Stomach pain is one of the most common physical complaints; it can happen to anyone, and it can happen for any number of reasons. Sometimes it’s the result of a serious injury or underlying condition, but in many cases an upset stomach will resolve on its own with home treatment.
If you’re suffering from abdominal pain or are having digestive issues such as diarrhea, you don’t want to overload your stomach. Instead of the normal three meals a day, try eating small portions throughout the day, since smaller amounts of food are more easily processed. Avoid spicy, fatty, or salty foods and stick to bland ones instead: dry toast, crackers, white rice, bananas, and applesauce are the standards. Don’t eat other fruits (too much fiber and sugar are best avoided right now), and stay away from caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
Ginger has been a popular natural remedy in many societies for centuries, and recent science has proven it’s for a reason. Aside from its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can soothe nausea and stomach pain. Slice and muddle fresh ginger into warm water, or sip ginger tea or natural ginger ale; there are also ginger chews and supplements available.
Peppermint, which contains menthol, is often recommended for nausea and mild stomach pain; many people find that peppermint tea, peppermint extract, or even chewing directly on mint leaves, help with their symptoms.
Your mother may have given you a fizzy drink with a few drops of bitters in it when you had an upset stomach as a child, and she was onto something: because cocktail bitters are blended with herbs – including mint and ginger! – they are often soothing. Combining them with the light bubbles of plain club soda or tonic water can help settle a troubled stomach.
A heating pad is a great resource for cramping and abdominal pain. It eases tense muscles and has a relaxing effect that can help reduce nausea as well.
Extreme stomach pain, and pain, vomiting, or diarrhea that linger for more than two to three days may indicate a more serious condition, so consult a doctor if home treatment isn’t working.