Upset Stomach: Causes, Foods to Eat, Home Remedies

Overeating or overdrinking is one common cause of an upset stomach. It can be treated at home using home remedies and eating certain kinds of foods. Learn more here.

Man holding warm compress due to upset stomach

Upset Stomach: What are the Possible Causes?

There are several possible causes or reasons for having an upset stomach. It could be the result of irritated or inflamed mucosal linings of the stomach. Upset stomachs caused by overeating and overdrinking may have additional symptoms such as bloatedness or heaviness of the stomach. Other possible symptoms of an upset stomach may include fullness, belching, gas, nausea, and heartburn. The reasons and causes for an upset stomach are varied and numerous, and the specific treatments to be used for the said condition may vary based on the specific cause of the patient’s upset stomach.

Fortunately, several food products can help ease the symptoms of an upset stomach and help patients feel better and comfortable.

What are the Best Food Items and Home Remedies for an Upset Stomach?

1. Ginger for an upset stomach

As stated earlier, vomiting and nausea are both symptoms of an upset stomach. With the help of ginger, patients can help address these two symptoms naturally and effectively. Ginger is a type of brightly colored yellow edible root that is used as a natural and alternative medicine for vomiting and nausea. This edible root can be consumed cooked, raw, or dipped into hot water as a form of herbal supplement and is a great natural option for patients suffering from an upset stomach. Pregnant women can take ginger to address their morning sickness, a form of vomiting, and nausea during pregnancy. 

One study showed that pregnant women who took at last one (1) gram of ginger per day had decreased or lowered the chance of experiencing morning sickness or nausea and vomiting during their pregnancy. Patients who are also undergoing chemotherapy may take in ginger to combat the vomiting and nausea associated with the aforementioned medical procedure. It was observed, that patients taking at least one (1) gram of ginger per day greatly lowered the possibility of experiencing both nausea and vomiting while undergoing chemotherapy. Experts, though, are still not sure as to why Ginger has these effects. It may be due to its nerve regulating properties that can help send signals to the stomach to speed up its rate of digestion which can, in turn, reduce vomiting and nausea.

2. Chamomile to soothe intestinal discomfort

A plant with small white flowers, Chamomile is a herb used to manage the symptoms of an upset stomach. It can be taken in many different forms, which include tea or as a supplement. Chamomille has been used for thousands of years to address a variety of issues related to the intestinal tract, such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, and gas. However, these users still need further research to establish its actual efficacy. 

Another research conducted on the effects of chamomille showed its possible use in the reduction of severe vomiting. Further studies are needed to confirm this claim needs to be conducted to confirm its effects with other types of vomiting. Another study conducted on animal test subjects revealed that chamomille extracts may be able to lower the water excreted in stools and intestinal spasms, but the said studies will require further analysis to ensure that it will have the same effects on humans.

Chamomille has also been used as a form for herbal supplementation to aid individuals in relieving colic (particularly for babies), diarrhea, bloating, gas, and indigestion. These herbal supplements, however, have other herbal ingredients mixed into them so it may be difficult to single out chamomille’s actual effect or contribution to the aforementioned mixture. Chamomille has also been known to provide a soothing effect to the gut but actual research is yet to be conducted to confirm its effects on an upset stomach.

3. Peppermint can help against IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Some individuals may experience an upset stomach due to IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This syndrome is a disorder of the gut that is considered chronic and may result in diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and pain.

Evidence suggests that Peppermint can help manage and reduce the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. Patients who took capsules of peppermint each day for two (2) weeks showed greatly reduced occurrences of IBS related diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain.

Researchers and experts believe that peppermint can help relax the digestive tract muscles which can lead to lower intensities of spasms that contribute to diarrhea and pain felt by patients. While results are generally positive for peppermint, additional research and studies are needed to ensure that peppermint can directly address an upset stomach in humans. One side note to peppermint is that some patients may have certain conditions that may be worsened due to peppermint use. These conditions include gallbladder disorders, liver or kidney stones, Hiatal hernias, and severe reflux.

4. Licorice can help prevent stomach ulcers

Licorice was traditionally considered a root and taken unprocessed or whole. Nowadays however licorice is taken as a supplement and has shown to help fight off stomach upset caused by stomach ulcers and indigestion.

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