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What is an upset stomach?
It is usual for everyone to experience an upset stomach or indigestion, from time to time after eating or drinking. There are many reasons for getting a stomach ache. Most cases are not severe, and the symptoms go away on their own. You do not have to look further than your kitchen to treat an upset stomach.
Causes of an upset stomach
- Infection - Bacterial or viral infection in the digestive tract.
- Reaction to food - Sudden changes in diet and over-consumption of fatty and oily food.
- Overeating - Indigestion due in no small amount of food.
- Stress and anxiety - Stimulate bowel movements which then causes diarrhea.
- Alcohol and smoking - Overindulgence of either can interfere with the digestion process
- Pregnancy - Diarrhea and irregular bowel movements due to bodily changes.
Some less common and severe conditions, which can lead to an upset stomach are:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Faucal Impaction
- Abdominal diseases
- Irritable bowel syndrome It is advisable to visit a doctor during such conditions to get timely treatment; otherwise, it can prove to be harmful in the long run.
Symptoms of an upset stomach
Some common symptoms of indigestion and an upset stomach are:
- Frequent coughing and hiccupping
- Abdominal pain
- Acidic taste in the mouth
Diagnosis and Treatment
The majority of stomach related problems can be solved at home. However, if you feel the symptoms are severe and cannot be controlled, then it is highly advisable to visit a physician as soon as possible. This is because indigestion and stomach ache can occur due to various
reasons. Therefore, it is important to tell your physician about your condition in detail. The physician might ask you to get some x-rays done of the stomach and small intestine if
he/she finds something worrisome.
Mentioned below are some natural home remedies to control the symptoms.
- Drink plenty of water
Water keeps you hydrated and makes the digestion process more comfortable and smoother. Water also allows the body to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat. Women should drink around 2.2 litres of water every day, whereas men should drink around 3 litres. You can also incorporate other fluids in your diet like soup, juice, herbal tea, buttermilk, etc.
- Eat slowly
Remember to chew your food slowly and break it into fine pieces to ease up the digestion process.
- Eat light food
Avoid fatty and oily food for at least a week. This relaxes your stomach and allows the digestive tract to clear up. Eat some fruits and yoghurt to avoid feeling hungry.
- Use a heating bag
Heat relaxes the muscles and releases tension. Apply a heating bag on the stomach for 20 minutes and repeat this at regular intervals until the aching subsides. You can also take a warm bath to control the symptoms.
Ginger is rich in gingerols and shogaols, which increases the process of digestion and reduces cramping. It also helps treat vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. You can add ginger in your food or tea, or you can drink some ginger water. Drink it twice a day to treat an upset stomach quickly.
- Coconut water
High magnesium and potassium content in coconut water helps reduce cramping and nausea. It also keeps the body hydrated. Slowly sip at least two glasses of coconut water at frequent intervals to treat a stomach ache.
It is rich in antioxidants which reduces the risk of irritation in the digestive tract and also treats cramping, bloating, and nausea. You can add a cinnamon stick or the powdered form of it in your food or tea.
- Wait it out/Take lots of rest
Although it is easier said than done, you need to give it time. Try to distract yourself by watching TV, reading, or merely talking to friends and family. You have to remember that an upset stomach does not last forever.
You Are Not Alone
You are not the only one, and almost everybody suffers from stomach ache once or twice in a couple of months irrespective of age, gender, and nationality. Think of it as something as simple as butterflies in the stomach to help yourself deal with it. However, always keep in mind that if it looks dangerous to you, then do not hesitate to consult a doctor.
If you cannot find time to consult a physician personally, then you can also opt for online consultation, which is just a click away.