How to Relieve Upper Stomach Pain Immediately

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Fresh Squeezed Blog/Gut Health/How to Relieve Upper Stomach Pain Immediately

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Key takeaways (TLDR): Upper stomach pain can be uncomfortable and disruptive, but there are many ways to find relief and prevent it from happening in the future. By understanding the common causes of upper stomach pain and using simple remedies, dietary adjustments, and gentle exercises, you can alleviate pain quickly and improve your overall digestive health. If the pain persists or is severe, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice. Taking care of your stomach health is essential for your overall well-being, and these tips can help you stay pain-free and healthy. Remember, everyone’s body is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. Listen to your body, pay attention to what triggers your pain, and find the best solutions. Your health is worth the effort!

Upper stomach pain can be a distressing and uncomfortable experience. It can come on suddenly and make it difficult to focus on anything else. Addressing this pain promptly is essential not just for comfort but also for overall health. Ignoring persistent stomach pain can lead to more severe health issues. Let’s explore the importance of addressing upper stomach pain and simple, effective ways to find immediate relief.

Understanding Upper Stomach Pain

Upper stomach pain is discomfort felt in the upper part of your stomach, just below your rib cage and above your belly button. It can be sharp, dull, or burning and lasts for a few minutes to several hours.

Common Causes of Upper Stomach Pain

There are several common reasons why you might experience upper stomach pain:

  • Indigestion occurs when your stomach has trouble breaking down food. You might feel bloated and full or experience a burning sensation.
  • Gas forms when food is broken down in the stomach. If the gas doesn't move smoothly through the digestive system, it can cause pain.
  • Overeating at one time can stretch your stomach and cause pain.
  • Stress can affect your digestive system and lead to stomach pain.

Why It’s Important to Address Upper Stomach Pain

Ignoring upper stomach pain can lead to more serious health issues. It’s crucial to address it quickly to stay informed about your health and take responsibility for your well-being. Let's discuss what can go wrong if you don’t deal with this pain.

Prevents Chronic Conditions

Persistent stomach pain can indicate underlying conditions such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), ulcers, gallstones, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Early intervention can prevent these conditions from worsening and causing long-term health problems.

Improves Quality of Life

Chronic pain can affect your daily activities, making it difficult to concentrate at school or work, enjoy your hobbies, or even get a good night’s sleep. Correcting the root cause of your pain fast can help you get back to your routine without discomfort.

Enhances Digestive Health

Stomach pain is often a sign that something isn’t quite right in your digestive system. By addressing the pain and its causes, you can improve your overall digestive health. This can lead to better nutrient absorption, more regular bowel movements, and a healthier gut. This improvement in your digestive health can even lead to enhancements in your mental health. Read our other post on the Gut-Brain Connection.

Immediate Relief Techniques

When you’re experiencing upper stomach pain, you want relief fast. Here are some immediate techniques that can help:

Drink Alkaline Water

Sipping alkaline water can help neutralize stomach acid and ease the pain associated with increased stomach acid production. While not all cases of acid reflux-related stomach pain are related to strong acid production, you may notice improvements with this addition. Make sure to drink it slowly rather than gulping it down.

Dr. Nelson’s tip: Try an alkaline water recipe to make your own at home. - Take an eighth (⅛) of a teaspoon to a quarter (¼) teaspoon of baking soda and add this to 8 fluid ounces of water. Note well: Do not use this water mixture too often because it may cause electrolyte disturbances in your blood. If you find yourself needing this remedy for longer than five days, it's time to seek expert help.​

Use a Heating Pad

Applying a heating pad to your upper stomach can help relax the muscles and reduce pain. Make sure the heating pad is set to a comfortable temperature to avoid burns.

Dr. Nelson’s tip: Never fall asleep with the heating pad on or put your body weight on it (i.e., sit or lay down on it).

Take Deep Breaths

Deep breathing can help reduce stress and relax the muscles in your stomach. Try taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Dr. Nelson’s tip: Elevated stress levels have been shown to increase stomach acid secretion in some individuals. Taking a moment to do an Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise may help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest and digest pathway.

Alternate nostril breathing to relieve upper stomach pain quickly

A page from our Beat the Bloat eBook.

Simple Remedies

Ginger Tea

Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe your stomach. To make ginger tea, peel and slice a piece of fresh ginger root, add it to boiling water, and let it steep for a few minutes. Drink it slowly for relief.

Dr. Nelson’s tip: Avoid products marketed as ginger and just go directly to the ginger root. Many products don’t actually contain any ginger at all and substitute capsicum (pepper) to mimic the spicy flavor of ginger. This will not help your tummy at all. Ginger improves gut discomfort symptoms, but it is the active ingredient in a family of gingerols, shogaols, and galanolactones that get the job done.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint can help relax the muscles in your digestive tract. Make peppermint tea by steeping fresh leaves or a peppermint tea bag in hot water. Sip it slowly.

Dr. Nelson’s tip: This is one of my favorite remedies for stomach aches, but be mindful of the fact that peppermint can actually make heartburn worse in some cases. You see active ingredients in the leaves can stimulate the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscular band is supposed to stop food and acid from returning to the esophagus. If you find that your discomfort is worse after using peppermint tea, the root cause of your suffering might be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn.

Chew Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds can help reduce gas and bloating. Chew a teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals to aid digestion and relieve pain.

Herbal supplement bloat buster which contains fennel, ginger, and oregano oil to help relieve upper stomach pain fast

Dr. Nelson’s tip: One of my go-to supplements for bloating and upper stomach discomfort is Bloat Buster. This is because it contains 2 of the 3 remedies mentioned above and works fast to improve digestion. Take one softgel with or after a meal to help break down the bloat and soothe your stomach pain quickly.

Dietary Adjustments

What you eat can significantly impact your stomach health. Here are some dietary adjustments that can help prevent and relieve upper stomach pain:

Eat Small, Frequent Meals

Instead of eating three large meals a day, try eating smaller, more frequent meals. This can help prevent your stomach from becoming too full and reduce the risk of pain.

Sometimes, the increased frequency of eating can also help to improve symptoms associated with increased stomach acid production as well. It is worth having about five small to medium-sized meals daily to improve the symptoms.

Avoid Trigger Foods

Certain foods, such as spicy and fatty foods and carbonated beverages, can trigger stomach pain. Pay attention to what you eat and avoid foods that seem to cause discomfort.

Dr. Nelson’s tip: Some of my patients find success in documenting their diet (diet diary) for 5 to 7 days and keeping track of their symptoms during this time. Often, they are able to see a pattern with certain foods or spices that are triggering their symptoms. If you cannot do this, book an appointment to have me review this for you to determine the pattern.

Gentle Exercises

Physical activity can help move gas through your digestive system and reduce pain. Here are some of my favorite gentle exercises that might help relieve the pain.

  • Walking - A short walk after meals can help your digestion and reduce the risk of stomach pain. Try walking for about 10-15 minutes at a leisurely pace.
  • Stretching - Gentle stretching can help relieve tension in your stomach muscles. Try doing a simple stretch by lying on your back and pulling your knees to your chest, holding for a few seconds, and then releasing.

Natural Options

Sometimes, over-the-counter medications can provide quick relief from upper stomach pain. While antacid use can help decrease the symptoms in a bind, it does not address the root cause of the concerns.

My two favorite supplements that I use to help heal the gut are Gut Repair and Reflux Soothe Chews.

herbal combination capsules to help relieve upper stomach pain fast

Our gut repair capsules contain a combination of ingredients aimed at soothing acid reflux symptoms. This includes DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice, known for alleviating acid reflux) and other beneficial agents for gut healing.

herbal chewable to help relieve upper stomach pain fast

Consider adding Reflux Soothe Chews to your regimen if you want a more specific product with DGL as the main ingredient. This chewable can be taken similarly to Tums antacid. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.​

When to See a Doctor - Red Flag Signs

While these remedies can help with occasional upper stomach pain, it’s essential to know when to seek medical advice. See a doctor if you experience:

  • Persistent or severe pain
  • Pain accompanied by fever
  • Pain that interferes with your daily activities
  • Unexplained weight loss

A doctor can help determine the cause of your pain and recommend appropriate treatment.

Preventive Tips

In addition to the immediate relief techniques, making some lifestyle changes can help prevent upper stomach pain from occurring in the first place.

  • Healthy eating habits are vital to overall health and well-being. Consume a well-rounded diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid rushing meals, and ensure that you chew food thoroughly.
  • Stress can significantly impact digestive health. To manage stress levels effectively, engage in stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
  • Regular physical activity can help maintain the proper functioning of your digestive system. Aim to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week.

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Important Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only; it is NOT meant to substitute professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should NOT use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem/disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.

Written by: Dr. Giovanni A. Nelson

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Hi, We are The Healing Duo

Dr. Pamela Santapaola and Dr. Giovanni Nelson write and medically review all the content.

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