Sometimes, an aching stomach just doesn’t feel right. It’s gurgling, it’s in pain, and it gets us running to the bathroom. An aching stomach can be due to numerous reasons, including stress, food, and indigestion. Unfortunately, it can strike at any time, meaning you could be out enjoying yourself when the nagging feeling comes on, putting a damper on your plans.
Don’t let an upset stomach rule your life – take charge and try these six tips to help soothe your stomach woes.
10 Home and Natural Remedies for an Aching Stomach
Meditation: Believe it or not, meditation has been shown to offer relief for stomach troubles time and time again. This is because stress can upset the stomach, so reducing stress through meditation can promote pain relief.
Lemon balm: After the meal, brew yourself a lemon balm tea to aid with digestion, and reduce gas and bloating.
Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is known to be a great natural health product for a number of ailments, and an aching stomach is one of them. Many people have found consuming apple cider vinegar in warm water with honey prior to a meal helps reduce post-meal stomach pains.
The acid in the vinegar can help decrease starch digestion, allowing the starch to permeate the intestines and keep the bacteria in the gut healthy. Try taking a tablespoon of apple cider a day as a preventative measure.
Acupuncture: Small studies have shown that acupuncture can lessen indigestion by blocking the pathways that send pain signals to the brain and by altering acid secretion.
Chamomile tea: A nice warming cup of chamomile tea has been shown to help ease the pain of an upset stomach. It does this by acting as an anti-inflammatory. These anti-inflammatory properties found in the tea can help to relax stomach muscles which can help to reduce the pain of cramping and spasms. Studies also show that drinking chamomile tea after a meal can ease indigestion as a preventative measure.
Yogurt: Eating foods like yogurt that contain probiotics can promote regularity and ease stomach troubles. Probiotics are good bacteria that promote smooth digestion.
Heating pad: When dealing with a sore stomach, a hot water bottle or heating pad could help to soothe symptoms. The warmth on your stomach can help to distract you from any cramping or pain and the heat will help to relax muscles and reduce nausea.
Peppermint: Often cited as a helpful fix for nausea and upset stomach, peppermint holds menthol in its leaves which is a natural analgesic or pain reliever. A warm cup of peppermint tea or peppermint candy can help to keep stomach pangs at bay and alleviate feelings of nausea.
Ginger: Known since ancient times, ginger has been suggested as a cure-all for everything from pain to nausea. Available in many forms, ginger can be a very effective treatment for stomach upset. An anti-inflammatory, ginger can be taken in supplement form, or consumed as a ginger chew. Natural ginger root can also be chopped up and made into tea.
BRAT diet: Many doctors recommend the BRAT diet to patients suffering from nausea or diarrhea. BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. All starchy foods, they can help to bind foods together to make stool firmer. These are also bland foods that do not contain substances that irritate the stomach, throat, or intestines, which means that they can help to sooth the tissue irritation resulting from acids in vomit.
By trying some of these tips, you can help ease stomach pains and improve digestion naturally.
Lifestyle Changes to Treat an Aching Stomach
Maintaining a healthy diet goes a long way towards preventing an aching stomach. Adding fiber to meals including raw vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can help keep stool regular and keep the stomach calm. Dieticians also recommend drinking enough water throughout the day to keep hydrated. Reducing salt consumption can also help to avoid dehydration. A healthy diet should also limit food like bread, rice, and potatoes, also known as “white foods.”
Avoiding foods that can trigger heartburn or reflux can also help to control symptoms associated with an aching stomach. If you are uncertain about which foods may be triggering acid-reflux, doctors often suggest trying an elimination diet to rule out any foods you think maybe the culprits.
It is not only what you eat, but also how you eat that can affect how your digestive system works. Take time to enjoy your meals, and don’t rush your food. Eat only until you are full and make note of portion size, so you won’t overeat next time. Also, try to eat regularly and not skip meals, making sure your last portion of food is at least two-to-three hours before going to bed.
Stress can also have a direct impact on stomach issues as anxiety can upset the delicate balance of digestion. In some people, stress has been shown to slow down digestion, causing bloating, pain, and constipation. Try to avoid eating when feeling anxious, stressed, or unhappy, as it can slow down digestion causing bloating, pain, and constipation.
Staying active can help to lower stress and anxiety and also offer a lot of health benefits including helping with constipation. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day to keep your body healthy.
While an aching stomach isn’t normally a cause for concern, it can be painful and limit your daily activities. Your best course of action is to take preventative measures to stop a stomach ache before it begins. But if you do suffer from an aching stomach, the remedies listed above can help to ease the symptoms.