Occasional stomach aches are nothing to worry about as everyone experiences upset stomach and indigestion, or dyspepsia as a result of something they ate or due to anxiety. If your stomach ache does not go away or occurs with intense symptoms, medical treatment is the best option. The award-winning and experienced gastroenterology doctors at Manhattan Gastroenterology are highly trained in preventing, diagnosing, and treating all kinds of problems related to digestion. They use state-of-the-art technology and research to analyze your condition and determine what is causing your upset stomach. The top-rated physicians understand how stomach aches can affect your life and help you take care of them at home with natural remedies if it is nothing critical.
What Is a Stomach Ache?
A stomach ache is cramps or a dull ache in the tummy. It usually does not last long and is often not serious, but severe or lasting abdominal pain is a cause for concern. Stomach ache can result from some injury or from eating something wrong. Sometimes it may be hard to figure out what is happening as with so many organs in the abdomen different problems may have similar symptoms.
Other signs and symptoms of indigestion that accompany stomach ache include:
- Heartburn, or acid reflux
- Belching, sometimes bringing up bitter or foul-tasting fluid or food
- Bad-smelling or sour breath
- Hiccupping or coughing
Common Causes of Stomach Ache
Stomach ache is often caused by:
- Overeating or eating fast
- Abdominal cramping
- Alcohol consumption
- Eating fast food, greasy or spicy food
- Medication-induced indigestion such as antibiotics and painkillers
- Peptic ulcer, gastritis, and hyperacidity
- Anxiety and stress
Mostly stomach ache does not require a visit to the doctor, especially if it is mild and does not last long. It can happen for many different reasons, but most are easy to treat with natural remedies at home.
Natural Remedies for Stomach Ache
Stomach ache, if not resulting from a medical condition, is not a serious issue and can be alleviated with natural remedies that ease the pain without causing any side effects. Different forms of natural remedies can be used as per the underlying causes and your symptoms. Lifestyle changes such as avoiding spicy food or eliminating the use of alcohol may soothe your stomach condition and help you feel better.
Peppermint is known as a remedy for nausea and upset stomach. The menthol in its leaves is a natural analgesic or pain reliever and helps to lighten the ache. It will also sweeten your breath.
You can use peppermint in the following ways:
- Brew a cup of peppermint or spearmint tea
- Sniff peppermint extract
- Suck on a minty candy
- Chew on the peppermint leaves
Using peppermint can keep the stomach pangs at bay and prevent nauseous feelings and diarrhea. It will also reduce muscle spasms in the intestines and reduce the discomfort of heartburn.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It may not be the best thing you would want to try while going through a stomach ache, but it can help to neutralize an upset stomach. Take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, mix it with a cup of water and a teaspoon of honey and sip it slowly. The acids inside the digestive tract may help decrease starch digestion, allowing the starch to get to the intestines and keep the bacteria in the gut healthy.
You can also take a spoonful of this mixture each day as a preventive measure if you occasionally experience stomach aches.
Since ancient times, ginger has been used to cure everything from nausea to indigestion and stomach aches. Being a natural anti-inflammatory, it can be consumed in various forms for soothing an upset stomach. Ginger contains chemicals called gingerols and shogaols that can speed up stomach contractions. It may move foods that are causing indigestion through the stomach more quickly.
You can use it in tea, as capsules, or in candy, but gingerroot in its original form is most effective for digestive issues. Ginger chews and supplements are also available, which are easy to take and do wonders in various stomach conditions, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. You can also use all-natural ginger ale or a few pieces of fresh ginger to make a tea.
Popular as a sleep time remedy, chamomile also acts as an anti-inflammatory which helps the stomach muscles relax and reduce the cramping and painful spasms. A nice cup of chamomile tea can ease the pain resulting from an upset stomach and makes you feel better. Try drinking the tea before you go to bed, and it will ease your stomach issues.
Our body needs water to digest food and beverages and absorb the nutrients obtained from them. A lack of water can disturb the digestive process and affects its speed, which increases the chances of an upset stomach. Dehydration can cause bloating due to electrolyte imbalances and result in various health problems.
People who suffer from digestive issues occasionally must make efforts to stay hydrated. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration very swiftly so people with these conditions should keep drinking water.
Healthcare experts recommend that women should consume around 2.7 liters or 91 ounces of water a day, while men should have about 3.7 or 125 ounces of water each day. About 20% of the liquid comes from food, while the rest comes from beverages. Drinking about 8, or more cups of water a day is essential to maintaining a hydrated body.
Physical activity is the best way to get the excess gas out from the body, which may be causing problems in the digestive tract. Walking, cycling and gentle stretching or yoga with deep breathing can help immensely in dealing with a stomach ache.
Try gently twisting your back while sitting on your feet as you begin, and it can release gas and alleviate the pain.
Try using a heating pad or a hot towel on your abdomen to relieve stomach pain. The heat can relax the muscles, ease indigestion and alleviate cramping. Taking a hot shower or bath with Epsom salts can also keep the pain down.
The BRAT Diet
Try the BRAT diet if your stomach ache does not go away. It consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods work best for an upset stomach as they are starchy, low in fiber, and high in binding, which makes the stools firmer. They do not contain any salt or spices that can affect your already sensitive stomach. The BRAT diet has proved an effective way to fight nausea and ease diarrhea.
The foods in the BRAT diet are also high in nutrients such as potassium and magnesium and replace those lost through diarrhea and vomiting. It has been discovered that overcooked and charred toast can help to reduce nausea.
When to Seek Medical Attention for Stomach Aches?
A stomach ache is not always a sign that you need to rush to the emergency room. If your stomach ache does not go away or you feel it worsening, you should seek medical attention. Symptoms such as blood in your stool, rectal bleeding, weight loss or severe nausea and vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and yellowing of the eyes should not be ignored. They may be a warning sign of some underlying condition.
Call your doctor if your pain has been concentrated in a single area. Some of the reasons for the stomach ache are:
- Stomach ulcers
- Gallbladder inflammation
- Kidney stones
Sudden and severe stomach aches could result in complications if you do not seek medical assistance timely. It may be nothing, but your doctor can rule out a food allergy or intolerance or any other digestive disorder to help you feel better.
Natural remedies are the best way to treat and even prevent stomach aches if you have eaten something that does not seem to be going doing well. The anti-inflammatory and soothing agents present in the natural ingredients provide relief from the discomforting sensations without causing any side effects. Schedule an appointment with the top gastroenterologist at Manhattan Gastroenterology to learn more about diseases and disorders of the digestive tract from experts. The top-rated gastro doctors have the knowledge and experience for finding and treating diseases in the gastrointestinal path to ease your stomach issues and get you back to feeling normal. They work out the reasons behind your discomfort and recommend the best solutions depending on your condition.