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12 Home Remedies for Stomach Pain – Medical News Today

Several home remedies can help resolve stomach and abdominal pain, such as drinking water and avoiding spicy foods. If these do not help, over-the-counter and prescription medications are available.
Common symptoms of an upset stomach and indigestion include:
This article looks at 12 of the most popular home remedies for an upset stomach and indigestion. We also explain when to speak with a doctor.
Stomach pain is a pain or an ache that someone experiences anywhere between the chest and groin.
This pain can vary in intensity and affect different areas of the abdomen, such as the:
Stomach pain can vary in intensity and has various causes.
Abdominal pain may be due to more common causes such as gas, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. Infectious illnesses, such as the flu, may also cause abdominal pain.
More uncommon causes include:
Learn more about the causes of abdominal pain.
There are several popular home remedies for indigestion. Some may also help ease stomach upset from other sources, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
The body needs water to efficiently digest and absorb nutrients from foods and beverages. Being dehydrated makes digestion more difficult and less effective, increasing the likelihood of an upset stomach.
Additionally, drinking water may help reduce heartburn.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that although the general rule of thumb is drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, a person’s fluid needs can vary. Activity levels, elevation, extreme temperatures, general health, and size can all make a difference in fluid needs.
Around 20% of a person’s fluid intake will come from food, with the rest coming from beverages. For most people, a suitable figure to aim for is approximately 8 or more cups of water daily. Younger children require slightly less water than adults:
For those with digestive issues, it is important to stay hydrated. Vomiting and diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration, so people with these symptoms should keep drinking water.
Drinking water can help with digestion and prevent dehydration.
However, some people may forget to drink water throughout the day. Additionally, some may prefer the taste of other beverages.
Products, such as water bottles and flavor enhancers, can make drinking water throughout the day more convenient and enjoyable.
Avoiding lying down may prevent indigestion from becoming heartburn.
When the body is horizontal, the acid in the stomach is more likely to travel backward and move upward, which can cause heartburn.
Therefore, people with an upset stomach should avoid lying down or going to bed for at least a few hours until it passes.
Avoiding lying down may be a convenient remedy if a person performs daily activities.
However, this remedy may be unsuitable if someone experiences stomach pain during the time they rest or sleep.
Ginger may help reduce nausea and vomiting in people who are pregnant or those who undergo chemotherapy.
Individuals with an upset stomach could try adding ginger to their food or drinking it as tea. Some all-natural ginger ales may also contain enough ginger to settle an upset stomach.
Ginger tea is widely available to buy in supermarkets and online.
Research suggests that ginger may help reduce nausea in those who are pregnant.
However, larger doses of ginger may cause side effects, such as gas, heartburn, indigestion, and abdominal discomfort.
Many different products containing ginger are available commercially and may help manage nausea. These include ginger tea, ginger chews, ginger lollipops, and ginger supplements.
Doctors may recommend the bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT) diet to people with diarrhea.
BRAT foods may decrease the number of stools a person passes and help ease their diarrhea.
As these foods are bland, they do not contain substances that irritate the stomach, throat, or intestines. Therefore, this diet can soothe the tissue irritation resulting from the acids in vomit.
Many of the foods in the BRAT diet are also high in nutrients, such as potassium and magnesium, and can replace those someone loses through diarrhea and vomiting.
The BRAT diet may help harden stool and reduce diarrhea and dehydration. This may help reduce stomach cramps due to loose stool.
However, this diet may not be suitable for the long term, as people may not consume all the necessary nutrients through the food in this diet.
Smoking and alcohol may trigger indigestion and other gastrointestinal conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake improves people’s quality of life and reduces the risk of certain health conditions, such as cancer.
However, avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol can be difficult, and individuals may require extra support.
Learn more about quitting smoking and drinking:
Research suggests that the following foods may increase the risk of indigestion:
Avoiding difficult-to-digest foods may help ease the stomach and reduce discomfort and pain. Additionally, more easily digestible foods, such as fruit and vegetables, may help promote a nutritious, balanced diet.
However, avoiding richer or heavily preserved foods may be more difficult for people who do not have the time to source fresher food or those who live in a food desert. Food deserts are regions where individuals have limited access to nutritious and affordable food
Some healthcare professionals suggest that baking soda can help relieve heartburn and indigestion by reducing stomach acidity.
While this home remedy may help with an upset stomach, it may not taste pleasant. Additionally, consuming too much baking soda may lead to:
Figs contain substances that act as laxatives to ease constipation and encourage healthy bowel movements. Figs also contain compounds that may help to ease indigestion.
However, if people are also experiencing diarrhea, they should avoid consuming figs due to this food’s laxative effects.
Figs are available in several forms, such as fig leaves, food, and paste.
Aloe vera may help reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and colitis, although the evidence for these benefits is slight and needs further research.
Healthcare professionals state that drinking aloe vera juice can yield multiple benefits, including providing relief from the following symptoms of GERD:
However, ingesting aloe vera may cause abdominal pain and cramps.
Aloe vera juice is widely available commercially.
Basil contains substances that may reduce gas. Its leaves also contain levels of high linoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Basil is usually available to purchase in grocery stores, gardening stores, and online.
However, those in food deserts may have to rely on online stores if they find it difficult to source fresh basil.
Products that contain licorice root may help relieve digestive symptoms. However, experts are uncertain about the role of licorice in these products.
Someone with an upset stomach could try drinking licorice root tea several times daily until their symptoms improve.
Licorice root teas are widely available online, but it is possible to make them at home by mixing 1 or 2 teaspoons of licorice root powder with boiling water.
However, licorice can cause side effects, such as an increase in blood pressure and a decrease in potassium levels. This may be especially dangerous for those with high blood pressure or kidney or heart disease.
Plain rice may be beneficial for those with stomach pain due to irritable bowel syndrome, along with other low FODMAP food.
Rice is also part of the BRAT diet that doctors may recommend.
Rice is available in bulk at many grocery stores and is often one of the more affordable foods available.
However, there is some evidence that white rice consumption may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome. However, the risk may increase with regular or frequent consumption and may not affect those who consume white rice to help with stomach pain.
The following tips may help prevent stomach pain:
However, if a person has stomach pain that does not resolve itself or pain that interferes with their quality of life, they should contact a qualified healthcare professional for testing and treatment.
Food allergies and intolerances can cause stomach pain and bloating. Some common allergies or intolerances include those to:
If a person believes they may have an allergy or intolerance to certain foods or beverages, they should contact a qualified healthcare professional to discuss an elimination diet or testing.
Learn more about at-home food sensitivity tests.
If someone experiences stomach pain that does not go away or believes it may be a symptom of another condition, they should contact a qualified healthcare professional.
A healthcare professional can investigate the cause of the stomach pain and prescribe treatment if necessary.
People should seek immediate medical attention if they experience stomach pain alongside:
Below we answer some frequently asked questions about upset stomachs.
Research states that people with COVID-19 may have abdominal pain.
Some may experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting, instead of fever at the start of COVID-19.
According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), a person should be concerned if their stomach ache is very severe or has a sudden onset.
If this is the case, they should contact a healthcare professional immediately – especially if they notice other symptoms, such as vomiting blood, having difficulty passing urine or feces, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and jaundice.
There are different ways of classifying abdominal pain. Some medical authorities say the three main types of abdominal pain are:
Doctors can also help identify abdominal pain by what part of the abdomen it affects or the speed at which it develops — these include sudden, rapid, or gradual.
The most common causes of stomach pain are not very serious and do not last long. They frequently involve:
A person can help relieve stomach pain by:
A person with stomach pain may need to consider going to the ER in the following scenarios:
Stomach pain can result from various conditions, such as gas and indigestion, and may be a sign of more serious conditions such as bowel obstruction or appendicitis. Home remedies may help ease stomach pain.
However, other conditions share similar symptoms with indigestion. A person should contact a healthcare professional to ensure the stomach pain results from indigestion before trying home remedies.
Read this article in Spanish.
Last medically reviewed on November 30, 2023
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