain in your abdomen that accompany the sulfur burps.  All these digestive symptoms can be usually overcome with home remedies.

However, if these complaints persist and excruciating, you should consider seeing a doctor.

Also, if you suspect that your sulfur burping related to another medical disease and you have serious symptoms like:

  • Pain in your chest or digestive tract
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

You must definitely see a doctor. These symptoms may indicate that you have a more serious health condition.

Besides, you can get guidance from a dietician to regulate your diet. If sulfur burps didn’t decrease even after you change your diet, or if burps accompany other symptoms, a doctor should be consulted. Doctors can help identify what digestive issues might be behind the persistent symptoms.

Doctors may also recommend over-the-counter mediation for your sulfur burps problem.