Nausea and having an upset stomach happen to everyone at some point. Whether you have a chronic illness or not, it’s, unfortunately, a part of life that most experience at some point. When you’re battling an upset stomach, it can feel like everything will make it worse, as nothing will help, and feeling out of control and possibly helpless against your symptoms.
I live with many chronic illnesses that have a wide variety of symptoms and nausea is one of my least favourites. It can be the toughest to control, find a remedy for, and can go on for an undetermined amount of time!
For myself, living with inflammatory bowel disease an upset stomach is often brought on by inflammation in my intestines. There were years of my life where nausea was present often and I battled an upset stomach more days than I didn’t.
This article is not trying to provide medical advice on health or emergency issues. This article is to provide suggestions on home remedies to help with how to settle an upset stomach.
What is an upset stomach?
An upset stomach can be brought on by a plethora of reasons, some of the most common flu/virus, pregnancy, inflammation, a side effect of medication, expired or undercooked food, and stress.
The duration of symptoms can range from minutes to hours and even days.
Additional symptoms of having an upset stomach can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and headaches. Most often an upset stomach can be treated at home.
One of the first things that you need to do when an upset stomach is watch your hydration levels. It’s very common that with an upset stomach, you’ll not want to drink, or really put anything into your body.
It feels odd but how to settle an upset stomach starts with keeping your body well-hydrated. How might you ask when you feel like anything at all will push you over the edge with your nausea?
Well, there are a couple of ideas to help you!
- Avoid citrus juices – they’ll be unhelpful with increased stomach acid
- Try small sips of ginger ale – leave it open to try to get it flat without bubbles to help
- Water – small sips
- Ice Cubes – if the water is too much suck on an ice cube
- Hydration Freezies – pharmacy and grocery stores carry these
- Sports Hydration beverages provide vitamins, minerals, salts, and sugar
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and high-sugar drinks (such as pop)
- Take small sips only of beverages
- Avoid dairy-based beverages
Start with very small sips, even if goes down okay continue to slowly sip your beverages. Make sure that over time you keep taking those small sips. You can set a timer, have a loved one remind you, or keep the beverages near you as a visual reminder.
Simple Foods to Settle Upset Stomach
If you feel like you can eat some food or want to try eating foods make sure to keep it simple. You want to avoid any acid reflux, or indigestion symptoms and stick to the brat diet.
The brat diet is Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. Like beverages you want to start off with very small amounts and give your stomach some time to see if this is okay or if your symptoms will return.
Certain foods such as dairy, seeds, fried foods, sweets, fruits, and vegetables can make your upset stomach worse or cause your symptoms to persist.
Switching to simple foods when you feel hungry or ready to eat is the best way to help your body slowly reintroduce food and relieve symptoms of your upset stomach.
The best thing for an upset stomach is to take things slow and introduce simple foods that are bland. For myself when I have stomach pain, I love to have crackers, apple sauce, and mashed potatoes.
As I live with a chronic illness where nausea is a common symptom, I often keep in my cellar storage boxes of unsalted crackers just in case I’m unwell and unable to go to the store with a bad stomach. It’s handy to keep non-perishable foods on hand to help relieve an upset tummy.
If you live with others, you can also ask them to help with gathering these food options when you experience a sour stomach to help you.
When it comes to what settles an upset stomach sometimes it’s simply resting and letting time pass. Sometimes there is something that we’ve ingested or stress in our lives that is causing upset stomach symptoms.
To settle an upset stomach this can include resting, taking a nap, and distracting yourself with activities you enjoy such as reading, tv, video games, a warm bath, or writing.
Commonly the worst symptoms of an upset stomach will pass in minutes, or within a couple of hours. Although this may feel awful at the moment (I’ve been there plenty of times myself) sometimes simply keeping yourself as comfortable as you can while it passes can be helpful.
Fixating on how horrible you feel, or trying to push your body to feel better quicker can actually cause your upset stomach to prolong symptoms or worsen. Looking for simple ways to improve your mood and mindset can be powerful.
Most people will feel better with time and if not, seek medical advice from a medical professional to help with your upset stomach.
Anti-Nausea Medications to Settle an Upset Stomach
When all else fails, taking some over-the-counter medication to reduce and relieve an upset stomach can help a lot. Although I always try to use more natural means of helping my stomach ache, sometimes I’ll turn to medication to help soothe my upset stomach when nothing else will work.
Like bland food, it’s helpful to keep some anti-nausea medication on hand (just a small amount) in case you need it and are too unwell to head to the store.
Most of the time these medications will last years in your cupboard, and you can buy a small amount to reduce waste. This can also be helpful if your symptoms are presenting with additional upset stomach diarrhea as the medication is often helpful with reducing diarrhea.
Some anti-nausea medications can have a side effect of conspiration over time due to their anti-diarrhea effects so ensuring you maintain good hydration and supplementing your diet with fibrous foods once your diet has returned and your stomach has settled is also important.
While I can’t magically take away your upset stomach – believe me I truly wish I could – I hope these at-home remedies to help settle an upset stomach do help provide relief.
With an upset stomach, one of the most important things is to go slow with whatever you do, whether it’s food, water, or activities start slow and increase over time if your symptoms are reducing.
Here are 25 positive health affirmations to help you with feeling better during your illness. Leave me a comment below with additional ways you help reduce a sour stomach!