An upset stomach or indigestion is a problem that everyone experiences at one point of time. Also called dyspepsia, the condition causes discomfort in the upper abdomen. There are several reasons that cause stomach upset such as drinking certain beverages, eating low fiber and spicy foods, overeating or fast eating, abdominal pain, smoking, medication-induced indigestion (such as antibiotics, painkillers), pathological cause (peptic ulcer, gastritis, hyperacidity) and lack of physical activity. Most causes aren’t serious and the symptoms pass quickly. Fullness of the stomach (during and after a meal), burning in upper abdomen and belching, bloated feeling in abdomen and nausea and vomiting are the common symptoms. Here some simple ways to address stomach troubles –
- Drink the Right Amount of Fluids – Drinking the right amount of fluids in moderate or small amounts is an important. Water is a good choice. Other options include clear, carbonated, and caffeine-free beverages such as tonic water, club soda, or ginger ale. Tea containing peppermint, chamomile, or ginger may help settle an upset stomach.
- Eat a Balanced Diet – Eat smaller, more frequent meals so that the stomach does not distend and can empty quickly. It is important to chew the food slowly and completely. Eat bland foods such as bananas, rice, applesauce, and white bread. A person who do not have an appetite or face trouble keeping solid food down can try soup, broth, or bullion. Avoid dairy and whole grains, as well as rich, spicy, greasy, and fatty foods. Also, never lie down within two hours of eating.
- Keep the Body Weight under Control – Regular exercise along with a balanced diet can help keep body weight under control. Performing aerobic exercises three to five times a week for 20 to 40 minutes per session is recommended. However, never exercise immediately after eating.
- Manage Stress – Address stress. Try cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation therapies. In addition to being good for overall health, exercise is a great stress buster.
Other things to do when you have an upset stomach include avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and sitting upright and not lying down or bending over at the waist.
Typically, an upset stomach goes away on its own within 48 hours. Over-the-counter antacids can help relieve an upset stomach. If your discomfort or pain doesn’t resolve with these simple strategies, see your doctor.