Upset stomach is often accompanied by abdominal pain which may get extended to the chest, shoulder and neck. The pain makes the entire abdominal area tender and sensitive. Other symptoms found in this condition are bloating, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, acidic taste in mouth, etc. In some cases, vomiting of blood or blood in stool is also noticed.
- In irritable bowel syndrome, there is a constant irritation in the large intestine of the patient. As a result, during digestion, the food contents cannot pass through the intestinal tract normally.
- There is a lot of similarity between the stomach ulcer and acid reflux disease as in both the conditions, acids cause damage to the inner lining of the digestive tract which adversely affect the digestive mechanism of the body. Stomach ulcers are formed mainly due to a specific type of bacteria named Helicobacter pylori.
- Whereas, those with acid reflux disease suffer from upset stomach as inflammation occur in the esophagus lining after an excess amount of stomach acids is pushed into the food pipe through the opening in the upper part of the stomach.
- Other rare causes of upset stomach are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
- Consumption of alcohol, caffeine, smoking and medicines like NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) also contribute towards this problem.
Many people buy some over-the-counter medicines on the advice of pharmacist and start self-medication for the treatment of upset stomach. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before taking any of these medicines. The treatment is aimed at eliminating the underlying cause. Doctors first conduct thorough physical examination of the patient. They also check out their medical history and eating habits. If required, various clinical tests like blood test, urine test and stool test, X-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen, barium enema etc. are done.
- Antibiotics are given to destroy the bacteria H. pylori. These medicines help to cure the existing ulcers and also prevent the risk of formation of new ulcers.
- Symptoms can be relieved with antacids and other medicines that reduce or block the production of acids.
- In case, it is due to irritable bowel syndrome, antacids may not be of much help. Antidiarrheal medications are of great help as it can control diarrhea.
When you have an upset stomach, it is advised to stop or minimize eating of solid foods as long as the condition does not improve. During this time, eat such foods that are easily digestible like whole grains and lean proteins. You should increase your fluid intake as it is essential to cure an upset stomach and prevent dehydration. It is not necessary that you have to drink plain water only. Rather, any clear fluid works well in this condition such as herbal teas.
Foods to Avoid
- There are some foods which tend to aggravate the problem further and hence, you should not eat them at all. Spicy foods and fried foods have an adverse effect on the overall digestive health and should be avoided to make your stomach feel better.
- Both red and black pepper irritate the intestines. So, it is recommended to stay away from them.
- Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts should not be included in the diet for the time being.
- Fruits like apple and melon are not good when the stomach is upset.
- Citrus fruits, foods with high fat content, onions, coffee, chocolate and alcohol are not good for patients suffering from acid reflux disease.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.