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Does Milk Calm an Upset Stomach?

author image Kate Beck
Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.
Does Milk Calm an Upset Stomach?
Clear glass of water. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

Upset stomachs cause nausea and vomiting, and these symptoms might result from conditions such as a virus, reaction to food or a medication side effect. If you or your child experiences an upset stomach, you need to choose foods and beverages carefully to avoid worsening the discomfort or bringing on a bout of vomiting. In most cases, adults and children should avoid milk and other dairy products if they have an upset stomach.

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Foods to Avoid

Eggs in a row.
Eggs in a row. Photo Credit: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

In addition to milk, you should avoid other types of beverages and food when you have a queasy stomach. This includes other dairy products such as ice cream, yogurt and cheese, but you also should stay clear of fried, fatty and spicy foods. Meals made with strong, fragrant herbs also could aggravate nausea. You also should avoid foods and beverages containing caffeine.


Close up of a woman biting into a cracker.
Close up of a woman biting into a cracker. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Treatment for an upset stomach will vary depending on the cause. For example, if you have a virus or motion sickness, you might simply need to allow your stomach upset to ease on its own. Eating plain crackers might help queasiness from morning sickness during pregnancy.

For a virus, instead of turning to milk, try drinking clear fluids such as water, lemon-lime soda or diluted apple juice. You can gradually progress to drinking clear broths and eating gelatin. If you do not experience vomiting with clear fluids, add in plain foods such as crackers, rice, bananas and apples, but if these foods cause you to vomit, start with clear fluids once again.

If you have a health condition that causes nausea, take medications or have chemotherapy treatments that cause an upset stomach, your doctor might prescribe a medication to help ease your symptoms.

Breastfed Infants

Mother breastfeeding child.
Mother breastfeeding child. Photo Credit: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

A breasted infant with stomach upset might benefit from the mother’s milk, says MedlinePlus, a component of the National Institutes of Health. You might want to let your baby nurse for a short time and then have him stop to prevent overeating. If he vomits or shows any other signs of a medical condition, contact his pediatrician.


Woman talking to female doctor.
Woman talking to female doctor. Photo Credit: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Contact your doctor if you experience vomiting for more than 24 hours or have stomach pain, high fever or dehydration signs such as low urine output, dry mouth and excessive thirst. If you suspect that your stomach upset might stem from poisoning, seek prompt treatment from an emergency medical facility or contact the poison control center.

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