"My Tummy Hurts!"

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How can I get relief for run-of-the-mill abdominal pain and discomfort?

"My Tummy Hurts!"

What kid hasn't uttered the words, "My tummy hurts!" And what parent hasn't lamented about what to do about it? Abdominal pain causes come in many shapes, sizes and intensities, but if your belly is aching, relief is in order. Many over-the-counter remedies are available for relieving abdominal pain and discomfort. One isn't necessarily better than another; it all depends on what works for you or your loved one.

Some examples include:

  • Antacids are effective for acid indigestion, reflux, or sour or upset stomach.
  • Bicarbonate preparations (think tablet plus water equals fizzy concoction) are good for indigestion and upset stomachs.
  • Cola syrup is long believed to be effective for nausea relief.
  • Motion sickness remedies can be found at the drugstore.
  • Herbal remedies such as supplements or tea prepared from peppermint, ginger root, fennel, or peony are natural and can be effective.

Other strategies for dealing with abdominal pain and discomfort may be the kind of thing your grandmother brought over from the old country. Chicken soup, for example, is widely used as a remedy for whatever ails you, including an upset stomach; its clear broth has a soothing effect on a tender tummy. Saltine crackers, bland as the day is long, work well too, almost functioning as a sponge to soak up excess acid and soothe a sour stomach.

Another age-old remedy is placing something warm on your belly, like a hot water bottle, heating pad or herbal wrap. The gentle effect of heat brings relaxation to muscles that may be in spasm, effectively easing the pain. Some more acute, cramping types of abdominal pain respond well to massage or writhing, pressing or contorting the body to offer a counter pressure to the spasm. This causes a contract/relax type mechanism where a muscle contraction is created in order to allow a greater degree of relaxation when the contraction is released. Other home remedies for abdominal pain or distress include sipping chamomile tea, cola, ginger ale or lemon-lime soda. Perhaps it's the bubbles, the combination of herbs, or just the fact that they are a soothing liquid.

Of course, if your abdominal pain is sharp and unrelenting, is worse when you press on your belly, or is accompanied by a high fever and vomiting, medical attention is indicated. You can get the help you need by using the MyBlankHurts.com free clinician finder to locate a clinician in your area.

   

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