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Home Remedies for Upset Stomach [Why It Hurts and How to Help]

If you are experiencing abdominal pain, diarrhea, or cramps, you may have an upset stomach. An upset stomach can happen for various reasons, making it quite common to experience symptoms. Luckily, there are a lot of home remedies for an upset stomach. 


The important thing to do is pinpoint the cause of your upset stomach. Going to a doctor is the first step so that you can confirm the issue is not severe. But what can we do about the uncomfortable symptoms that come with stomach pain? Several remedies may soothe your symptoms and help you feel better. Find out more about upset stomachs and natural remedies below!



What is an Upset Stomach?

Upset stomachs are also known as bellyaches, tummy aches, and plain old abdominal pain. It’s essentially discomfort or pain in your stomach. 


There are three types of abdominal pain. Each type is categorized by the severity of the symptoms and how long they last. Acute pain lasts a few hours to a day. Chronic pain lasts a bit longer, usually weeks to months. The pain might come and go. Progressive pain gets worse over time. 


You might also experience other side effects of an upset stomach: 


  • Sharp pain
  • Bloating
  • Excessive farting
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling queasy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation



woman in pain



What Causes an Upset Stomach? 

Everyone gets an upset stomach from time to time. There are many reasons people experience an upset stomach, ranging from poor food reactions that may solve themselves to severe illnesses that require medical attention. 



Indigestion is often caused by other conditions, including ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and stomach-related diseases. It can also be a side effect of a poor diet or stress.


The discomfort is characterized by:


  • A burning sensation in the stomach or upper abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting


You might even experience an acidic taste. A doctor will run a series of tests to find out the cause of your indigestion. 



Constipation means your bowel movements are challenging. You will either have a hard time passing stool or can’t use the bathroom at all. If you’re not going to the bathroom as much as usual or find yourself straining, you are probably dealing with constipation. 


There are a lot of reasons people become constipated. These reasons include:


  • Not eating enough fiber
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Inactivity
  • Stress 


Pregnant women also experience constipation. You might become constipated from certain medications or overusing laxatives. There are more serious issues that lead to constipation as well, so if the problem persists, be sure to visit your doctor.


Stomach Flu

While “stomach flu” is the common name, this is a condition known as gastroenteritis. It’s when your stomach and intestines become irritated and inflamed. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:


  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Light-headedness


A viral or bacterial infection often causes the stomach flu. You can get it from coming into contact with someone who has the stomach flu, contaminated food or water, unwashed hands, the rotavirus, or the norovirus. 


The stomach flu is common in children. You may notice dry skin or dehydration in an affected child. If you spot stomach flu symptoms, remove the child from school and bring them to the doctor immediately. 


Menstrual Cramps

People experience menstrual cramps during their period, causing throbbing and aching in their lower stomach area. Some people experience mild cramps while others get severe cramps, although they are typically less painful over the years. 


The signs of a menstrual cramp are aching in your lower belly, a feeling of pressure in your stomach, and even pain in your hips, lower back, and inner thighs. Severe cramps might also lead to vomiting and diarrhea. 


Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is caused by food that’s infected with food-borne organisms. The symptoms range from mild intestinal discomfort to severe symptoms that might be life-threatening, like severe dehydration and bloody stool. 


The severity of your symptoms depends on what kind of bacteria, virus, or parasite has infected you. Symptoms also depend on how much of the foreign contaminant is got into your system and how well your immune system fights it off.


Stress and Nervousness

Everyone experiences stress differently. It can affect each person’s body differently, manifesting in a variety of ways. For some people, stress can lead to an upset stomach. This includes nausea, gas, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you are experiencing a stressful situation, it’s very normal to have these uncomfortable physical symptoms in your stomach. 



You might get a hernia when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a muscle or connective tissue. Hernias usually occur in the inner groin, outer groin, upper stomach, and belly button. The issue may be caused by heavy lifting, excessive coughing, or constipation. Hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and muscle weakness. 



Gallstones are pieces of solid material that form within your gallbladder. This small organ stores and releases bile, helping with digestion. But sometimes, the cholesterol and bilirubin found in your bile can form gallstones, which range from the size of a grain of sand to a golf ball. 


You sometimes won’t know that you have gallstones until you feel an intense, sharp pain when they block a bile duct. Symptoms early on include pain right under your right rib, an upset stomach, vomiting, gas, heartburn, and indigestion. If you start experiencing fever, pain for several hours, or dark urine, see a doctor to make sure you don’t have a serious infection. 



Your upset stomach may be a sign of a severe disease or chronic condition, including Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. You may have one of these conditions if you experience an upset stomach and its symptoms for a very long time. These symptoms include:


  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss


You should quickly see a doctor if you are experiencing the more severe symptoms of an upset stomach: 


  • You can’t keep food down for more than two days.
  • You’re getting very dehydrated and have dark-colored urine.
  • You are constipated.
  • You have vomited multiple times.
  • There’s blood in your vomit.
  • There’s a pain when you urinate, and you’re often urinating.
  • Stomach is tender to the touch.
  • Skin has turned yellow.
  • Stool is dark, full of blood, or has a tar-like texture.



Are Upset Stomachs Common?

Upset stomachs are common, and everyone will experience the symptoms at some point. That’s because there are so many things that lead to an upset stomach, such as:


  • Diseases
  • Food poisoning
  • Stress
  • Nervousness


While upset stomachs are common, the most important thing is to pinpoint the reason behind your upset stomach. It may be a temporary issue or an underlying disease that needs medical attention.


If your symptoms are concerning you or causing a lot of discomforts, schedule an appointment with a doctor. But meanwhile, there are things you can do to reduce symptoms at home. 



man clenching really hard on the toilet



Home Remedies for Upset Stomach

If you are feeling sick and experiencing discomfort in your stomach, there are a lot of things you can do at home while you wait for your doctor’s appointment. These will reduce your symptoms and address some of the issues you are experiencing. 


Drink Water

Being dehydrated is a symptom of an upset stomach, but it also can make the other symptoms worse! Your body needs water to digest and absorb nutrients properly. Adult women need about 2.7 liters a day while men need 3.7 liters. If you are experiencing diarrhea, it’s crucial to drink water to avoid becoming dehydrated. 


Take a Warm Bath

A lot of people use heat to reduce the symptoms of an upset stomach. That’s because heat may relax muscles that were feeling tense and ease indigestion. A warm bath may ease your symptoms and help you feel relaxed. You can also try pressing a heating pad or another warmed object against your stomach for 20 minutes at a time.


Avoid Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking irritates your throat. This is especially painful if you’ve been vomiting since your throat tissue is already sore from stomach acid. Alcohol is a toxin that makes it difficult to digest food. It also causes damage to the liver and stomach acids. Avoid smoking and alcohol when you are feeling the symptoms of an upset stomach. 


Try CBD Oil

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp. It won’t get you high. What CBD does instead is interact with the receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your ECS is in charge of your body’s overall well-being and balance. When CBD interacts with the ECS, it may provide various benefits for your physical and mental health. 


CBD oil benefits you physically by soothing discomfort. It combats swelling, reduces irritation, and soothes joint discomfort. CBD oil also reduces nausea and other symptoms of an upset stomach. This will help you eat and drink without feeling sick. 


CBD oil will also reduce some of the stress or nervousness you’re experiencing. A lot of people feel sick due to stress. CBD is an excellent option for feeling relaxed and experiencing better rest.


Related: Does CBD Oil Have THC? Sometimes It Can, Here's Why!


What Foods Makes Your Stomach Feel Better?

There are a lot of foods that can help with upset stomachs and stomach aches. Here are some of the most common: 


  • Ginger: This speeds up stomach contractions and helps food move through the stomach quicker, reducing nausea and vomiting. Add ginger to some tea, or try all-natural ginger ale. 
  • Mint: This is a traditional treatment for indigestion and diarrhea in Iran and India. The menthol in mint will prevent vomiting, reduce muscle spasms in your intestines, and relieve pain. Try some mint candies the next time you feel queasy! 
  • Cinnamon: This food contains several antioxidants that will ease digestion and reduce the risk of irritation in your digestive tract. Add cinnamon powder to food to reduce gas, bloating, cramping, and belching. 
  • Figs: Figs can ease constipation and act as a laxative, encouraging healthy bowel movements. A whole fig fruit or fig leaves added to tea will improve your upset stomach symptoms. Since figs get things moving, they are excellent for constipation but terrible for diarrhea!
  • Basil: With a high level of linoleic acid, basil has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce gas, relieve cramping, and improve your overall digestion. You’ll also have an increased appetite. 
  • Licorice: Licorice can reduce inflammation of the stomach lining. Try licorice root tea to help with an upset stomach. 
  • Rice: Rice can help with an upset stomach by adding bulk to stool, absorbing fluids that may contain toxins, and easing cramps. That’s because rice contains a high level of magnesium and potassium. Eat half a cup of plain rice if you are vomiting or have diarrhea. 



Final Thoughts – Home Remedies for Upset Stomach

Upset stomachs can be frustrating. Whether you’re sitting on the toilet throughout the day, not able to use the bathroom at all, feeling sharp pains in your stomach, or unable to eat or drink, it’s not fun! 


There are many reasons that people get upset stomachs, ranging from serious illnesses to stressful situations. It’s essential to determine the reason behind your upset stomach so you can start healing. Part of that is finding home remedies to ease your discomfort. 


There are a lot of ways to soothe the symptoms of an upset stomach. Whether it’s drinking more water or adding certain ingredients to tea, home remedies can make you feel better if you have an upset stomach. Consider CBD products if you are feeling stress or need better rest!