If you get stomach aches periodically, you’re not alone. An upset stomach can result from all sorts of things from stress and diet to more serious matters such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease or colon cancer.
While there is no comparison to care from one of our board-certified gastroenterologists, many stomach aches can easily be treated at home. However, if you have persistent issues or pain, or a sudden onset of severe symptoms, medical treatment is always your best option.
8 Natural Remedies for Stomach ache
The menthol in peppermint leaves has been used as a natural pain reliever to aid stomach problems for centuries. Try drinking it in a tea, chewing on mint gum, or sucking on a peppermint candy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
While not delicious to taste on its own, this pantry staple can be taken by the tablespoon to neutralize an upset stomach. Try mixing it with a cup of water and a teaspoon of honey. The acids inside may help decrease starch digestion, and keep the bacteria in the gut healthy.
Ginger has been used since ancient times to help treat stomach aches, and science proves it truly can help. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and can be consumed in various forms – candy, capsules, or as tea – but fresh ginger root is best when looking to rid stomach pain.
Long known as a sleepy time remedy, chamomile also can act as an anti-inflammatory, which can help stomach muscles relax and reduce the pain of cramping and spasms. Try it while sitting up before heading to bed.
When in doubt, drink fluids. Throughout the course of the day, we lose water through sweating, breathing, and digesting. It’s crucial to replace the water we lose to prevent dehydration and keep the GI tract running smoothly. Dehydration can cause bloating due to electrolyte imbalances and can halt digestion and cause constipation. Check out these 5 creative ways to increase water intake for some simple ways to up your H2O.
Walking, cycling, and gentle stretching yoga with deep breathing can all be helpful when dealing with a stomach ache. Try gently twisting your back while sitting on your feet for starters as this can help relive gas pains.
Try putting a heating pad or hot towel on your abdomen. The heat can help relax the muscles and relieve cramping. Taking a hot shower or bath with Epsom salts may also help.
Try the BRAT Diet
If the stomach pain is persistent, try sticking to the basics with the “BRAT” diet – that is, bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. These foods are low in fiber and high in binding, and none of them have salt or spices, which can aggravate the stomach more. It’s a great way to help combat nausea and diarrhea.
When to visit us
A stomach ache isn’t always a sign that you need to head to a doctor. But when it lasts for more than a few hours and it’s coupled with symptoms such as blood in your stool, rectal bleeding, paleness, weight loss, difficulty swallowing, yellowing of the eyes, or severe nausea or vomiting, then it’s best to visit us as soon as possible. Persistent stomach problems can indicate a more serious issue.
Have questions? Our team of doctors at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC in Troy, Michigan have the knowledge and experience finding and treating diseases in the gastrointestinal tract to ease your stomach issues. Give us a call at (248) 273-9930 or request an appointment today.