The term "upset stomach" is a broad term relating to symptoms accompanying inflammation or other problems in the stomach or intestines. This inflammation is also called gastroenteritis and may result from infections, viruses, contaminated food or adverse reactions to medications. An upset stomach can make it difficult to eat food and may cause nausea, stomach cramps, a loss of appetite, weakness and diarrhea. Medications are available to treat an upset stomach, but there are several things you can do on your own—often through diet—to relieve yourself of pain or discomfort.
Treat the initial attack of an upset stomach by trying not to eat or drink for the first six hours. You may try sucking on hard candies—such as candied ginger, an herbal remedy the University of Maryland Medical Center reports may improve your condition—or by sucking on ice chips or popsicles to soothe your stomach.
Eat soft foods whenever possible for the first 24 hours. After the initial six hours, you should resume drinking fluids to nourish the body and keep it hydrated. Sip on water and juice throughout the day, consuming at least 2 quarts of fluid. Stay away from soups and/or milk, which can exacerbate your upset stomach problems, particularly diarrhea. If you are having problems with diarrhea, rice is a soft food that can be eaten in small portions, is unlikely to further upset the stomach and can help ease your diarrhea, according to Glamour Magazine.
Integrate easy-to-digest foods during the second day of an upset stomach, including canned soft fruits like peaches and apricots as well as bananas. Applesauce is also effective. While dairy products should still be avoided, dry toast can be eaten as long as butter is kept off—you can use jelly in its place. Crackers can also help nourish your body while going easy on your stomach and intestines.
Eat solid, bland foods low in grease and/or fat starting on the third day. This can include boiled lean meat like chicken and eggs as well as potatoes. Spices should continue to be avoided during this period of time until your upset stomach calms down.
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Although yogurt is a dairy product, in some cases it can prove beneficial to upset stomachs due to the probiotics present in the yogurt. This could be particularly useful if you are suffering from diarrhea, which usually results from a bacterial imbalance in the intestines.
Consult a health care professional if you condition does not improve after three days, or if you experience bleeding, green stool or a fever above 101 degree Fahrenheit.