Treating Your Stomach Well: Your Action Plan
While any number of factors can bring on a stomachache, the good news is you have many easy at-home remedies that you can now use to address it.
Taking the last point into consideration, its important to identify if any foods in particular trigger an upset stomach so you can begin to reduce or remove them from your diet . Knowing how to address a stomachache if and when it comes on is far more beneficial than trying to just push through the pain and discomfort.
Whats more, most of these foods and tips provide digestive health benefits beyond just relieving the stomachache in the moment; they can also can promote better digestion in the future.
Be sure to also consider using some of the pre-meal recommendations provided in this post, such as drinking ACV or water before a meal to help overall digestion.
Let us know which of these tips was most useful to you, or which you are excited to try next!
What Do Upper And Lower Abdominal Pain Signify
If the pain is coming from higher up in your stomach, it could be caused by acid reflux or an ulcer. You might also have heartburn and belching and the pain may either be made worse or relieved by food.
If you feel pain right across your stomach area or low down, its probably coming from your bowel. You may also have bloating and wind. If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause is probably gastroenteritis. If you are very ill for example, with chills or a fever you may have a more serious condition, such as food poisoning.
Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea In Children
As in adults, abdominal pain and diarrhea in children are commonly caused by the stomach flu, infections, food allergies, lactose intolerance, and stress. But eating too much can also cause these symptoms. Some children may have trouble telling the difference between when theyre hungry and when theyre full. This can cause them to overeat. Overeating places stress on the digestive system, which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- swelling of the genitals
- external bleeding
Diarrhea can be more dangerous for infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. In these cases, discuss symptoms with a medical professional.
If you dont already have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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Take A Digestive Enzyme
Our bodies need 3 categories of enzymes in order to break down food: lipase for fat digestion, amylase for carbohydrate digestion, and protease for protein digestion. Many of us lack proper levels of each of these enzymes due to over-medication, poor digestive function, and a nutrient-poor diet lacking in foods containing these enzymes.
Supplementing with digestive enzymes in the short-term can be a good option if digestion is impaired. Taking one after a meal if a stomachache comes on can help curb the pain and support digestion, and ideally, you should get in the habit of having one before the meal, as thats the optimal time to take one.
When It’s Not An Emergency
If your stomach pain is not severe, persistent, or associated with concerning symptoms like those already discussed, it is likely to resolve on its own. Abdominal pain is usually caused by minor problems such as constipation, trapped gas, or eating something that didn’t agree with you, like a high dairy meal or a spice that you aren’t used to.
Waiting a few hours, having a bowel movement, or passing gas usually helps. There are a few things you can do so that you can be more comfortable and to;help relieve your symptoms as your pain resolves:
- Limit yourself to clear liquids for a few hours.
- If you experience vomiting and/or diarrhea, stick with the BRAT diet and other mild foods until your symptoms start to subside.
- Avoid foods that are tough on the digestive system, such as food that is high in fat, fried foods, spicy foods, and drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
- Try an over-the-counter antacid or gas-relieving product.
- Try to have a bowel movement. Often, eating raw fruit, vegetables, beans, or high-fiber cereal can help.
- Use a hot water bottle or heating pad. This may help to soothe your pain. Place the pad on your abdomen for half-hour intervals and be sure to use a towel under the pad to protect your skin.
Your symptoms may completely improve within one to two days. If they do not, call your doctor’s office for advice.
Inflammatory And Autoimmune Conditions
Autoimmune conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease are recognized causes of chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Crohns disease can affect the GI tract from the mouth to the rectum, while UC primarily impacts the large bowel. Abdominal pain and diarrhea can result .
In celiac disease,;another autoimmune condition, gut inflammation occurs from an immune response against gluten, a protein found in some grains.
The bodys immune cells not only attack the invading protein but also the small intestine. This can lead to an inflamed bowel that cant properly absorb nutrients, as well as abdominal pain and diarrhea .
Chronic pancreatitis, often caused by alcohol abuse, can also lead to recurrent and severe abdominal pain and malabsorption-related diarrhea .
Summary: ;Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohns and ulcerative colitis, often cause chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain. Inflammation of the pancreas can also result in similar symptoms.
Possible Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Women
Abdominal pain can be achy, crampy, dull, intermittent or may be sharp. It is also called stomachache. Usually women experience many types of abdominal pain, which may be only left-sided abdominal pain, or lower abdominal pain etc. A woman may experience abdominal pain due to various reasons. Some of the causes of abdominal pain in women may be harmless, however others can be life threatening.
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Left Side Of The Abdomen
This part of the abdomen contains a portion of the body of your stomach, the tail of the pancreas, and your spleen.
The spleen is an organ that filters blood and supports the immune system.
Center left and center middle:
The transverse colon and the small intestine make up the center left and center middle of the abdomen. The small intestine is where most food digestion occurs.
The transverse colon is the upper part of the large intestine, where unabsorbed food is carried after going through the ascending colon. The small intestine is the organ that takes up most of the abdomen.
The descending and sigmoid colon portions are the part of the digestive system that stores unabsorbed food remains and waste before they leave your body.
Belly Pain In The Lower Left Side That’s Worse When You Move
Abdominal pain in the left lower area of the abdomen may signify diverticulitis, small pockets in the colon that can become obstructed and tear. Traditional treatment includes antibiotics and stool softeners to reduce the risk of abscess formation. Physicians say according to recent research, antibiotics may no longer be needed in this scenario, recommending acetaminophen instead.
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Vague Upper Abdominal Pain Associated With Nausea And Belching
Sometimes stomach pain is hard to identify or comes with multiple symptoms. Vague pain in the upper and mid-abdominal area that is linked to nausea, burping, or belching could be signs of a heart attack, particularly in older patients. Physicians say tests like an ECG or cardiac markers can be lifesaving. They also warn that vomiting with back or jaw pain and shortness of breath can also be a sign of a life-threatening emergency.
Home Remedies For Stomach Pain
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
Stabbing, throbbing, pulsing, or burning abdominal pains may be the sign of either minor or serious health conditions.
In most cases, relief can be found with all-natural home remedies for stomach pain.
The powerful yet nontoxic properties of many common kitchen products may help to alleviate the pain and other symptoms caused by gas, constipation, irritating foods, indigestion, food allergies, or viral infections.
Identifying the cause is the first step in knowing how to get relief from stomach pain.
In this article:
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Take A Shot Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar packs a big and beneficial punch when it comes to our digestion. It helps to balance the acidity of the stomach, which we need a certain level of in order to even break down food fully.
Oftentimes we actually lack enough acid in our stomach, despite popular belief that we have too much, and this can make digestion quite difficult. Stomachaches are one of the telltale signs of too little acid in the stomach.
Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water and drink it as soon as you can to help boost acid production and begin relieving your stomachache. It can also help to do this in advance of eating to stimulate digestive function early on.
What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your specific symptoms, the location of pain and when it occurs will help your provider detect the cause.
LOCATION OF YOUR PAIN
- Where do you feel the pain?
- Is it all over or in one spot?
- Does the pain move into your back, groin, or down your legs?
TYPE AND INTENSITY OF YOUR PAIN
- Is the pain severe, sharp, or cramping?
- Do you have it all the time, or does it come and go?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
HISTORY OF YOUR PAIN
- Have you had similar pain in the past? How long has each episode lasted?
- When does the pain occur? For example, after meals or during menstruation?
- What makes the pain worse? For example, eating, stress, or lying down?
- What makes the pain better? For example, drinking milk, having a bowel movement, or taking an antacid?
- What medicines are you taking?
OTHER MEDICAL HISTORY
- Have you had a recent injury?
- Are you pregnant?
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Using Apple Cider Vinegar As A Stomachache Cure
Another paradoxical-sounding remedy;is using acidic drinks to relieve pain from gastric reflux. Since gastric reflux can result in stomach acid leaking out into places its not wanted, your stomachs acidity can end up lower than is optimal for digesting food.
Drinking apple cider vinegar can help improve the levels and ease an upset stomach. This assumes that youre able to, well, stomach the drink in the first place. While apple cider vinegar does its work best if taken raw, you may find mixing it with water, a teaspoon of honey, and sipping slowly to be the more tolerable option.
- Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of warm water.
- Mix in one tablespoon of honey.
- Drink this remedy every three hours until pain is gone.
Lime Or Lemon Juice Baking Soda And Water
Some studies suggest that mixing lime or lemon juice in water with a pinch of baking soda can help to relieve a variety of digestive complaints.
This mixture produces carbonic acid, which may help to reduce gas and indigestion. It may also improve liver secretion and intestinal mobility. The acidity and other nutrients in lime or lemon juice can help to digest and absorb fats and alcohol while neutralizing bile acids and reducing acidity in the stomach.
Most traditional recipes recommend mixing the following quantities:
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 8 oz of clean water
Evaluate What You Ate
Its important to know if what you ate was the direct cause of the stomachache. While this may not help you in the moment, it can give you good information going forward.
If, for example, you ate a lot of dairy or sugar and you find you most often get stomachaches when these foods are in your meals, thats a signal from your body that you may either lack the ability to properly break them down or that these foods simply dont agree with your body.
It may be helpful to start a food journal where you write down everything you eat so that you can better correlate it with digestive upset, like stomachaches.
Drink Warm Lemon Water To Relieve Stomach Pain
Since pregnant women should avoid fennel, they can try warm lemon water instead. The high acidity of the lemon will trigger extra production of your stomachs hydrochloric acid to further break down food and keep things moving smoothly.
- Squeeze the juice from one-half of a lemon into one cup of warm water.
- Mix well and drink while warm.
What Causes Upper Stomach Pain
Potential causes of upper stomach pain include:
- Obstruction of the bowel
- Stomach virus
While the ailment has many causes, the nature of your discomfort gradual or sudden, aching or sharp can indicate to your doctor what is causing your upper stomach pain. Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor will prescribe an appropriate treatment.
Rice Water To Relieve Stomachache
Last but not least, look to rice; more specifically, look to the leftover water after you cook rice.
Rice water is capable of forming a coating over certain membranes like, for instance, the lining of your stomach. This barrier can be a soothing lining to help ease inflammation and offer relief from stomach pain.
For a simple rice water remedy, first wash one-half cup of white rice.
- Add rice to six cups of boiled water, cover, and allow to sit until rice is tender.
- Strain the water into a cup to cool.
- Add one-half teaspoon of honey.
- Sip on two cups daily.
How Is The Cause Of The Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Physical examination will include a careful examination of the patient’s abdomen, heart, and lungs in order to pinpoint the source of the pain.
- The doctor will touch different parts of the abdomen to check for tenderness or other signs that indicate the source of the pain.
- The doctor may do a rectal exam to check for small amounts of blood in the stool or other problems, such as a mass or internal hemorrhoids.
- If the patient is a man, the doctor may check the penis and testicles.
- If the patient is a woman, the doctor may do a pelvic exam to check for problems in the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
- The doctor also may look at the patient’s eyes for yellow discoloration and in the mouth to be sure the patient is not dehydrated.
Laboratory tests may or may not help to determine the cause of the abdominal pain. Combined with the information gained from the questions the patient was asked and the physical examination performed by the doctor, certain blood or urine tests may be ordered and could assist in determining the diagnosis.
Radiology studies of the patient’s abdomen can be useful, but are not always necessary or helpful.
- Occasionally, an X-ray will show air outside of the bowel, meaning that something has ruptured or perforated.
- An X-ray also can help diagnose bowel obstruction.
- Sometimes X-rays can show a kidney stone.
Ultrasound is a painless procedure useful in finding some causes of abdominal pain.
Chamomile Tea To Cure Stomach Pain
Chamomile;tea is known to work as an anti-inflammatory along the digestive tract.
If your stomach pain is caused by gastritis or indigestion, a cup of chamomile can offer relief. It does this by relaxing muscles along the stomach and the esophagus, easing the contractions that push food along, and lessens any cramps or spasms you are experiencing.
- Place one teaspoon of dried chamomile in one cup of boiled water.
- Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain tea and add lemon or honey for taste.
- Drink up to three cups daily
Severe Stomach Pain After Eating Ice Cream
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Abdominal Bloating And Pain Treatments
Treatments for abdominal bloating and pain will address the underlying condition.
Examples may include antibiotics for infections. If an intestinal obstruction is the cause, your doctor may encourage bowel rest by decreasing oral intake.
If theres a deficiency moving contents within the GI tract, your doctor may prescribe medications to encourage intestinal movement. Surgery may be necessary in severe instances.
Signs And Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may take several different forms. In addition to how severe it is, abdominal pain can be described in the following ways:
Generalized Pain This refers to pain felt in more than half of your abdominal area, and is typical of stomach viruses, indigestion, or gas as the cause of your pain.
Cramping This type of pain come and goes, or changes in its severity or perceived position in your abdomen. Cramping is rarely serious and is typical of gas, passing a stool, or menstruation as the cause of your pain.
Its important to call your doctor if your abdominal pain is so severe that you cant move without feeling more pain, or sit still in a comfortable position.
- Nausea and vomiting that doesnt resolve
- Weight loss
- Abdomen very tender to touch
- Swollen abdomen