Bland foods may not be appetizing, but they are ideal for an upset stomach. They allow your stomach and intestines to heal. An upset stomach is commonly referred to as gastroenteritis. The condition is common and has a variety of causes ranging from viruses to eating contaminated food to taking certain medications. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea may occasionally accompany an upset stomach. If your upset stomach does not resolve after three to four days, seek medical attention.
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If you are vomiting, stop consuming food until the vomiting has passed. Do not eat until you have stopped vomiting for 6 hours. Suck on ice chips to moisten your lips and hydrate your body. Hard candy and popsicles also tame your appetite; the popsicles will also add fluid. Vomiting may cause severe dehydration.
Introducing Bland Foods
Begin taking small sips of fluids such as water, flat ginger ale, bouillon or apple juice. Slowly add foods your stomach can easily digest after the first day. Focus on foods such as bananas, rice, toast or applesauce. These foods are binding foods and will harden your stools, according to MedlinePlus. Bananas also are high in potassium, which is commonly lost if you are vomiting and have diarrhea. Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates instead of protein and fat. These foods are easier for your stomach to digest.
Adding More Solid Foods
Once you begin feeling better, around the second or third day, you may add additional bland foods to your diet. Meat should include skinless, boneless chicken or baked or broiled meats. Hard-boiled eggs and baked potatoes are also recommended. Do not add spices, seasonings or large amounts of salt to your food. Avoid dairy products such as creamy soups, milk and yogurt, because they may cause your symptoms to return. Slowly add more foods to your diet, including fruits and vegetables. Eating bland foods too long may cause you to become malnourished. If your symptoms return at any time, restart the diet from the beginning.
Seeking Medical Attention
An upset stomach may be an indication of a more complicated illness. If your diarrhea is green or includes bloody, tarry stools, visit your medical doctor. Symptoms should not last more than three days. A fever of 101 degrees or a fever lasting longer than three days is also a sign of something more serious.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.