Have you ever experienced a tense, painful coil in your stomach or abdominal area? This can also be accompanied by severe cramping, diarrhea, or vomiting. If two or more of these symptoms are present, you may be experiencing a stomachache (read more) with underlying causes. These causes can range from gastroenteritis, stomach ulcer to related conditions, like a ruptured appendix or diverticulitis.
However, some upset stomachs aren’t so serious and can be easily remedied by home remedies. Whether you’re trying to ease the pain at home or finding temporary solutions for it while you prepare to see the doctor, this article can definitely help you.
What’s An Upset Stomach?
Plainly known as a stomachache, this condition can manifest in 3 different types. Acute is described when these aches have a sudden onset and can easily be cured. Chronic is for long-term pain that is usually a part of a bigger picture, namely other conditions that mark an upset stomach as a symptom (e.g. IBS). Lastly, progressive is for stomach aches that get worse over time and usually cannot be cured by medicine or drugs but surgical treatment (such as diverticulitis).
The symptoms can range from different physical symptoms, such as bloating, pain described as “sharp”, heartburn, intense discomfort, fatigue, and constipation.
What Are The Common Causes Of Stomach Pain?
Also known as Stomach Flu, Gastroenteritis causes vomiting, diarrhea, and a constant feeling of being sick. It can root from both virus and bacteria, but the former is considered as the 2nd most common disease (link: https://medlineplus.gov/gastroenteritis.html) in the United States. It is usually acute, but symptoms that exceed 48 hours can warrant a haste trip to the emergency room immediately.
Remember when we told you not all upset stomachs have a serious or life-altering cause? Gas is one cause that is both harmless and easily remedied. It forms when bacteria found in the intestines break down food that the body rejects. The presence of gas can inflate the intestines, causing the pain you feel in your abdomen.
There are a lot of foods that are gas-forming, which you should avoid accordingly. They are beer, soda, broccoli, beans, wheat, onions, garlic, and dairy products. Other than laying on your stomach for half an hour and laying on your left side until the pain subsides (or you pass gas), avoiding these foods is another intervention.
Depending on your diet, Acid Reflux can happen. Acid reflux is when stomach acid (or the ones from your food such as soda or alcoholic beverages) becomes too much it back flows from the stomach to the throat and into your mouth. Frequent incidences of this can turn your acid reflux into something more serious.
One such condition is GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), where the lower esophageal sphincter is damaged from constant acid exposure and becomes useless in preventing food and acid reflux.
However, the origin of this disease can easily be managed by antacids and keeping acidic foods and beverages to a bare minimum.
Home Remedies For Upset Stomach
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- Rehydrate Yourself
Dehydration is one symptom of this condition and can easily cause hyperacidity. Having a pH of 7, water has a big chance of neutralizing the acid in your stomach, so drinking water in frequent sips is more than necessary to prevent dehydration and buffer the pain.
If you have diarrhea, you’ll need to drink more than the advised amount, which is 2.7 liters. You’ll have to add one more liter to replenish what you lost.
- A Warm Bath
Indigestion is one cause that may have exacerbated this symptom. One way to ease it, other than drinking medicine, is to have a warm soak in the bathtub. Not only does the soak ease tense muscles and soothes the discomfort of indigestion.
If you don’t have a tub in your home, you can use a heating pad or a warm towel and press it against your abdomen for 10 minutes or until the heat from the object subsides. Do this for 30 minutes or until the pain diminishes.
- Swear Off Alcohol And Smoking
As we have discussed before, alcohol adds to stomach acidity, which can develop into worse conditions in the future. IBS, or Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, is one such condition. To add, alcohol interferes with the digestion of food, lowers blood pressure, and decreases the potency of several medicines.
Smoking, on the other hand, can damage your throat. And when suffering from frequent vomiting, it can worsen the already raw and painful passage of vomitus.
- Add These To Your Diet
While some can worsen your stomach aches, there are foods you can eat to actually prevent or relieve the condition. Here are just some of those said foods:
Rice helps by hardening stool (when diarrhea is present), removing bad toxins and bacteria around the intestines through the stool, and easing any uncomfortable cramps. The liquid that is produced mid-way to steaming rice can help during ulcers or if you’re having consistent vomiting episodes.
Mint is a very good counter to this condition. Its minty flavor prevents you from throwing up as it is a well-known medicine for indigestion and flatulence. It also relieves pain by easing the spasms made by the intestines.
This spice is well-known for its ability to reduce inflammation, belching, and cramps. It also reduces gas formation and bloating.