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Health Focus
Upset stomach
20 Feb 2018

 No one likes an upset stomach. Whether it's nausea, vomiting, or just general discomfort due to a stomach bug or something you ate, you’ll want the feeling to go away – now! Here’s a guide to soothing tummy trouble.

·       Track your diet. If you've been experiencing temporary stomach upset fairly often, try keeping a food diary for a few weeks to see if you can identify any links. Different foods bother different people. If you can identify the foods that you seem to be sensitive to, you can limit or avoid them.

·       Bananas have been used for generations to treat stomach issues. Bananas contain potassium, which helps to treat dehydration from vomiting or diarrhoea. They also contain sugar, without being too sweet, which can provide calories and a boost of energy at a time when you're probably not eating much.

·       Rice, along with other starchy foods such as potatoes and oats, helps coat the lining of the stomach, easing digestion and having an overall soothing effect. Starchy foods are also beneficial because they don't sit in the stomach for long periods of time, nor do they stimulate acid reflux, which can cause further discomfort.

·       Herbal teas (those without caffeine, which can stimulate acid reflux) can also help. Chamomile is a favourite because it is thought to reduce inflammation. Avoid peppermint tea as it can relax the lower oesophageal sphincter, allowing acid and other stomach contents to splash up into the oesophagus and cause heartburn.

·       Coconut water contains natural sugar to provide calories as well as electrolytes, such as potassium. It also contains vitamin C, to help you regain the nutrients lost.

·       Avoid certain veggies. You may love broccoli, but if you're having a problem with gas, cut back. Too much of certain vegetables, namely broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts, can aggravate stomach woes. Cabbage can also cause trouble. 

·       Milk often hinders rather than helps stomachs because many people can't digest it easily. Though many people think milk can soothe an aching tummy, it actually may do more harm than good. People who are lactose intolerant have trouble digesting milk and end up with bloating, gas and cramping. 

·       Stress can cause or exacerbate gastrointestinal ailments such as indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and diarrhoea. Relieve stress by reducing the commitments in your schedule, going on vacation, learning to meditate, exercising or taking up a hobby. 

·       Take some exercise. Even a brief stroll, particularly after meals, may aid in digestion and help an overstuffed or cramped stomach feel better. 

·       Caraway seeds act very similarly to fennel seeds. They help with digestion and gas. You can either make a tea from the seeds or you can do what people in Middle Eastern countries have done for centuries -- simply chew on the seeds after dinner.

·       Ginger is a long-time helper for stomach ailments of all types - particularly nausea and gas. Ginger helps food flow smoothly through the digestive tract, allowing the body to better absorb nutrients. Drink a cup of ginger tea to get your stomach back on track.

If you experience a chronic, long-term upset stomach, make an appointment with your doctor to rule out anything more serious related to your symptoms.


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