Stomach aches happen to everyone and most of the time, they’re not something to worry about. They usually don’t last long and go away without medical intervention. However, stomach ache pain can be incredibly uncomfortable while it lasts, interfering with sleep and daily life.
There are many possible causes for stomach pain and some are easier to treat than others. However, most stomach aches are caused by a handful of common conditions. Read on for five practical steps you can take to reduce stomach ache pain quickly.
People use the term “stomach pain” to refer to any pain they’re experiencing in the front region of their abdominal cavity – from their rib cage down to their pelvis. Many different organs interact in this part of your body to digest food and keep your body running.
True stomach pain is caused by inflammation of your stomach, an organ located on the center and left side of your body just under your rib cage. You can irritate your stomach by eating foods that are hard to digest, getting food poisoning, or developing sores on your stomach lining.
Other organs that commonly cause abdominal pain include the gallbladder, pancreas, appendix, colon and female reproductive organs. For example, constipation can cause abdominal discomfort. Dietary issues like being lactose intolerant or having IBS can also cause stomach pain.
Because there are so many possible causes, it can be challenging to identify the reason for your stomach pain. However, several of the most common causes are indigestion, constipation, acid reflux, menstrual cramps and dietary sensitivities.
Not every stomach ache can be cured in five minutes. However, many kinds of stomach pain can be treated and reduced within five to ten minutes of home care. Here are five steps you can take right now to help reduce pain from a stomach ache.
Some people are able to relieve stomach pain by putting pressure on their feet. This method is based on the principles of reflexology, a type of therapy that uses pressure points to reduce pain. Although it may sound crazy, it’s low risk and definitely worth trying if you’re in pain.
To use this method, put your thumb on your big toe. Then, trace down to the inside of your foot right underneath the ball of your foot. Using a circular motion, put pressure on this spot for one to three minutes. Switch feet and massage your other foot in the same place. Many people report instant relief from this method.
You can also try massaging your abdomen to help move digestion along and release gas. Layer your hands on top of each other and apply pressure on top of your stomach. Now, massage with a circular motion down around your belly, moving clockwise.
Depending on the reason for your stomach ache, applying pressure to your abdomen can also help. Try folding a pillow in half and placing it under your stomach on the floor. In five to ten minutes, this pressure should reduce or completely eliminate your stomach pain.
If you haven’t been to the bathroom in a while, your stomach pain may be caused by constipation. The longer you’re unable to go to the bathroom, the worse this pain will get. You can quickly find relief by taking milk of magnesia, a laxative that will draw water into your intestines.
Depending on your condition, you can expect to have a bowel movement within 30 minutes to six hours after taking this medication. Although it won’t reduce your pain within five minutes, this is an effective step you can take that will bring results quickly.
Many herbs can help to reduce abdominal discomfort. Some of the most effective include ginger, chamomile and peppermint. You can brew these herbs in tea to help your body relax or chew them fresh.
For the most effective results, avoid using herb-flavored products like gum or candy. Instead, go directly to the most natural, raw source you can find. For example, brewing your own tea from fresh ginger will be more potent than the ginger tea you find at the store.
If your stomach pain is caused by menstrual cramps, a heating pad may help. Cramping can be caused by tight blood vessels in your uterus. Adding warmth to your abdomen will help to relax cramping muscles and improve normal blood flow. However, it doesn’t usually speed up your period.
Aim for a temperature of 104 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit and apply the heating pad or hot water bottle to your abdomen for 15-20 minutes. To avoid burning or irritating your skin, make sure there’s a towel or clothing between your body and the heat source. If the pain continues after five to ten minutes, try applying heat again.
Although stomach aches are common, they can be very uncomfortable. There are many potential causes for abdominal pain, but most stomach aches are a result of indigestion, dietary issues and menstrual cramps. Thankfully, there are several ways to quickly reduce stomach pain at home.
To improve long-term bowel health, you may need to make lifestyle changes to reduce stress and clean up your diet. However, if you’re experiencing stomach pain now, you can use these five tips to reduce discomfort quickly. If your pain becomes severe or lasts longer than 24 hours, you should see a doctor immediately.