The occasional stomach ache might not be bad enough to warrant a trip to the doctor’s office, but it can still be uncomfortable. There are numerous ways to relieve such belly aches on your own. However, speak with your doctor if the pain worries you or lasts longer than a few days. Here are some research-based home remedies to soothe that occasional upset stomach.
Water is a necessity and the amount of water we need to drink each day depends on our size and our physical activity. Drinking enough water each day helps waste pass through the digestive system. According to an article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dehydration is one of the most common reasons for being constipated. Unless one is on a fluid-restricted diet, constipated adults and children should increase their liquid intake. In addition to helping constipation, water lubricates and cushions the joints in your body, which helps to prevent the painful symptoms of arthritis and gout.
Keep a food diary
Regardless of the cause, we can all agree that an upset stomach can be very irritating. But figuring out the cause of that upset stomach is a key step in preventing it. Try keeping a food diary. If you notice that a particular food or drink causes your problems, write it down so that you don’t make the mistake of eating it again. If you’re lactose intolerant, you may need to avoid milk and other dairy products. Also, wheat and onions are known to trigger irritable bowel syndrome. Know your body and understand what does and doesn’t work for you.
Talk to your doctor about probiotics
Probiotics, also known as the “friendly bacteria,” are live bacteria usually eaten in yogurts or taken as dietary supplements. According to the NHS, probiotics are linked to several digestive health benefits, including aiding irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics also may have benefits for ailments other than those affecting the gastrointestinal system, such as multiple sclerosis.
Limit spicy foods
Spicy foods may be contributing to your upset stomach. Not only can extremely hot foods such as chilies cause heartburn, but milder and flavorful foods like garlic and onions can as well. Fortunately, if these foods are the cause of your stomach pain, simply cutting them out of your diet may provide the relief you need.
Curb your acid intake
Acidic foods can trigger indigestion, heartburn and even irritable bowel syndrome. Certain food groups, such as citrus fruits, are commonly recognized as highly acidic, yet other foods like tomatoes and salad dressing manage to slide under many people’s radar, despite having comparable levels of acidity. Keeping a food journal and documenting episodes of heartburn and indigestion can help you figure out which foods to avoid. In the mean time, ask your doctor if an over-the-counter antacid can give you occasional symptomatic relief.
Attain and keep a normal weight
If you frequently have heartburn and sour stomach, now may be the perfect time to start a daily exercise routine. Indigestion, bloating and acid reflux can all be attributed to being overweight, as those extra pounds are putting pressure on the stomach and causing gastric acid to back up into the esophagus. Besides heartburn, there are other conditions, such as arthritis, gout, lupus and fibromyalgia, that tend to worsen when a person is overweight. Patients with heart conditions should consult their doctors before starting an exercise program.
Anyone who has been nervous and felt the sensation of butterflies flapping away in their stomach has experienced the strong connection between the stomach and the brain. Stress, depression, sadness and anger can all contribute to that nauseous feeling in the gut. Find ways to help you relax, as chronic exposure to stress may lead to a variety of more severe conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Steer clear of skin tight clothes
There are reasons besides feeling uncomfortable that you should avoid wearing extremely tight fitting clothing. Squeezing into those overly snug jeans can put pressure on your abdomen, thus causing stomach pains. Tight clothing can also worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn and GERD. If you want to avoid these stomach issues, try wearing slightly looser clothing.
Quit smoking now
There are so many reasons to quit smoking now. Not only does smoking cause numerous types of cancer, but it also contributes to many common problems of the digestive system. Nicotine causes an increase in stomach acid production, resulting in an increased risk for heartburn, GERD and stomach ulcers. Smoking also increases the risk for pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease and colon polyps. In addition, if you smoke, you are at risk for harming your liver and its ability to metabolize and clear medications, alcohol and other toxins from the body.
In addition to being used as a cooking spice, ginger has been used therapeutically for thousands of years. Most of the medicinal benefits of ginger are for gastrointestinal ailments, such as diarrhea, upset stomach, colic, and nausea due to cancer treatments, pregnancy and motion sickness. This root is also used to help treat arthritis and certain heart conditions. If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication, check with your pharmacist to make sure ginger will not interact poorly with your medications.
Slow down while eating
Don’t eat too quickly. If you take the time to taste your food, your stomach will thank you. Research has shown that people who eat fast are more likely to have dyspepsia and sour stomach versus those who eat at a slower pace. Eating slowly can also help prevent an unnecessary amount of air from being swallowed, and minimize the risk of excessive gas formation.
Eat smaller meal
Overeating can result in excessive gastric acid production and can lead to gastric irritation. If you have heartburn or GERD, it is better to eat several small meals throughout the day rather than consuming a couple of large meals. This strategy is especially useful in patients with diabetes, as it also helps control cravings and keeps blood sugar levels stabilized.
Source: Daily Rx