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Seven Ways to Soothe An Upset Stomach

You’re probably familiar with that post-meal sensation that your stomach just doesn’t feel right. You could feel bloated or nauseous, or have a burning sensation. Experts from Harvard Medical School say that if there’s no known medical cause for your symptoms, your doctor would call it “dyspepsia” or “bad digestion.” You probably would call it “indigestion.”

The Harvard experts say that while symptoms can be intermittent, eating is often the cause. Sometimes, they say, the discomfort begins while you’re eating. In other cases, it starts about half an hour later.

The affliction is surprisingly widespread – it affects about 25 percent of the population, and men and women suffer equally. According to the Harvard experts, dyspepsia is responsible for a significant percentage of visits to primary care doctors – partly because many people worry they might have an ulcer.

Although there’s no cure for dyspepsia, there are some steps you can take to get relief. Here’s what the Harvard experts suggest:

Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms.

Eat small portions, chew food slowly and thoroughly; and try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Eat in moderation.

Avoid things that can lead to your swallowing too much air. The Harvard experts list such activities as smoking, eating too fast, and drinking carbonated beverage. Even chewing gum can be a trigger.

De-stress. The Harvard experts suggest relaxation therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, or exercise. An aerobic workout 3-5 times per week can help, but don’t exercise right after eating. (As always, check with your doctor before beginning or changing an exercise program.)

Get enough rest.

Don’t lie down within two hours of eating.

Manage your weight.

For more on diagnosing and treating indigestion, buy The Sensitive Gut, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. Click here to order.


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