Anything from stress or anxiety to the foods you eat can cause you to feel sick to your stomach. But you can treat your upset stomach using a variety of medications, natural treatments and precautionary measures to help avoid it in the first place. If you experience frequent upset stomachs or nausea, consult your doctor to ensure that it’s not a sign of a more serious digestive disorder or other health issue.
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One of the quickest and most efficient ways to cure a sick stomach is by taking over-the-counter medications or, in extreme cases, prescription medicines. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, or NDDIC, you can try a medicine containing the enzyme lactase for treating gas caused by dairy products or a medication such as Beano for gas pains caused by beans or vegetables. If the sick feeling is from something other than gas, such as something you ate that isn’t settling right, try a medication such as Pepto Bismol designed to treat stomach pains and nausea.
Sometimes you can treat stomach pain and nausea without medication or avoid a sick stomach altogether. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can try limiting or avoiding foods that commonly cause gas, stomach pains and discomfort; common culprits include dairy products, vegetables and foods high in fiber. According to the National Cancer Institute, or NCI, you might be able to settle an upset stomach with foods such as soups, clear sodas, grape juice, tea, water, chicken, crackers, oatmeal, potatoes, gelatin, yogurt and ice pops. If the sick feeling in your stomach stems from stress or anxiety, do something that you find relaxing such as listening to music, exercising, taking a nap, getting a massage or soaking in a hot tub.
The NCI suggests exercise as an effective way to reduce symptoms of a sick stomach, nausea or indigestion. Sit up or stand after a meal to help aid digestion. Taking a walk after a meal can help to stimulate digestion and fend off feelings of bloating, especially after eating a big meal. However, exercising too intensely after a meal can make your stomach even more upset. A short walk around the block or simply avoiding vegging on the couch after a meal should be enough.
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Gas in the Digestive Tract
- National Cancer Institute: What to do About feeling Sick to Your Stomach and Throwing Up
- Mayo Clinic: Bloating, Belching and Intestinal Gas: How to Avoid Them
- Mayo Clinic: Eating and Exercise: Time it Right to Maximize Your Workout