When your stomach hurts thinking about anything else but relief is not possible. That’s why it’s important to get relief quickly and then address the root cause so you can minimize or eliminate stomach pain for good. I’ve outlined some stomach pain relief methods you can incorporate today to feel better.
Identifying Your Stomach Pain
The most important step in relieving stomach pain is knowing what type of pain you have, where in the stomach you are experiencing it and when you are experiencing it. Organs of the abdomen include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas.
Stomach pain can stem from a number of digestive issues and many symptoms overlap. Digestion begins in the mouth and ends at the rectum, so that leaves a pretty wide area where your pain can stem from. I will break down some common symptoms and give you some general relief methods.
As always, contact your doctor for an appropriate treatment plan if your symptoms are lasting more than a few days. Some questions to ask yourself to pin down possible reasons:
- Is the pain in the right, left, or center of the abdomen?
- Is the pain in the top, bottom, or middle of the abdomen?
- Is the pain sudden, and severe (acute)?
- Is the pain less severe, yet occurs more frequently (chronic)?
- Does the pain remain in one place, or does it move around?
- Does the pain occur mainly after eating?
- Are you pregnant?
**Symptoms From Top To Bottom**
Burning sensation in your throat
Could be Laryngopharyngeal reflux or ‘silent GERD’ and is similar to GERD or acid reflux, but the symptoms are different. With silent GERD, stomach acid backs up into the back of the throat and/or voice box and sometimes into the nasal airway. This causes inflammation to the delicate tissues of the throat, voice box, and nasal passages.
- Chew gum to increase saliva and neutralize stomach acid.
- Slippery elm drops used 2-3x/day will help to heal the sensitive mucosal lining of the esophagus.
- Strongly brewed ginger tea can also help. A tablespoon of freshly grated ginger in hot water can do the trick.
Heartburn, Pain in the chest
If you feel a burning pain in the middle of your chest you may be experiencing acid reflux. Acid backs up into the esophagus and irritates the tissues causing the sensation of heartburn. It’s not unusual to have acid reflux on occasion, but when it happens twice a week or affects your daily life then you may have the more chronic version of reflux called GERD. Read more about reflux/GERD here.
Getting your acid reflux under control is paramount so it doesn’t progress to GERD. If you experience persistent heartburn, bad breath, tooth erosion, nausea, pain in your chest or upper part of your abdomen, or have trouble swallowing or breathing, see your doctor.
Try D-Limonene, 1000 mg’s per day. D-Limonone has been studied and found to help heartburn. D-Limonene is a component of several citrus essential oils (orange; lemon and lime); and naturally occurs in citrus juices.
Upper Abdominal Pain
Pain in the upper quadrant of your stomach can be gallstones. The pain is usually steady and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours. Tiny, hard stones form when fluid in the gallbladder crystallizes and can lead to infection. Gallbladder attacks usually occur after eating or at night. Gallbladder disease requires immediate medical attention.
Take turmeric (1,000 milligrams daily) — It’s active ingredient curcumin, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce gallbladder swelling and improve bile flow.
Follow up with your doctor for acute pain that is sudden.
Abdominal Pain – Rib Area
Gastritis is usually suspected when the pain comes on soon after eating and is in the rib area. This type of pain is steady. This is most often caused by an infection of H Pylori bacteria. This causes thinning of the protective mucosal lining in the stomach. Contact your doctor for a stool test and other digestive tests but in the meantime, healing the stomach lining is helpful.
Try Metagenics “Zinlori”, used three times a day in between meals for 4 weeks until your test results come back. Gastritis can also involve H Pylori bacteria, so eliminating that infection is also recommended. Try Designs for Health’s “GastroMend”, used at full strength for 6 weeks.
Abdominal Pain – Rib Area
Pain in this area could also be due to gas. Especially when pain is felt 20 minutes or more after eating. This type of pain is intermittent and not steady.
For gas/bloat-based discomfort, NOW Foods makes a product called “Peppermint Gels” which contains a combination of fennel and peppermint oil. This combination can help gas pain. Take as directed until feeling better.
Middle and Lower Abdominal Pain
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is suspected when pain comes from the middle or lower intestines. Constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas cause intermittent pain in this area. Irritable bowel syndrome a non-inflammatory condition, while inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes chronic swelling (or inflammation). The difference between the two can be determined by the presence of blood in the stool, eye discomfort, extreme fatigue, and joint pain which never occurs with IBS, but does occur with IBD.
Both conditions should be followed up with by a doctor.
Quick Relief For IBS
Peppermint, ginger, and fennel are herbs which release trapped gas and eliminate bloating and cramps by relaxing the muscle wall of the intestines. Activated charcoal is also effective at absorbing excess gas in the gut. Take Activated charcoal on its own, not with any other supplements or food. My favorite specific supplement recommendations include a mixture of these elements e.g. Gaia Herbs’ “Gas and Bloating” formula and Heather’s Tummy Tamers.
Probiotics are not recommended for an acute episode of IBS since they may make symptoms worse. A digestive enzyme formula is better and supportive of the healing process. An excellent, full spectrum digestive enzyme product is Renew Life’s “Digest More”. Take them for a week and if improvement is seen, continue taking them until your symptoms subside.
When To See The Doctor
Pain that is unrelenting, spreads to the back and movement does not relieve it are signs that you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Does eating or lying one side relieve the pain? Does throwing up make the pain better? Does staying in one place or moving around make the pain better? Anything that provides relief should be mentioned to the doctor.
Pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night is more serious and should always be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
There are many, many other causes for stomach pain beyond the scope of this article. Use your judgment when determining if stomach pain is an emergency as in the case of appendicitis. A rule of thumb is when stomach pain is due to an inflammatory condition, movement hurts. Usually, this type of pain makes you want to lie still without moving and is indicative of seeing a health professional immediately.
When your stomach hurts, you want and need fast relief. Thankfully, most stomach pain is occasional and infrequent. Home remedies can help with the pain of heartburn, IBS, gastritis/ulcers, gallstones, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating until you can see a doctor to help get to the root of the problem.
More serious stomach pain should always be handled immediately to rule out serious stomach issues and disease.
I hope you enjoyed this article on quick relief methods for common digestive issues. Please leave a comment, I love to hear from my readers!
Linda is a Certified Functional Health Coach