7 Ways to Soothe a Stomachache

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Everyone will get a stomachache at some point in their life. Stomachaches are especially common in children.

Stomachache symptoms include bloating, gas, feelings of fullness, nausea, constipation, and abdominal pain. Stomachaches are usually harmless, and, while uncomfortable, they rarely require emergency medical care.

This article will discuss potential causes of a stomachache, natural remedies to help find relief, and when you should contact your healthcare provider.

stomach ache
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Causes

There are a number of potential causes for a stomachache. Some of these causes include:

Home Remedies for a Stomachache

There are items you may have at home that can help ease a stomachache, such as ginger, chamomile tea, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar.

Ginger

Ginger is a type of root that can provide relief for nausea and stomach upset. Ginger is available as extracts, tinctures, lozenges, supplements, and teas. Side effects, such as heartburn or diarrhea, may occur but are usually mild.

It is important to speak with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement. Ginger used in combination with blood thinners, for example, can increase your risk of bleeding.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea, a type of beverage derived from the herb chamomile, can be helpful for stomachaches.

Chamomile helps stomachaches because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile helps to relax the muscles of the upper digestive tract, which, in turn, helps relieve cramping and other stomach discomforts.

Peppermint

The mint family, which includes peppermint, can be very helpful for relieving a stomachache. Mint is known to relax the stomach muscles as well as soothe inflamed or irritated stomachs.

Mint aids in digestion because it helps digestive fluids called bile move easily through the digestive system, which allows food to break down more quickly.

Heating Pad

A heating pad can relieve a stomachache by warming and relaxing the stomach muscles, causing them to loosen and not clench. This helps reduce stomach distress and discomfort.

If you don't have a heating pad, simply taking a hot shower or soaking in a warm bath can provide a similar effect.

BRAT Diet

The BRAT diet is a food plan used to treat stomach issues. BRAT has been recommended to treat issues such as stomach flu, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal discomforts. It's made up of foods that are low in fat, protein, and fiber, which are easier on the digestive tract.

The BRAT diet is only intended as a short-term solution, not as a regular way of eating. If you follow it for a longer period of time, you risk becoming deficient in certain nutrients and calories.

"BRAT" is an acronym for the following foods:

  • Bananas
  • Rice
  • Applesauce
  • Toast

Seltzer and Lime

Seltzer and lime can be beneficial for stomachaches for two reasons: the scent of the lime and the carbonation of the seltzer.

The scent of lime causes your mouth to water. The increase in saliva causes your stomach to produce more digestive juices, which enhances digestion.

The carbonation from the seltzer helps you burp, which relieves stomach pressure.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can help ease an upset stomach because of its known antibiotic properties.

Apple cider vinegar soothes stomach pain by aiding digestion. Diluting the apple cider in a cup of warm water helps make it easier to consume.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If your stomachache is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider:

  • Nausea and vomiting for several days
  • Bloody stools
  • Trouble breathing
  • Significant abdominal tenderness (when touched)
  • Pain persists for several days (and gets worse)
  • Signs of dehydration (dizziness, decreased urine output)

Any of the aforementioned symptoms signal something may be wrong, such as an infection or illness, that requires medical attention.

Summary

Stomachaches are an uncomfortable but common ailment that everyone experiences at some point throughout their lives. Potential causes range from food allergies to a stomach bug to constipation. You can usually treat a stomachache yourself using a variety of home remedies, such as by using a heating pad or by consuming chamomile tea, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar.

A Word From Verywell

Stomachaches can cause a fair amount of discomfort, which makes you want relief–and fast. Thankfully, there are many quick home remedies that will help alleviate the symptoms associated with your digestive system troubles.

A stomachache is rarely a serious cause for concern on its own. That said, if a stomachache accompanies bloody stools, an inability to keep food down for several days, and breathing problems, contact your healthcare provider right away to rule out any serious or underlying conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you get rid of a stomachache in five minutes?

    Using a heating pad is usually the quickest route to relieving a stomachache. Place the heating pad over your abdomen and sit with it to help relax the stomach muscles.

  • How do you sleep with a stomachache?

    Focusing on the position you sleep in can help make sleeping with a stomachache easier. For example, sleeping on your side can relieve symptoms of an upset stomach and other digestive issues.

  • What liquids are good for a stomachache?

    There are a number of liquids that are good for a stomachache. These include chamomile tea, a seltzer with lime, ginger ale, or diluted apple cider vinegar.

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5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Chamomile.

  3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Peppermint oil.

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