The Best Remedies for the 4 Most Common Types of Stomach Pains
Your digestive system and intestines have more nerve fibers than either your spinal cord or your peripheral nervous system. No wonder pain and discomfort in this part of your body can be so debilitating. If you’re suffering from heartburn, diarrhea, gastritis, or stomach cramps, natural remedies do exist that may be able to help you feel better.
When the sphincter that controls the passage of food through the esophagus into the stomach doesn’t close properly, stomach acids can rise into the esophagus and cause a burning sensation. This sensation is called heartburn or indigestion.
Heartburn is most often associated with eating spicy or fatty foods, but it may have other causes as well. Eating too much food can trigger heartburn as can constraints around the stomach such as a pair of pants that are too tight. Heartburn is also associated with certain types of medications such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, and bronchodilators as well as with medical conditions such as Hiatal hernias.
Since heartburn is often caused by an excess of acid, one of the most effective natural remedies is baking soda, which has the potential to neutralize stomach acids. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in eight ounces of water. Other effective natural remedies for heartburn include eating a banana, which contains a natural antacid, or drinking a cup of ginger root tea before you eat.
Diarrhea refers to the excessive production of stool in which the stool is typically loose and watery. Bowel movements are accompanied by a sensation of urgency and are sometimes associated with nausea and cramping.
Diarrhea can be caused by a number of different factors ranging from microbial infections and antibiotics that wipe out beneficial intestinal flora to food sensitivities and stress. Medical experts say that most people suffer from at least two bouts of diarrhea over the course of a year. If diarrhea continues for more than 48 hours, is accompanied by a fever of more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit or contains blood, it’s important to seek medical care.
Since diarrhea often indicates an imbalance in “good gut bacteria,” one of the most effective natural remedies are probiotics found in yogurt, kimchi, and other fermented foods as well as in supplements. It’s important to increase your fluid intake, too, if you’re suffering from diarrhea to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining, and it has the potential to ulcerate if left untreated. Symptoms include stomach pain and bloating, abdominal pain and bloating, nausea, heartburn, and black, tarry stools.
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Though some cases of gastritis are associated with the use of medications such as aspirin or excessive alcohol use, many others are linked to infections, specifically infections from the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
Several foods including broccoli and garlic contain a substance called sulforaphane that’s been shown to inhibit the growth of H. pylori bacteria in the lining of the stomach and intestines. Foods such as yogurt containing probiotic bacteria can recolonize the gut with healthy bacteria while ginger, turmeric and apple cider vinegar may be able to ease some of the other unpleasant symptoms associated with gastritis.
Stomach cramps are another common ailment that just about everyone has suffered from at one time or another. Stomach cramps can be caused by a variety of minor factors such as constipation or diarrhea, food intolerances, and intestinal gas. Depending upon their precise location, they can also be symptomatic of more serious medical conditions such as ulcers, kidney stones or gallstones, appendicitis, endometriosis, or Crohn’s disease. It’s important to seek attention from a health care provider if stomach cramps are accompanied by a high fever or result in an inability to keep food down that goes on for more than 48 hours.
While natural remedies can be effective in helping to relieve stomach cramps, they’re most effective if they pinpoint the specific cause of the stomach cramps. Chamomile tea is a good all-purpose remedy because chamomile contains natural antispasmodics that relax the smooth muscles lining the stomach and intestinal tract. A hot pack on the afflicted area may also help tight smooth muscles to relax. Other natural remedies include ginger root tea or mint tea. If the cause of your stomach cramps is something you ate, lemon water may also be able to help because it stimulates glands in your stomach to produce hydrochloric acid, which can aid in the digestion of food.
While home remedies can often help you feel better, it’s important to keep in mind that heartburn, diarrhea, gastritis, and stomach cramps can also be linked to serious conditions. If natural remedies don’t alleviate your symptoms and symptoms persist, a trip to the doctor may be indicated.