A Quick Guide to Treating a Sour Stomach
Whether you call it a queasy tummy, indigestion or a sour stomach, the feeling is the same: yuck. It’s that feeling of teetering on the edge of being well or being sick, without knowing which direction you will actually end up following. All you do know is that you want to get your stomach back to normal and feel better.
Our stomach, like many of our organs, is constantly at work as part of the digestive system. All that we swallow passes from the mouth to the esophagus and into the stomach so that it can be further broken down. Strong muscles in the stomach contract and gastric juices that are rich in acids and enzymes assist in the process to turn the food eaten into a thick fluid that will then be ready to pass to the next digestive stage.
Sometimes, for a number of different reasons, a condition called indigestion occurs which creates a general discomfort in the stomach. Symptoms can include a feeling of nausea, bloating, belching and heartburn among others. Causes for indigestion, which is also known as sour stomach, include:
Smoking Excessive alcohol consumption Overeating
Greasy foods Excessive caffeine consumption Eating too quickly
Spicy foods Excessive carbonated drinks Stress
In addition to these causes, there are a number of medications that lend a hand in creating indigestion, such as antibiotics and certain pain relievers. Certain medical conditions also carry indigestion as a possible symptom; those who suffer from pancreatitis, peptic ulcers, gallstones or stomach cancer will often experience bouts of indigestion along with its accompanying symptoms.
Home remedies for treating sour stomach
Most individuals experience minor indigestion at some point and it is not considered to be a serious concern. It is, however, very uncomfortable and in some cases, downright painful to experience. Fortunately, there are several home remedies that have proven to be quite successful in alleviating the symptoms.
Natural remedies were the only solution for treating medical issues in days past, but advances in medicinal research that produced newer and more expensive medications caused many of these home remedies to fall by the wayside. In truth, though, most of the prescription medications were based on those same natural ingredients used previously.
To treat your symptoms at home, choose from any of the following natural methods:
- Peppermint tea. Peppermint leaves provide quick acting, soothing relief from sour stomach. Simply steep peppermint leaves in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes then sip the tea. Peppermint oil is also available in capsule form.
- Chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is excellent for use in treating indigestion, upset stomach and stress which may cause the stomach issues. It has been used for centuries to not only treat these conditions but to help the individual to relax.
- Ginger root. Ginger has long been recognized to have therapeutic properties in relieving nausea and sooth tummy upsets. It can be boiled in water to make tea or small amounts of fresh ginger root can be slowly chewed to release its properties into the system.
- Baking soda and water. This combination is very helpful for treating heartburn, which is an uncomfortable side effect of a sour stomach. It occurs when stomach acids are pushed back into the esophagus and burns the lining. Combining one teaspoon of natural baking soda with one cup of water and then sipping the mixture will provide effective and long lasting relief from the heartburn.
The best natural remedy for indigestion is to help your own body to produce its own digestive enzymes to assist in good digestion of food. Stimulating the stomach to generate adequate enzymes occurs when people chew their food for longer periods of time. The chewing action prompts the stomach lining to release the enzymes and acids necessary for digestion, as well as making sure the food is properly masticated before swallowing.
Commercial preparations for indigestion
There are some over the counter preparations that can help alleviate the pain and discomfort that sour stomach causes for infrequent cases, and also prescription medications for those individuals who suffer regularly from indigestion.
- Antacids. Products such as Tums, Alka Seltzer, Mylanta and Maalox are common over the counter remedies that are designed to treat symptoms of indigestion. They are designed to neutralize the gastric acids in the stomach much in the same manner that baking soda works. These preparations often work faster than natural baking soda but effects fade more quickly. They can be found in tablets for easy portability or liquid form.
- H2RAs. Medications such as these may be over the counter products or prescription. They include Tagamet, Pepcid and Zantac.
- PPIs. These are also available in prescription form with a few also found over the counter. With more effective acid reducing properties, they can be very helpful for chronic sufferers of indigestion.
Whether it is called indigestion, sour stomach or upset stomach, there can be no doubt that the condition is uncomfortable. Taking care to chew carefully and thoroughly will often prevent the condition, but when it does happen for whatever reason it is good to know both natural and commercial methods for treating it.
Copyright © 2007 Stomach Problem. All rights reserved. Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.