Over the counter medical treatment
- For gas-related pain, OTC medication like Mylanta, Gas-X (which contains the ingredient simethicone) can help get rid of gas and bloating.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause stomach ache and burning sensation (heartburn), an antacid or acid reducer like Pepcid AC or Zantac 75 can help.
- For constipation, a mild OTC stool softener or laxative can help relieve constipation in most cases.
- Abdominal cramps can occur due to diarrhea. Medicines like Pepto-Bismol, which contain loperamide or bismuth subsalicylate, can help reduce diarrhea and cramps.
- Pain relievers, such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, can help reduce the abdominal pain and the pain of cramps caused due to several conditions. It may be combined with anti-cramping medications.
Lifestyle and home remedies:
Eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties can reduce abdominal pain. These foods include blueberries, squash, cherries, capsicum, tomatoes, cold-water fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, beans, green leafy vegetables, and almonds. These foods also improve overall body health. It's advised to incorporate these foods in the diet throughout the year, instead of just during the periods. Sugary food, fried and fatty foods, white bread or pasta, alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can increase cramps.
Herbs to reduce cramps:
Chamomile tea, peppermint, fennel, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric root, and dill are some herbs that have anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce cramps. Sipping two cups of tea containing these herbs per day can help reduce abdominal pain. A small piece of ginger and/or turmeric root may be added to hot water or herbal teas, making it an effective cramp-relieving drink.
Applying a heating pad, hot water bottle, hot towel, or heat wrap over the abdomen and back helps relax the muscles in the abdomen and relieve abdominal cramps and pain. The temperature should ideally be 104° Fahrenheit. Taking a hot bath with bubbles and essential oils or hot showers can also help.
Chewing food slowly, not talking while eating, making sure the food is well cooked, not lying down immediately after eating and reducing excess coffee and tea intake.
What are the causes of stomachache?
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Gas or flatulence
- Food allergies
- Peptic ulcer
- Gastritis (infection of the stomach)
- Abdominal muscle strain or pull
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Cancer of the stomach, pancreas, liver, bile duct, gallbladder, or immune cells
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
- Decreased blood supply to intestines caused by a blocked blood vessel
- Pregnancy complications
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Marks JW, Davis CP. What Causes Abdominal Pain? Treatment & Relief. MedicineNet. https://www.medicinenet.com/abdominal_pain_causes_remedies_treatment/article.htm