What do you do when you have a stomach ache? Turn to medications or try home remedies? Here’s some tips I use to keep belly aches at bay.
Ginger ale and saltines… that was always the “go to” for belly aches in my house growing up. Unfortunately, this didn’t help me. I have had a gluten sensitivity all my life. I am not exactly sure when it turned into an allergy, but I do know that gluten does more harm than good in my body. And soda? The last thing I want to put in my gut when I am already feeling pain is sugar and bubbles! Home remedies have been around for ages and I can say that it is helpful to know now why certain remedies work and why some don’t.
The root cause of your upset belly is important to know. If it is a chronic pain, you definitely want to speak with your healthcare professional and if the pain is too much to bare- listen to your body and get in to see your doctor right away.
Once you have been eating well and feeling great, it is a bit easier to pinpoint reasons that you are feeling stomach pains. Think back to when you started feeling “off” and ask yourself these questions:
What did I eat different?
You think you’ve been eating well for your body, but maybe you tried a new brand of one of your pantry staples or prepackaged food. Check ingredients often. Even brands you’ve always bought do change their recipes and add cheaper or different ingredients. Look out for added sugar in your diet or new drinks that you have tried. Even 0 calorie drinks (always check for fillers).
Where did I eat from?
Anyone call for take out? Eating out can certainly be a damper on your plans. It is absolutely okay to eat out, gather with friends, and enjoy yourself. Try to stick to food that you know and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your waitress or host will be happy to share their recipes. Neither the restaurant or your friend who invited you over want you to be left with stomach pain.
As a guest, ask questions like- “this looks interesting, what’s in it?” – “It smells so good in here, what are you cooking?”
Or, best of all, offer to help in the kitchen!
What is going on right now that may be causing stress?
Stress- here’s the thing, life is stressful. It just can be. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is probably one of the best pieces of advice, but how do we do that? Sometimes you don’t even know that you are stressed. Figuring out the one thing that is causing stress when it may very well be a lot of things is tough. Try to sort it out a bit by thinking about a bigger picture of what is going on this week, this month, this season that you might be dwelling on even if you don’t think you are.
Have I been sleeping well and enough?
How quickly you fall asleep at night, how many times a night you wake, and how rested you are when you wake up are good markers for the quality of sleep you are getting.
How much water have I had?
Right. It all comes back to hydration. Don’t substitute other beverages for water. Good H2O makes a difference in your health all day long.
How’s my exercise routine?
Moving your body daily stimulates your gut, increasing intestinal activity. This keeps you from the “stuck feeling” in your gut when you think you’ve eaten too much.
So, now that you may have an idea of why you have a belly ache you can try to avoid it for next time. But, what should you do now? I have a few remedies that have worked well for our family over the years.
For a sour stomach, half of baked or steamed sweet potato is feels like your stomach has a good solid in it to balance the acid. The fiber in sweet potatoes can help promote regularity in the digestive tract.
The carbohydrates in bananas are easily broken down and helps to restore lost electrolytes from stomach ailments like vomiting and diarrhea.
You may be feeling uncomfortable due to dehydration. Constipation and bloating due to slow digestion could be due to not enough fluids available to help move food through your system. Take a drink, but don’t guzzle, gulp, or drink from a straw- All of these will add to your discomfort!
This may be my number 1 remedy for a belly ache. It can seem as though the last thing you want to do is jump around or work up a sweat with your gut in knots. Start slow with floor stretches. A slow yoga flow with some full body twists is perfect to get bubbles and gas stuck in your intestinal tract moving along.
Not up for yoga? Try a walk or do some full body stretches and exercises.
What is your remedy for belly aches? Staying consistent with your healthy habits is a good start to avoid belly aches, but sometimes they just happen. Overall, remember to honor your body and Eat what makes You Feel Great!