Soothing an Upset Stomach

Soothing an Upset Stomach | Dr. Ali Ghahary

If you suffer from a sensitive or upset stomach, finding relief can sometimes be difficult. There could also be a number of reasons as to why you have an upset stomach. It could be due to pregnancy, overeating, food poisoning, alcohol consumption, or you could have the stomach flu; after all, it is flu season. (Click here to find out more about flu season and how to protect yourself.) It’s also not uncommon for certain medications to cause stomach upset, especially antibiotics. For the stomach-sensitive person, doctors and pharmacists will often recommend taking antibiotics with a small amount of food or a probiotic, such as yogurt. Although oral probiotics in pill form tend to be better. They can especially be helpful in reducing the good bacteria in the gut that often gets lost after being on a week-long course of antibiotics.

To avoid further stomach upset, the last thing you should do is sit down to a gourmet meal. However, there are certain stomach-soothing foods that might actually help you feel better.

Ginger is one of the best herbs (also considered a spice) to use if you’re dealing with an upset stomach, nausea or vomiting. The best way to use it is by putting a small amount in a cup of boiled hot water. For some, ginger can be quite a strong flavour, so you can try to make it by adding in some lemon or honey. Alternatively, you can also purchase tea that contains ginger at almost all grocery or health food stores. In addition to soothing the stomach, ginger can also give your immune system a boost, so it may be something you’ll want to incorporate into your diet regularly! You can find plenty of ginger-based recipes on places like Pinterest, or by doing a simple Google search.

Fruits like bananas and papayas are also great if you have an upset stomach. Bananas are easy to digest and they’re also a good source of calcium which is something your body loses as a result of vomiting or diarrhea; while papayas also help the digestive process due to them being rich in proteolytic enzymes. Papayas can also improve the stomach’s acidic environment.

As mentioned, yogurt can be good to eat when you’re taking an antibiotic, but it can also be good to reduce nausea and stomach upset even when antibiotics aren’t the cause. This is because active cultures found in yogurt help to restore the good bacteria in your gut, and it can also help with digestion. To get the most benefits from yogurt, it’s good to make sure that the yogurt you’re eating is plain. If you find plain yogurt sour, try sweetening it with a spoonful or two of honey.

While starchy foods like potatoes, rice, bread and saltine crackers aren’t foods that Dr. Ghahary or other health experts, such as dietitians and nutritionists, would typically recommend as a part of a normal diet (due to the fact that they can cause weight gain and lead to other health problems if consumed regularly), they can be good for decreasing nausea and upset stomach as they aren’t hard on the digestive system. They can also absorb any excess fluid and help relieve diarrhea.

Aside from food, you can also find relief by using a heating pad or electric blanket – particularly if your upset stomach also comes with cramps. Many people will find the warmth soothing, and it can also help to relax the muscles. Just don’t leave a heating pad on your skin too long, as it could cause damage or burns if too hot.

If your stomach upset persists or if you have stomach pain that lasts longer than 48 hours, it would be a good idea to see a doctor as prolonged problems could be an indicator that something else is going on with your health – including potential food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS), or Crohn’s disease.