8 Calming Activities To Help Soothe An Upset Stomach
An upset stomach can ruin your entire day. An occasional tummy ache happens to nearly everyone, but ongoing problems indicate the need for medical intervention. Regardless of the reason, you need relief. Here are eight calming activities that may help soothe an upset stomach.
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8 DIY calming activities to help soothe an upset stomach
What can you do if you find yourself calling in sick with nausea or diarrhea? Here are eight calming activities to help soothe your upset stomach quickly.
1. Sip stale ginger soda
Sipping stale ginger ale can work — if the brand you select contains the magic ingredient. One woman filed suit against a major manufacturer for failing to provide real ginger in their brew.
The relief may be due more to the carbonation, anyway, depending on your upset stomach’s cause. The bubbles kick your digestive tract in gear, but flattening the soda makes the effect gentler. In one study, participants who drank sparkling water reduced constipation by 58% over those who had tap water — so try this remedy if you’re straining to go.
2. Chew a piece of ginger
Ginger is a fabulous herb for easing stomach ailments. Some Ayurvedic practitioners advise eating a small piece before lunch and dinner to ease digestion. It works by smoothing your digestive tract function and reducing flatulence. The gingerols contain potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
However, don’t worry if you find the raw root unpalatable. You can find candied ginger at nearly any grocery store.
3. Try other herbs
If ginger isn’t to your taste, you might have better luck with other herbs. Here are some that you can try as a tea or supplement:
Mint: Mint has a longstanding reputation for soothing an upset stomach. However, use caution if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Herbs in this family work by relaxing spasming stomach muscles, including the sphincter leading to your esophagus. If stomach acid flows through this opening, symptoms get worse.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon contains the antioxidants eugenol and camphor, which reduce inflammation and irritation in your digestive tract. It may also decrease gas, bloating and cramping.
Cloves: These contain substances that speed up a sluggish digestive tract. Taking a ground teaspoonful mixed with honey at night may reduce the chances of acid reflux waking you.
Yarrow: Yarrow contains substances that act on your vagus nerve to moderate the amount of stomach acid your belly produces.
Licorice: Licorice eases inflammation of the stomach lining.
Chamomile: Chamomile can help calm the nerves that lead to digestive upset.
4. Prop yourself on pillows
If acid reflux keeps you awake at night, try sleeping on your back and elevating your upper body with pillows. The theory is that this posture makes it more challenging for stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus. Some people with GERD get considerable relief from sleeping in a recliner instead of a bed.
5. Use the BRAT diet
“BRAT” stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods are bland and won’t irritate your stomach lining. They also contain fiber to firm your stool and improve your chances of the go.
6. Mix lime or lemon juice, baking soda, and water
Instead of reaching for an over-the-counter antacid, try mixing one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice with a teaspoon of baking soda and eight ounces of water. Add the first two ingredients to the water and stir, creating bubbles. The carbonic acid may reduce gas and indigestion.
7. Drink aloe juice
Aloe Vera juice may improve digestion and improve protein metabolism. It also promotes a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria. Research shows that this may be an effective remedy for Crohn’s symptoms. Although it didn’t improve bowel movement frequency, it did reduce gas and pain.
8. Regulate your breath
If you suspect nerves impact your stomach, try regulating your breath. You can perform boxed breathing by inhaling for a 4-count, pausing for four, then exhaling for a 4-count and pausing again. Another technique is 2-to-1 breathing. To perform this method, inhale deeply for four, then exhale twice as long as you inhale.
When to contact the doctor
Many upset stomachs occur only occasionally, indicating no cause for concern. For example, they might result from something you ate or a severe case of nerves before a big work presentation or exam. You can also end up nauseous if you overindulge in alcohol the night before, which causes your stomach to produce more acid than usual.
Likewise, you may experience debilitating nausea as one of the symptoms of migraine disease. Often, your doctor will prescribe medications you can take when such episodes strike, and they come in dissolvable versions if vomiting makes swallowing problematic. However, ongoing stomach pain can indicate an underlying disorder of your gastrointestinal tract. For example, seeing blood in your stool can indicate colitis, an inflammatory disease of your colon, diverticular disease, gastric ulcers, salmonellosis or Crohn’s disease.
Keep in mind that the most common cause of bloody stool is hemorrhoids, so please don’t panic — but do call your doctor. Detection leads to better outcomes and treatments that can enhance your overall quality of life.
Calming activities to soothe an upset stomach
An upset stomach is usually no cause for concern. Occasionally, it indicates something more serious when you frequently experience pain. However, you need relief regardless of the cause. Try one of these calming activities to soothe an upset stomach the next time your belly turns turtle.
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