How to Cure a Stomach Ache
- 1 Make Your Stomach Ache Go Away
- 2 Food Poisoning
- 3 E. Coli
- 4 Salmonella
- 5 Indigestion
- 6 Symptoms
- 7 Menstrual Cramps
- 8 Stress
- 9 Constipation
- 10 Home Remedies for Stomach Aches
- 11 Crohn’s Disease
- 12 Appendicitis
- 13 Ectopic Pregnancy
- 14 Symptoms
- 15 Diseases of the Liver
- 16 Keeping Your Stomach Healthy
- 17 Helpful Medical Resources
Make Your Stomach Ache Go Away
Stomach aches, otherwise known as abdominal pain, are one of the most annoying maladies that can affect almost anyone at anytime in their lives. There are endless causes for stomach aches and the most frequent causes will be discussed here. Finally how to cure those pesky stomach aches will be discussed, in great detail. Everything from home remedies, over the counter and prescription remedies as well as surgical remedies will be covered.
What causes a stomach ache and how do I cure it? In order to figure out how to get rid of that pesky stomach ache, you need to find out the reason for it. While there are too many causes for stomach aches to list here, some of the most common reasons are listed, as well as common “cures.”
Oftentimes the cause of a stomach ache is not the stomach at all. Stomach aches are often caused from some type of problem in the digestive tract. Bettermedicine.com states stomach aches “can also be caused by conditions of the body wall, blood vessels, urinary tract, reproductive organs, or organs of the chest.” Below are some common causes for stomach aches as well as the best cures.
Food poisoning is caused by eating some type of food that is either not cooked well enough, is expired or ill-handled. Two common bacteria that cause food poisoning are E. Coli and Salmonella.
E. Coli comes from hamburger that is not cooked thoroughly.
It can also be present on other foods that were mishandled – if the handler did not properly wash his/her hands after handling raw hamburger or failed to wash the surface on which the raw meat was on.
- Symptoms occur three to four days after exposure to the bacteria
- Diarrhea which can be mild and watery but also may progress to bloody and severe
- Stomach ache which can also be accompanied by pain and tenderness in the belly
There is no home remedy that will work in combating the E. Coli bacterium. If you suspect you have been infected with E. Coli you must immediately seek emergency medical treatment. IT CAN BE LIFE THREATENING!
Salmonella is a bacteria usually found in poultry. You can become infected with salmonella from eating poultry that is not cooked thoroughly, is old or from eating another food handled by someone that also handled raw poultry and did not wash their hands or other surface properly.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning usually will go away without medical treatment in approximately one week. Recently there was an outbreak of salmonella from ground turkey.
Approximately 1/3 of the infected people had to be hospitalized because the strain of salmonella they had was resistant to several antibiotics.
- Stomach ache
The only treatment for salmonella is to treat the symptoms.
- If you have a fever you can take an over the counter fever reducing medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- For the diarrhea you can take imodium to slow the diarrhea stools.
- For stomach ache you can take Pepto Bismol which also assists with vomiting and diarrhea. Follow instructions on the over the counter medication and do not take more than is recommended.
Indigestion is a common cause of stomach ache and can happen for a variety of reasons. Common causes of indigestion include eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol, greasy food, tobacco, stress and medications. If you experience frequent bouts of indigestion this could be a sign of a more serious problem such as GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, hiatal hernia or ulcers. If you have indigestion more than three times each week you should seek medical attention.
- Stomach ache
- Chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Antacid medications such as Tums can assist in calming the stomach acid that comes with indigestion. *Stop smoking or chewing tobacco – tobacco relaxes the valve at the top of the stomach which allows stomach acid to reflux up into the esophagus. Tobacco also increases stomach acid.
- Stop drinking alcohol – alcoholic beverages, when consumed daily, can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver and is very taxing to the liver at the same time.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages – high levels of caffeine can result in ulcer formation in the stomach or esophagus in some people
- Eliminate or decrease stress
- Do not eat greasy, fried foods – greasy foods mean more bile to break them down. If you have a problem with your gallbladder you are going to experience pain each time you eat a greasy meal.
- Do not eat spicy foods – for some people, a diet sans spicy food is a way of life. Spicy foods affect the lining of the stomach and some people are unable to tolerate this for one reason or another.
Symptoms normally last from 24 hours to 3 days. If symptoms persist for more than 3 days you should seek medical treatment.
Many women suffer from a unique type of stomach ache caused by menstrual cramps. These pains can range from very mild to very severe. They are caused from the uterus contracting most often during the first day or two of your period.
Symptoms of menstrual cramps include pain in the lower abdomen spanning around to the lower back. If pain is extremely severe or accompanied by excessive bleeding you should seek medical attention.
Over the counter pain relievers such as Midol or Ibuprofen can alleviate some of the stomach ache that occurs with menstrual cramps. Birth control pills are another solution for stomach aches associated with menstrual cramps.
Stress is a common, but not often thought of, cause of stomach ache. When you are stressed it can affect your body in numerous ways.
Symptoms of stress related gastrointestinal issues are a stomach ache during or immediately after a stressful situation or occurrence.
The easiest way to stop stomach aches related to stress is to avoid stressful situations. Since this is not possible you can try Pepto Bismol or an herbal tea such as chamomile that aids in relieving stress.
Constipation is a common problem among both men and women, young and old. In fact, more people are constipated more often than you may think. If you do not have at least three bowel movements in a week you are considered to be constipated.
Constipation simply means you have difficulty having bowel movements. There are several causes for constipation such as medications, dehydration, low fiber intake and dairy products such as cheese.
Symptoms of constipation include having less than three bowel movements in one week, feeling as if you need to have a bowel movement but are unable to do so, stomach ache and bloating. You may also notice an excessive amount of flatulence.
Constipation has several “cures” both natural and medicinal.
The easiest cure is to get up and get moving. Sometimes constipation occurs because we lead sedentary lives or work in a job where we are required to sit for long periods of time. Taking a walk each morning or each night will assist you by helping to “get things moving” with your bowels.
Cut down on the amount of dairy you consume. Make sure you are drinking enough water, not carbonated or caffeinated beverages. Sometimes a cup of hot tea or coffee will aid in getting things moving. If you have tried all of these things and still don’t have the results you have been waiting for you can try taking a fiber supplement such as Metamucil or FiberCon.
If you are still having difficulty using the restroom you can try a laxative. Laxatives should only be used as a last resort and are not recommended for daily use, unless prescribed by your doctor.
Home Remedies for Stomach Aches
If stomach ache is accompanied by bloating, try to use the toilet. Relax, and try to expel the gas that is causing the bloating.
- Lay on your stomach. This sometimes helps if you are gassy and it just doesn’t want to come out. *Lie on a flat surface on your back and rub your stomach up and down, slowly and rhythmically. *Lie on a flat surface with your feet elevated above your head.
- Drink a carbonated beverage such as ginger ale or warm Coke.
- Drink a cup of herbal tea.
- Drink a glass of Aloe vera juice – it aids in digestion
- Eat saltine crackers – they act by soaking up some of the excess stomach acid. This works great for stomach ache related to pregnancy.
- Eat dry toast – this works in the same way as saltine crackers. Remember the toast needs to be dry, no butter or margarine, jams or jellies added.
- Drink milk – the calcium in the milk acts as a mild form of Tums and relieves stomach ache.
- Try sitting in a hot bath for a while. This worked wonders when the cause of my stomach pain was related to my gallbladder and gallstones.
However, as soon as I got out of the bath the pain returned.
- Sit in a comfortable chair and bring your knees up to your chest. Remain in that position for several minutes and then slowly lower your feet back down to the floor.
- Drink lime juice – make it weak with added water. Drink several times a day and get instant relief. *Chew on some ginger or mix grated ginger with mixed with lime juice and salt.
- Drink plain soda water – Plain soda water acts to instantly reduce the amount of stomach acid, which relieves stomach ache.
- Drink lemon juice – when mixed with warm water it is said this home remedy is excellent for relieving stomach ache. You can also combine lemon juice, baking soda and water to reduce acid and relieve stomach aches.
- Eat a little rock salt. When combined with other juices or compounds, rock salt is a great way to alleviate a stomach ache.
- Rice in a sock – Place some dry rice in a tube sock. Tie the open end and place the rice and sock in the microwave for a few minutes. Remove the sock from the microwave and place it on your stomach where it is aching. This instantly relieves some types of stomach aches.
- Cinnamon – ground cinnamon mixed with warm water and consumed makes an excellent remedy for some people.
- Plain Yogurt – Yogurt contains ingredients that can keep certain types of stomach problems under control. The yogurt must be consumed without any added sugar or other flavorings.
- Radish juice – “whole radish juice, when mixed with lemon juice, aids in digestion and helps to eliminate stomach trouble.”
Over The Counter Medications
- Gas-Ex – from gas-x.com, this is a “powerful medicine that breaks up the surface tension of trapped gas and allows your system to deal with it naturally.” Gas-Ex also minimizes the surface tension of trapped gas bubbles in the intestines and allows you to expel them easier.
- Pepto-Bismol – according to flexyx.com, Pepto-Bismol “displays anti-inflammatory action (due to salicylic acid) and also acts as an antacid and mild antibiotic.” If you decide to try this medication you should be aware that it can cause a black tongue and black stools. This is both temporary and harmless.
- Tums – the Tums website, tums.ca, states this medication has a “direct and local effect on acid in the esophagus and stomach.” Tums ultimately relieves acid indigestion by neutralizing the acid that is in the esophagus and stomach
- Prilosec or some other proton pump inhibitor medication – prilosec-information.com states “Prilosec is a type of medication called an acid pump inhibitor.
- Imodium – Imodium “provides prompt and effective control of diarrhea by directly acting on the intestinal wall, by normalizing motility, and also by normalizing the balance between absorption and secretion of water and electrolytes” taken from Imodium.com.
- Simethicone – a primary component of Gas-Ex, this medication works by relieving pressure caused by excess gas. Simethicone is safe to use with children.
- Laxatives either oral or rectal – either food, a compound or medication that works to induce bowel movements or loosen the stool.
Foods that may help prevent constipation:=
- aloe vera
- apples/apple juice
- chios mastic (gum)
- dried apricots
- prunes/prune juice
- tomato/tomato juice
- winter squash
- olive oil
- extra pickles added to your burger when you eat fast food
- Chamomile tea – this works to relax you which may help ease your stomach pain
- Chew on mint leaves – mint has been a stomach ache reliever for centuries
- A mixture of ½ ounce dried catnip leaves and ½ ounce fennel seeds, cover with boiling water and allow to steep for at least 4 hours. Drain the leaves and seeds and drink warm or at room temperature in ½ cup servings
- Peppermint tea – great if the cause of stomach ache is due to overeating or other food related issues *A mixture of black pepper, dry ginger, roasted cumin seeds, dry ginger, dried mint leaves, coriander seeds, asafetida, rock salt and dried garlic cloves. Mix all ingredients together and grind them into a powder. When you begin to feel a stomach ache consume ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon after each main meal.
- Castor oil – one teaspoon of castor oil and one teaspoon of ginger juice in ½ cup warm water mixed together and sipped will combat stomach ache. Best results come from drinking this concoction twice daily.
- Anise seed – 20 grams of anise seeds soaked in boiled water overnight and then strained works best when consumed in the early morning on an empty stomach.
This list is not all inclusive. There may be other home remedies, medications or herbal remedies you have tried that worked for you. These remedies may not work for everyone.
There is a group of intestinal disorders commonly referred to as inflammatory bowel diseases and Crohn’s disease is one of them. Approximately 500,000 Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease. The cause of Crohn’s disease is not known although it does appear to have a familial tendency. Crohn’s tends to affect people between the ages of 15 to 30 but it can occur at any age. Furthermore, people of Caucasian and Jewish origins are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease.
People with Crohn’s disease do not experience symptoms all the time. Instead, they have what is commonly referred to as “flares.” Symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain or stomach ache
- Rectal bleeding
- Anorexia or loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Fatigue or feeling tired all the time, having no energy
- Anal or rectal fistula – these are a common problem with Crohn’s disease and occur when the inflammation and ulcers break through the intestinal wall and form an abscess or tunnel outside the intestinal wall
Although there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, there are medications available to assist in decreasing the number of flare ups and severity of them. WebMd.com lists treatments for Crohn’s disease based on the severity of symptoms:
- Imodium which will slow or stop the painful spasms in the intestines
Mild to Moderate symptoms:
- Medication such as Asacol which help manage the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
- Antibiotics such as Cipro can be used during flare ups if Asacol is ineffective. Antibiotics are also used to treat fistulas that occur due to Crohn’s disease.
- Corticosteroids such as prednisone can be given to decrease the amount of inflammation in the intestinal walls. If given for long periods of time corticosteroids can have unpleasant effects such as weight gain, hypertension or high blood pressure and can increase your risk of getting an infection.
- Medications that suppress the immune system such as azathioprine. These medications are normally given if the medications listed above are ineffective in controlling the flare ups or if your symptoms return as soon as the corticosteroids are stopped.
- Remicade – a type of medication known as a tumor necrosis factor inhibitor. This medication works by blocking the activity of the tumor necrosis factor alpha which is involved in the inflammation process as well as other immune system functions.
Pitfalls to this medication are it is given by intravenous injection which means you have to visit the doctor for each treatment. Also you need to be extremely cautious because this medication lowers your resistance to other organisms which means you could become ill more easily.
- Intravenous corticosteroids or a biologic medication such as Remicade. The first step when someone suffers from severe Crohn’s disease is to control the disease.
A non-medical remedy for Crohn’s disease is to follow your specified diet. Following this diet may not keep you in remission but it can help control the unpleasant stomach aches and diarrhea that accompany this disease.
The appendix is an extension of the large intestine. It looks like a finger that protrudes off the colon. The cause of appendicitis is when bacteria seep into the appendix sack and infect the wall of the appendix.
The most common symptom of appendicitis is, you guessed it, a stomach ache. Other common symptoms are a high fever, anorexia or loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal tenderness. Symptoms may take 4 hours to 2 days to appear. Abdominal tenderness is present in the lower part of the stomach when the upper part of the stomach is pressed in and released.
It’s known as rebound tenderness and is performed by a medical professional. If an infected appendix is left untreated it can rupture. This rupture allows all of the infection that was inside the appendix to leak out into the abdominal cavity. This condition is known as peritonitis. Another complication is abscess.
The only way to cure appendicitis is to surgically remove the infected appendix. This surgical procedure is known as an appendectomy. Normally a person will be placed on antibiotics before, during and after surgery to ensure they don’t have any complications from peritonitis.
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that implants itself in the fallopian tubes rather than in the lining of the uterus. Another common name for an ectopic pregnancy is a tubal pregnancy. Fallopian tubes are not a muscle and cannot stretch like the uterus can. They are unable to hold the products of pregnancy after several weeks. A stomach ache is the first indicator of an ectopic pregnancy.
A stomach ache that can present as a dull ache at first then progressing to a sharp, stabbing type of pain in the lower abdomen. The aches may vary in frequency and intensity but never subside entirely.
Pain in the neck or shoulders occurs if the fallopian tube has ruptured. This is due to the blood collecting under the diaphragm or the muscle under the ribs that moves with each breath we take. *Vaginal bleeding that may be heavier than your regular monthly period *Nausea and vomiting may be present because of the intense pain or rupture of the fallopian tube
Feeling weak, dizzy or fainting, especially if the pain is intense or the fallopian tube ruptures
Methotrexate can be given if the pregnancy is only a couple of weeks along. This medication will allow the body to absorb the products of pregnancy and prevent you from having surgery. The fallopian tube may be saved in this instance.
Repair or removal of the fallopian tube, along with the products of pregnancy, is necessary if the pregnancy is too far along or if the tube has started to bleed or has ruptured. This surgery is sometimes done via laparascope or by an incision similar to a cesarean section.
Diseases of the Liver
A stomach ache that is a result of some type of disease of the liver will most likely be located in the upper right quadrant of the stomach. This is where the liver and gallbladder are located. There are numerous conditions or diseases that affect the liver. Most commonly the liver is diseased because of excessive use of alcohol. Some other symptoms that will accompany stomach ache:
- Jaundice which is a yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Dark urine
- Clay colored stools
- Pain in the joints or generalized muscle pain
If the cause of your stomach ache is due to your liver and you have already received a diagnosis from your personal physician you should follow his/her directions or recommendations. If you have not talked with a physician and you believe you may have some sort of malady related to your liver you need to seek medical attention immediately.
Although the gallbladder is not part of the liver, it is located directly under the liver and is a sort of store room for bile that the liver produces. When you eat food the gallbladder squeezes some of that bile out into the stomach to assist in breaking down the food you eat.
When the gallbladder develops stones or sludge it cannot function properly. Many people experience stomach aches that span from the right shoulder down to the middle of their stomach and down the same side of their back. This normally happens when you eat something and the gallbladder squeezes and a stone or sludge gets trapped in the bile duct.
The pain can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting and lasts for 12 to 24 hours. Through testing a physician can tell you about the condition of your gallbladder. Surgical removal will eliminate the stomach ache.
Keeping Your Stomach Healthy
There are virtually an endless number of reasons why you may be inflicted with a stomach ache. Most of these reasons can be harmless but some are lift threatening. Listen to your body. Seek medical attention if you are in doubt or if you have tried some of the remedies listed above without successful relief. These lists are not all inclusive and should not be used to self diagnose a stomach ache. They are provided as an overview and ways you can alleviate different types of stomach aches only.
Helpful Medical Resources
- NHS stomach ache and abdominal pain information
- Cleveland Clinic abdominal pain treatment advice
- Mercola treat stomach ache and heartburn
- VeryWell when to go to the hospital with severe pains
- NaturalRemedies.org highlights symptoms of common digestive disorders
- Mayo Clinic symptom checker
- MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia article