10 Ways To Relieve Gastrointestinal Distress
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Indulging in too much of the wrong foods is a common way to initiate digestive problems such as stomach pain, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, gas, slow digestion and more. Some people are prone to gastrointestinal issues even without eating heavy foods if they have medical conditions such as IBS, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance or other conditions. Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome common digestive issues by using some of the following natural remedies.
Applying direct heat to your lower abdomen can relieve bowel spasms, relax muscles and improve stress. You can use a heat pack, hot water bottle or even a warm rice compress. Find a thick sock, fill it with uncooked rice and heat it in the microwave for 60 seconds.
Water is important for the digestive system to function properly. It’s also important for diarrhea to prevent dehydration, and it can help stools to pass when constipated. A cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt can ease an upset stomach.
Ginger is a natural anti-emetic that also aids digestion, eases stomach pains and works to reduce inflammation. It’s most effective when used fresh, and it can be taken easily by making a simple tea. Ginger is spicy, so some may prefer to take it as a supplement. Many health stores sell ginger supplements as pills or tinctures.
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Mint helps with digestion in addition to stimulating the appetite. Like ginger, mint helps settle the stomach as an anti-emetic, and it works just by chewing on a fresh mint leaf. It can also be used to make fresh tea with hot water and a few sprigs.
5. Baking Soda
Most of the antacid products on store shelves are made of sodium bicarbonate, the chemical name for standard baking soda. Instead of purchasing items that may contain other unnecessary chemicals or fillers, you can mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking soda into a cup of warm water.
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6. Aloe Vera Juice
Many people use aloe vera juice to treat a variety of intestinal issues. It’s often used for constipation, but it can also help with cramps, bloating, gas and diarrhea.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has numerous applications for the body, skin, hair and even when cleaning. It can also be used to help with digestion, ease stomach pain and improve absorption of nutrients.
Turmeric is used for digestive problems as it is rich in curcumin, and it has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to improve digestion. The World Health Organization supports use of curcumin to treat gas and acid reflux.
Probiotics are well-known for the treatment of gastrointestinal distress, and they are especially helpful when treating diarrhea and other issues caused by antibiotics. Those taking probiotics must ensure they have the right types for their bodies so that the probiotics will withstand stomach acids and make it to the intestines.
Sometimes the body just needs to rest. This allows it to recover and fully process any foods that may cause problems.
The benefit of using natural remedies is that they are usually harmless. They also provide an inexpensive and simple method for relieving the symptoms of such problematic conditions. Regardless of what may cause distress, making lifestyle changes such as improving eating habits and exercising regularly are essential to reducing gastrointestinal issues.
Chainani-Wu N. Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of turmeric (Curcuma longa). J Altern Complement Med. 2003;9(1):161-168.
World Health Organization. WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants — Volume 1. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 1999.