A stomach ache is a term often used to refer to cramps or a dull ache in the tummy (abdomen). It’s usually short-lived and is often not serious. Severe abdominal pain is a greater cause for concern.
Various causes of abdominal pain include, but are not limited to, indigestion after eating, gallstones and gallbladder inflammation, pregnancy, gas, inflammatory bowel disease, appendicitis, ulcers, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, parasite infection, endometriosis, kidney stones, abdominal muscle injury, abdominal hernia, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance , food poisoning, menstrual cramps, peritonitis, serositis, ischemic bowel disease, vasculitis, abdominal aneurysm, abdominal organ injury from trauma, and constipation.
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Related Symptoms & Signs
Ginger is a common natural remedy for an upset stomach and indigestion.
Ginger contains chemicals called gingerols and shogaols that can help speed up stomach contractions. This may move foods that are causing indigestion through the stomach more quickly.
The chemicals in ginger may also help to reduce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
People with an upset stomach could try adding ginger to their food or drinking it as a tea. Some all-natural ginger ales may also contain enough ginger to settle an upset stomach.
In addition to sweetening the breath, the menthol in mint may help with the following:
- preventing vomiting and diarrhea
- reducing muscle spasms in the intestines
- relieving pain
Raw and cooked mint leaves are both suitable for consumption. Traditionally, people often boil mint leaves with cardamom to make a tea. It is also possible to powder or juice mint leaves and mix them with other teas, beverages, or foods
3. Taking a warm bath or using a heating bag
Heat may relax tense muscles and ease indigestion, so taking a warm bath may help to ease the symptoms of an upset stomach. It could also be beneficial to apply a heated bag or pad to the stomach for 20 minutes or until it goes cool.
4. Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol
Smoking can irritate the throat, increasing the likelihood of an upset stomach. If the person has vomited, smoking can further irritate the tender tissue already sore from stomach acids.
As a toxin, alcohol is difficult to digest and can cause damage to the liver and stomach lining.
People with an upset stomach should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol until they are feeling better.
5. Avoiding difficult-to-digest foods
Some foods are harder to digest than others, which increases the risk of an upset stomach. Anyone with an upset stomach should avoid foods that are:
- fried or fatty
- rich or creamy
- salty or heavily preserved
Cloves contain substances that may help to reduce gas in the stomach and increase gastric secretions. This can speed up slow digestion, which may reduce pressure and cramping. Cloves may also help to reduce nausea and vomiting.
A person with an upset stomach could try mixing 1 or 2 tsps of ground or powdered cloves with 1 tsp of honey once a day before bedtime. For nausea and heartburn, they could combine the cloves with 8 oz of boiling water instead to make a clove tea, which they should drink slowly once or twice daily.
Yarrow flowers contain flavonoids, polyphenols, lactones, tannins, and resins that may help to reduce the amount of acid that the stomach produces. They do this by acting on the main digestive nerve, called the vagus nerve. A reduction in stomach acid levels can reduce the likelihood of heartburn and indigestion.
A person with an upset stomach could try eating young yarrow leaves raw in a salad or cooked in a meal. It is also possible to make yarrow tea by adding 1 or 2 tsps of dried or ground yarrow leaves or flowers to boiling water.
Licorice root contains substances that may help to reduce gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach lining, as well as inflammation relating to peptic ulcers.
Someone with an upset stomach could try drinking licorice root tea several times a day until their symptoms improve.But it is also possible to make them at home by mixing 1 or 2 tsps of licorice root powder with boiling water.
Plain rice is useful for people with many types of stomach complaints. It can help by:
- adding bulk to stool
- absorbing fluids that may contain toxins
- easing pain and cramps, because of its high levels of magnesium and potassium
Someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea could try slowly eating half a cup of plain, well-cooked rice. It is best to wait until at least a few hours after the last episode of vomiting. The person may continue to do this for 24–48 hours until diarrhea stops.
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