Canceling your plans to spend multiple hours on the toilet is as bad as it can get. Especially when you don’t know if you should chug some ginger ale, get comfortable on the toilet, let nature take its course, or rush to the ER.
Well, what you should do depends on the condition you are dealing with. You need to understand whether you are suffering from nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or a period from hell.
A bad stomach comes with several common symptoms, which usually occur due to irritation of your stomach lining.
Common symptoms of a bad stomach
Some common symptoms of an upset stomach include:
- abdominal pain
- excessive flatulence
- excessive belching
- loss of appetite
- body chills
- burning sensation, or heartburn
If you feel a slight rumble in the tummy but are not sure how to treat it, you can try a few of these remedies.
Gas can form in your stomach for two reasons:
- eating gas-forming foods like green veggies, carbonated beverages, beans, and cabbage
- it can be caused by swallowing air while drinking with straws, eating too fast, or talking with your mouth full
If a gas problem is causing your bad stomach, it may be resolved with an over-the-counter gas medication such as Beano or Mylanta Gas.
If diarrhea is the issue troubling you, you can try taking some Pepto-Bismol. The pink wonder liquid attacks diarrhea-causing microorganisms and makes you feel better.
Imodium is another medicine that slows down the movement of fluids in the intestine and relieves diarrhea.
If you often suffer from a bad stomach and issues such as bloating, you should consume yogurt or buttermilk regularly to keep your digestive health in the best shape. Though bloating can be quite annoying, but it is usually not a huge issue or cause for worry.
If your stomach pain is causing issues like heartburn, have a cup of cold milk. Milk helps to neutralize the acid in the stomach and relieves symptoms of stomach aches like heartburn.
Ginger root has been used for ages as a cure for an upset stomach. It works extremely well for digestive issues as it boosts the speed of food moving through the stomach to the small intestine.
If you eat too much and suffer from stomach pain, you can try ginger tea to soothe the stomach. Just grate some fresh ginger root and add in water, boil for a few minutes. Add in some honey and sip on it to feel better.
Chamomile contains bisabolol, which has amazing relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to this, it effectively calms down the digestive tract and brings relief from the symptoms associated with an upset stomach.
Spearmint / peppermint
Due to the presence of menthol, both peppermint and spearmint help relax the muscles in our GI tracks and soothe the pain caused due to a bad stomach.
Prepare mint tea using fresh mint leaves and have it along with a spoonful of honey.
However, if you are experiencing acid reflux, avoid consuming mint as it may worsen the symptoms.
When to see a doctor?
Diarrhea or an upset stomach is not usually something to worry about.
However, if the pain doesn’t subside after 2 days or the symptoms start getting worse, you may need to consult a gastroenterology hospital or stomach doctor.
Your doctor may recommend some of the following treatment options:
Your gastroenterologist may prescribe antibiotics if your diarrhea is caused due to parasites or bacteria. However, if a virus is the cause of the infection, antibiotics will not help you. On the contrary, if taking certain antibiotics are causing you stomach or chest pain, the doctor may switch to a different medication or alter the doses.
Our body loses tons of water when suffering from diarrhea. While you can replace the lost fluids with water, it lacks the electrolytes and salts that are extremely important for the body to function effectively.
Drinking liquids containing essential minerals such as potassium and sodium can boost the recovery speed. Your stomach doctor will probably recommend lots of water, broth, and juices.
Treat underlying conditions
If the bad stomach is caused due to an underlying condition like IBS, your doctor might refer you to a specialist, like a gastroenterologist.
Acupuncture / cognitive behavioral therapy
In some cases, an upset stomach may be caused due to stress. In such cases, your doctor may recommend you to go for cognitive behavioral therapy or acupuncture.
Ways to prevent an upset stomach
The best thing to do is avoid getting your stomach upset. This can be done by avoiding certain triggers, such as foods that usually cause it. These include:
The bottom line
If your stomach gets upset even after taking all precautions, use the remedies mentioned above to alleviate the symptoms. However, if the symptoms fail to subside, visit your nearest gastroenterology hospital and consult your doctor to discover and treat any underlying causes.