Natural Healing For Stomach Pain
The worst are stomach pains. You're OK one minute and then you're curled up on the sofa, unable to move. Bloating, gas, and nausea are all common symptoms that may have you searching for ways to get rid of stomach discomfort as soon as possible. While the thought of one-size-fits-all solutions for all instances of stomach pain is intriguing, what you need to get rid of it depends on what's causing it in the first place.
According to Henry Herrera, MD, a gastroenterologist at DHR Health Gastroenterology in Texas, stomach pains may develop anytime the stomach lining is irritated. Whether you ate too much spicy food, drank too many drinks at happy hour, or ate too many sweets (hello, Girl Scout cookies), there are a variety of factors that might cause abdominal pain.
Before you rush to the closest treatment you can find, keep in mind that some of the solutions you discover online may not work and may even make you feel worse. The bubbles and sugar in ginger ale, for example, might feed the harmful bacteria that make you ill, so switch to ginger tea instead. You should also avoid drinking lemon water. “Keep in mind that acidic meals are also linked to an increase in reflux symptoms,” Dr. Herrera says.
What Is The Average Duration Of A Stomach Ache?
Stomach pains are generally short-lived, lasting one to two hours. They usually fade away on their own. However, according to Leila Kia, MD, a gastroenterologist at Northwestern Medicine, the length of time it lasts isn't a good sign of whether it's benign or something more problematic.
“There are additional aspects to consider, such as the kind of pain, its severity, and location, as well as any related symptoms,” she adds. “The timing of the discomfort, the patient's medication history, and other medical conditions are all essential considerations in determining the origin of a stomach ache.”
If the pain does not go away with over-the-counter medications, is keeping you up at night, is accompanied by weight loss, blood in your stool, vomiting, or fevers, you should see your doctor immediately. Do you have a rumbling in your stomach and aren't sure how to get rid of it? One of these cures could be worth a go.
1. Wait It Out
If you wait a few minutes, little stomach pains will go away on their own. This is also true if you have diarrhea, which might be an indication of mild food poisoning. While this may happen at your local sushi place, it's also quite prevalent while travelling internationally.
This is because your body must acclimatize to the unfamiliar microorganisms found in the food and water you consume while away from home. In these situations, the best thing you can do is wait. Amit Bhan, MD, a gastroenterologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, adds, “You need to let your body cleanse itself.”
2. Take A Look At Over-The-Counter Medications
According to Michael Wolfe, MD, chair of the Case Western Reserve University department of medicine at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, gas is caused by two things: eating gas-forming foods like green vegetables, fruits with peels on them, carbonated beverages, cabbage, and beans, or swallowing air.
“When people drink with straws, chat with their mouths full, eat too quickly, or are worried, they [take in excess air].” Take an OTC medicine like Mylanta Gas if you have a gas issue that you suspect is causing your stomach ache.
Beano is another fantastic alternative, according to Dr. Wolfe, particularly if your stomach doesn't like vegetables since it breaks down raffinose, a sugar residue in plants that may be difficult to digest. If diarrhea happens at an inconvenient time or is so regular that it keeps you up at night, Dr. Bhan suggests using Pepto-Bismol.
The pink liquid will kill the bacteria that cause diarrhea in your system, allowing you to relax and work throughout the day. Imodium, which works by reducing the passage of fluids through your intestines, is another option.
3. If You Experience Cramping, Use Ibuprofen.
Sure, cramps are to be expected around period time, but nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea? According to Nancy Cossler, MD, an ob-gyn and the head of system quality for obstetrics at University Hospital in Ohio, it's quite normal for your whole abdominal area to go crazy while you're menstruating.
“Hormones generate uterine muscular spasms, which produces cramping,” she explains. “If your stomach cramps, creating an upset stomach or diarrhea [during your period], that's quite normal.” Dr. Cossler recommends taking an ibuprofen 12 to 24 hours before your period to relieve cramping. Then, for three days, take the specified dosage every three to six hours.
4. Consume Yogurt
Yogurt might assist maintain your digestive system in top form if you have a lot of stomach troubles like bloating. Bloating, although irritating, is usually not a reason for alarm. “Don't be too concerned,” advises David C. Metz, MD, a University of Pennsylvania professor of medicine.
“It may be caused by anything from menstruation to constipation.” If lactose sensitivity has been ruled out, try yogurt with “live and active cultures” (look for this word on the label), which may help your digestive system balance.
5. Consume Milk
Stomach aches may often lead to additional problems, such as heartburn, esophageal irritation that feels like burning, or tightness caused by stomach contents being driven back up into the esophagus. Milk is an at-home treatment that you probably already have. “I drink a glass of milk when I have heartburn,” says gastroenterologist Jeffry A. Katz, MD, of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. “Milk neutralizes the stomach's acid production.”
6. Stay Away From Spicy Meals
Eating spicy meals before night, as well as eating too much or too quickly, smoking, and drinking extensively, are all major causes of acid reflux. However, almost anything may cause stomach discomfort and cause you to feel the burn.
“This illness usually strikes at night, when you're laying down,” explains Minh Nguyen, MD, a gastroenterologist at Philadelphia's Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Acid from the stomach moves to the esophagus and throat, producing heartburn, sore throat, and coughing fits. Dr. Nguyen suggests using a prescription or over-the-counter antacid such as Prilosec. If you don't want to depend on medicines, though, limit your exposure to recognized triggers.
7. Drink A Cup Of Ginger Tea
A simple solution might be right in your own kitchen: Ginger root has a long history of being used to treat upset stomachs with effectiveness. The exact reason ginger works so effectively for digestion has never been determined, although some believe it accelerates the rate at which food passes from the stomach into the small intestine.
“I'll take ginger tea to ease my stomach when I've eaten too much and feel sick,” says Charlene Prather, MD, an associate professor of gastroenterology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. “I simply grate fresh ginger in water and add a little honey and it takes care of itself,” she says.
8. Reduce Your Intake Of Fast Food And Eat More Leisurely
There's no way to sugarcoat it: If you're in discomfort after eating, you've probably eaten too quickly, too much, or the incorrect stuff. The easy fix: Cut out fast food and take your time at the table. It's uncommon, but you might have gallbladder disease if you're not a junk-food fanatic and still feel terrible afterward.
“Gallstones are more common in women than in males, and some people acquire them for no apparent cause,” explains Frank Marrero, MD, a gastroenterologist at Lake Charles Memorial Health System in Louisiana. Consult your doctor to make sure it's not the case.
9. Increase Your Consumption Of Fibre
According to legend, having healthy intestines necessitates going to the bathroom three times a day. What is the truth? Everyone goes to the bathroom, but not at the same time. Even yet, according to Irwin Grosman, MD, associate head of gastroenterology at NYP Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, constipation is highly frequent among women.
“There's a belief that men and women have different hormones, and that women take longer to digest and remove food,” he says. Bottom line: Don't worry if you don't go every day.
However, if you're having additional constipation symptoms like bloating or gas, you should increase your fiber intake. Increase the number of fruits and vegetables on your plate, as well as whole grains and legumes, and start your day with a high-fibre cereal.
10. Get More Exercise
Constipation may also be caused by inactivity. Maintain hydration and aim for 30 minutes of activity every day. If it doesn't work, a modest over-the-counter fiber supplement like Metamucil may help.
11. Stay Away From Gas-Producing Vegetables
Vegetables may be to fault if you have green feces and an upset stomach. “Green stool is mainly caused by a healthy amount of green vegetables in our diet. Avoiding big gas-producing veggies like asparagus, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts will generally alleviate stomach discomfort in this situation “Dr. Herrera agrees. Reduce the quantity of food you consume till you feel better.
12. Make Sure You're Eating Your Usual Meals
On an empty stomach, the normal contractions of the digestive system are more pronounced. The stomach becomes a gastric echo chamber when there is no food in it. Hunger pains have a useful function: they're like a text message from the stomach to the brain, informing it that it's time to eat. As a result, make sure you eat.
However, be aware that an achy stomach may suggest anything other than hunger in certain circumstances. Mark Babyatsky, MD, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in New York, says, “Sometimes patients feel a scorching discomfort that becomes better when you eat.”
“It's possible that you have an ulcer. Consult a doctor if the problem continues. It might simply be your appetite if you've always had it.” Eat more little meals throughout the day to stay full.
13. Acupuncture Or Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Are Two Options
Indigestion may be caused by a digestive disorder such as gastritis or a peptic ulcer. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, persistent indigestion is more frequently referred to as functional dyspepsia or indigestion without a documented health condition (NIDDK).
An OTC antacid could help relax your stomach once your doctor has ruled out any underlying issues, says Rita Knotts, MD, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health. Dr. Knotts suggests attempting cognitive behavioural therapy or acupuncture if you're searching for a long-term cure, since indigestion may be caused by stress.
14. Stay Away From Fizzy Beverages
According to Dr. Knotts, burping is a normal reflex reaction to excess gas in your system. It's possible that foods or drinks that encourage gas (such as carbonated beverages) are to fault. Dr. Knotts recommends avoiding bubbles by substituting water or wine for soda or beer. To help your body better break down fibre-rich meals, keep quantities modest and consume slowly.
15. Drink Plenty Of Water
You could feel that small pinch of discomfort in your side when you go for a run (or basically any form of activity). According to Dr. Knotts, this is usually musculoskeletal discomfort induced by dehydration or eating too much before starting your sweat session. So take a sip. And, before you start exercising again, Dr. Knotts recommends giving yourself some time to digest. After a meal, give yourself at least an hour (better yet, a couple of hours).
16. Chamomile Tea Is A Good Option
Chamomile may help with nausea and vomiting caused by an upset stomach. According to Dr. Herrera, it includes bisabolol, which has anti-inflammatory qualities and relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive system. Other anti-inflammatory chemicals found in chamomile include azulene, chamazulene, and matricin.
17. Use Spearmint Or Peppermint As A Flavouring
Both spearmint and peppermint may relieve the agony of a stomach ache because of their menthol concentration. According to Dr. Herrera, menthol has been demonstrated to relax the muscles of the GI system. If you have acid reflux, however, you should avoid them. He notes that it may aggravate reflux by relaxing the sphincter, which keeps stomach contents out of the esophagus.
18. Drink Aloe Vera Juice If You're 18
You just can't seem to leave? According to Dr. Herrera, aloe may act as a laxative, which is beneficial for patients suffering from stomach discomfort related to constipation. According to a 2015 research published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, aloe juice may give comfort to patients suffering from acid reflux by lowering the frequency of symptoms associated with the illness.
19. Experiment With Figs
According to Dr. Herrera, figs are high in fiber, which aids in the promotion of bowel movements in patients who suffer from constipation. They may serve as a natural laxative in this manner.
20. Make An Effort To Eat A Low-FODMAP Diet
“Because it removes many gas-producing items, this diet has been demonstrated to be useful in treating stomach discomfort and bloating in patients with irritable bowel syndrome,” Dr. Herrera adds.
By restricting your consumption of fermentable carbohydrates, a low-FODMAP diet might possibly improve the symptoms of stomach pains, bloating, and other GI issues. (Because this is an elimination diet, you should undertake it under the direction of a doctor.)
21. Don't Go To Sleep Too Soon After A Meal
This is particularly useful for those who suffer from acid reflux. According to Dr. Herrera, “lying down too rapidly causes stomach contents to go up the esophagus, resulting in an uncomfortable sense of pressure or discomfort, as well as a bitter taste.” According to Dr. Kia, you should have your final meal of the day at least three hours before laying down or going to bed.
22. Take A Long, Hot Bath
“Warm water has long been used to relieve tension, which in many patients manifests as a stomach discomfort. It also aids in the relaxation of stiff muscles, which may occur after a stressful day “Dr. Herrera agrees. Adding a pinch of Epsom salt may also help.
“When Epsom salt is dissolved in water, magnesium is released. Magnesium, according to some studies, aids in the rise of serotonin in the brain, which is involved in relaxing “Dr. Herrera continues. Although further study is needed, studies have linked magnesium to a decrease in stress and anxiety.
23. Foods That Are Anti-Inflammatory
Abdominal discomfort may be alleviated by eating anti-inflammatory foods. Blueberries, squash, cherries, capsicum, tomatoes, cold-water fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, beans, green leafy vegetables, and almonds are among these foods.
These meals are also beneficial to one's general health. It's best to include these items in your diet all year rather than just around the holidays. Cramping may be exacerbated by sugary meals, fried and fatty foods, white bread or pasta, alcohol, caffeine, and smoke.
24. Herbs That May Help With Cramping Include
Herbs including chamomile tea, peppermint, fennel, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric root, and dill have anti-inflammatory properties and may help with cramps.
Two cups of tea brewed with these herbs twice a day may help relieve stomach discomfort. A tiny piece of ginger and/or turmeric root may be added to hot water or herbal teas to make a cramp-relieving beverage.
25. Therapeutic Heat
Applying heat to the belly and back using a heating pad, hot water bottle, hot cloth, or heat wrap relaxes the abdominal muscles and relieves stomach cramps and discomfort. The optimal temperature is 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot baths with bubbles and aromatic oils, as well as hot showers, may aid.
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