- How to Get Rid of a Stomach Ache After Eating
- 5 Ways Belly Fat Can Cause Severe Back Pain | Truweight
- Belly fat causes a shift in the centre of gravity
- Lack of physical activity leads to back pain
- Belly fat puts pressure on the back
- Restricted torso movement leads to back pain
- Belly fat causes digestive issues
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Functional Bowel Disorders
- Treatment Options for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Functional Dyspepsia
- Clinical Research Studies at the Functional Bowel Disorders Clinic
- Other Information About Digestive and Liver Health
- Make an Appointment
- Why Does My Stomach Hurt?
- Stomach ache and abdominal pain
- Stomach cramps with bloating
- Sudden stomach cramps with diarrhoea
- Sudden severe abdominal pain
- Long-term or recurring abdominal pain
- Call 911 if:
- What the Heck Are Stomach Cramps?
- What are the Causes of Stomach Cramps?
- 1. You’re Feeling Stressed
- 2. You Need to Up the H2O
- 3. You’re Feeling Farty
- 4. Gastrointestinal issues
- 5. You’re Backed Up
- 6. You Ate Too Much, Too Fast
- 7. You Went a Little Crazy on the Fatty Foods
- 8. Your Mouth is on Fire
- 9. You OD’d on Coffee
- 10. You Ate a Little Too Many Sweets
- 11. You Got into the Bag of Sugar Free Candies
- 12. You’re Lactose Intolerant and Ate a Tub of B&Js
- 13. You Had One Too Many Adult Bevvies
- How to stop Stomach Cramps and Pain
- 1. Heat it Up
- 2. Starchy Foods and Grains
- 3. Ginger
- 4. Peppermint Oil
- 5. Treat Yourself to a Massage
- 6. Up the Electrolytes
- 7. Buscopan®
- 8. Easy Exercise
- 9. Rest and De-stress
- If you liked this post, you may like:
- Gas and Bloating 101 – 5 Reasons for Tummy Trouble
- Are Food Sensitivity Tests BS or Legit?
- Tips to Avoid the Holiday Heartburn & Indigestion
- I would love to know what foods or scenarios you have found cause stomach cramps for you?
- What tricks and remedies have you’ve found to stop stomach cramps?
- Leave me a comment below and for more information on Buscopan®, speak to your pharmacist or check out Buscopan.ca. To help avoid side effects and ensure proper use, talk to your pharmacist before trying Buscopan®.
- Stop Your Stomach from Hurting
How to Get Rid of a Stomach Ache After Eating
Have you ever eaten so much that your stomach aches? Or, maybe you’ve eaten something specific that causes tummy troubles. We’ve all been there. For the most part, your stomach hurting after overeating is pretty normal and will pass with time. But, if you need to get rid of an upset stomach that just won’t be calmed, we’ve got you covered.
Why Your Stomach Aches After Eating
There are several reasons why your stomach might hurt after eating. If you ate more than usual, it could be hurting because it’s full of too much food. On the other hand, your stomach could feel “off” because you ate foods that disagree with it. Spicy, starchy or especially decadent foods can cause stomach discomfort in some people because these foods often lead to bloating or gas to build up inside the stomach.
How to Get Rid of the Stomach Discomfort
Whether you’re uncomfortable because of gas, diarrhea or indigestion, there are several things you can do to find some relief. A quick and trusted method is to take Pepto Bismol. When used as directed, Pepto Bismol soothes your discomfort with proteins that enhance the viscosity of the protective layer in the upper gastrointestinal tract to help you feel better. Other ways to battle the bloating include drinking water, going to the bathroom, or waiting it out. If you want to be proactive, you can take note of foods that your body reacts poorly to and make changes in your diet to avoid them.
What to Do When It’s More Than an Upset Stomach
If you continue to experience stomach discomfort more times than not, you notice your body responds poorly to certain foods, or you suddenly get very sick after eating, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. You could have a food intolerance or have contracted a foodborne illness. When it comes to your stomach, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The more you know about your body and how it reacts to food, the better you can avoid any digestive discomfort. But, life happens, and it’s impossible to protect your stomach from everything. Whenever an upset stomach happens, you can trust Pepto Bismol to help provide relief.
Cyriax was the first to describe abdominal pain originating from the abdominal wall.1 In 1926 Carnett recognised that abdominal pain could be caused by neuralgia affecting one or more of the lower six intercostal nerves and developed a simple test to help localise the origin of symptoms to the abdominal wall.2
Classically, abdominal wall pain tends to be persistent and nagging. If a patient can pinpoint the pain to a localised area, an abdominal wall source is suggested. In our patients, Carnett’s test and the pinch test were uniformly positive. Several studies have demonstrated the utility of the physical examination in diagnosing abdominal wall pain.3,4
The exact aetiology of the pain in these women is unknown. One possibility is entrapment of the abdominal cutaneous nerve. Kopell and Thompson5 have theorised that peripheral abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment occurs at anatomical sites where the nerve abruptly changes direction to enter a fibrous or osseofibrous tunnel or where it passes over a fibrous or muscular band. Abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome has been well characterised.6 In very obese individuals, traction on the nerve by the hanging abdominal pannus would further aggravate nerve irritation and ischaemia.
As the subcutaneous abdominal fat in several of the described women was somewhat nodular, it is possible that the fat itself could be the cause of the pain as seen with angiolipomas or in Dercum’s disease. One or more angiolipomas, in the abdominal subcutaneous compartment, could cause abdominal wall pain.7 Dercum’s disease is a disorder defined by a symptom complex which includes: (1) multiple, painful, fatty masses; (2) generalised obesity; (3) asthenia, weakness and fatigability; and (4) mental disturbances, including emotional instability, depression, epilepsy, confusion and dementia.8
The preponderance of abdominal wall pain in women has been previously noted.9 It is well documented that there is a gender difference in the perception of pain.10 In fact, oestrogen receptors have been identified throughout the central neuroaxis.11 Peleg described abdominal wall pain due to entrapment of the abdominal cutaneous nerve in an adolescent girl taking an oral contraceptive.12 He and his colleagues also described abdominal wall pain in pregnant women,13 again suggesting a possible role for oestrogen in the pathogenesis of the pain.
Once the diagnosis is made, treatment is straightforward. Deep local injection with an anaesthetic at the site of maximal pain gives rapid, and often sustained, relief. In patients with suspected abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome, injection of the fibrous tunnel through which the nerve exits is curative. The use of a 25-gauge 3-inch spinal needle is sometimes necessary in order to reach the deeper abdominal wall structures.
The abdominal wall is a not infrequent source of chronic abdominal pain.
Obese women are predisposed to abdominal wall pain.
Elements of the history and simple physical diagnostic manoeuvres reliably point to the abdominal wall as the source of the pain.
Localised injection with an anaesthetic is both diagnostic and therapeutic.
5 Ways Belly Fat Can Cause Severe Back Pain | Truweight
Excess weight around your stomach can strain your spines and cause back pain.
Belly fat is not only unhealthy for your heart and health levels but also bad for your posture and spine. It causes back pain which can be avoided with some weight management.
Table of Contents:
- Belly fat causes a shift in the centre
- Lack of physical activity
- Pressure on back
- Restricted torso movement
- Digestive issue
According to spinal doctors today, a huge stomach and back pain are directly related.
Belly fat and back pain go hand-in-hand because the fat ends up straining the ligaments and muscles of the back.
In fact, one of the very first pieces of advice that doctors give to overweight patients with backbone pain is to lose weight. So, exactly how can back pain be caused by weight gain?
Belly fat causes a shift in the centre of gravity
When one has a huge stomach and back pain, it’s because of a shift in one’s centre of gravity.
When one has a proper posture, one stands upright with their chest out, chin up, the stomach tucked in, and the lower back curves to keep the hips straight.
However, when one is carrying extra weight or is overweight, every body part is heavier and it’s the spine that bears the burden.
When one is overweight, especially the in the stomach area, the situation tends to shift one’s entire centre of gravity forward, thus straining the back muscles.
In fact, staying within 5 kg of your ideal weight will help you avoid lower back pain due to being overweight.
Lack of physical activity leads to back pain
If you have a big stomach and back pain, there is a chance that your body lacks physical activity.
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Overweight people tend to experience more instances of lower back pain, even during a simple activity such as walking.
The absence of physical activity leads to abdominal muscles becoming weak, reducing the support given to the lower back.
On the other hand, exercise keeps the abdominal muscles strong which help protect the muscles of the back by contracting and bracing the body during moments such as carrying and lifting.
And while you do that, keep a sharp eye on your BMI. Try out TruWeight’s BMI calculator now.
Belly fat puts pressure on the back
It is surprising just how much losing belly fat in the stomach and back pain are connected, but it’s true – belly fat puts a literal pressure on the muscles of the back indirectly.
Due to the pressure felt by the abdominal muscles due to belly fat and a huge stomach, the muscles which lie along the back of one’s legs and in one’s butt must make up for the same and have to end up working more than their usual capacity.
This leads to shortened, less flexible tissues and muscles, restricting one’s joint mobility and increasing the propensity for sprains, strain and pain.
Restricted torso movement leads to back pain
According to the self-treatment workbook ‘Trigger Point Therapy for Lower Back Pain’, a huge stomach and back pain are also related to restricted torso movement.
The research says that belly fat restricts the torso movement, causing pain via the trigger points in the lower back and the abdomen.
In fact, even when one simply takes a deep breath, it could aggravate a trigger point and cause increased lower back pain.
Belly fat causes digestive issues
Digestive issues causing swollen bellies could lead to possible chemical or dietary imbalances, which in turn cause back pain.
A faulty digestive system will cause waste build-up, which is a direct cause of chemically-induced back pain.
According to the book ‘The Truth About Back Pain’, if belly fat and a big stomach are caused due to a poor diet, it indicates high cortisol levels in the body.
This results in increased cravings for calorie-rich food which, in turn, aggravates the condition and triggers an inflammatory reaction. This ends up leading to both – a huge stomach and back pain.
Get rid of belly fat and relieve yourself of back pain today. Here are some at-home exercises to get you started.
1. How do I get rid of belly and back fat?
Both exercise and a healthy diet are extremely important when it comes to losing belly and back fat, which are quaintly referred to as ‘muffin top’ but are anything but cute.
Eat vegetables, avoid gluten, prepare meals at home, and take up a cardio activity such as Zumba, walking, crunches, etc.
2. Can you lose belly fat by doing pushups?
Does doing push-ups reduce stomach fat? Indirectly, it does! While exercising regularly helps you lose fat by burning calories, it doesn’t specifically target the stomach, even push-ups.
To make sure that push-ups impact your belly fat as well, focus on burning as many calories as you can with your exercise regime. As the body fat in your body decreases, your belly will shrink gradually.
3. Can belly fat make your back hurt?
Yes, in many ways. It shifts one’s centre of gravity, makes the muscles bear the weight of an inactive body, put literal pressure on the back muscles, induce digestive and inflammatory issues, and even restrict one’s torso movement.
Cellulite is never a desired body feature, but for some sufferers it can actually be painful. This most often occurs in people who are overweight. Women most often see cellulite on the buttocks, hips and thighs. Men will more often have it on the abdomen or neck. Cellulite is a common problem, but not everyone will end up with painful cellulite. A significant lifestyle change may be needed to address the problem.
For some people, painful cellulite means tenderness when an area with cellulite is touched. Others report a dull ache in areas with cellulite. Pain can occur for more people when they sit or lay in certain positions, or when they move certain ways. Painful cellulite manifests when the fat cells that the cellulite consists of bunch together, putting pressure against a person’s skin. Cellulite, in general, originates from fibrous connective cords that attach skin to underlying muscle, according to the Mayo Clinic. These cords connect skin to deeper structures, and a person’s fat lies in between. As fat cells accumulate, they push up on the skin, even as the cords pull down. The result is the classic orange-peel appearance of cellulite.
Painful cellulite can occur at the stage 3 level of cellulite based on the Nurnberger-Muller scale, which was developed by doctors seeking way to distinguish between varying levels of cellulite seen on patients. At stage 3 a person has visible dimpling, both standing and lying down, and may have raised areas and nodules, according to Bass & Boney Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The other stages are as follows: Stage 0 shows no dimpling when lying down or standing, and a pinch test shows folds in skin but no visible cellulite. Stage 1 shows no dimpling when lying or standing, but skin shows cellulite when pinched. In stage 2, cellulite is only visible when standing but not when lying down.
The majority of women, at some point in life, end up with some level of cellulite. However, painful cellulite often is indicative of a person having too much fat on her body. Being overweight can lead to serious health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, osteoarthritis and sleep apnea, according to The Obesity Society. There was a dramatic rise in the obesity rate in the 20 years leading up to 2010, and at that time some 64 percent of Americans were overweight or obese.
There are many creams, treatments and “cures” for cellulite on the market. However, people who have cellulite that is painful are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible to develop a treatment plan to improve health. Utilizing healthy diet and exercise to achieve weight loss is the most beneficial cellulite treatment, advises the Mayo Clinic, and this will also improve a person’s health. Strengthening muscles in areas of cellulite also can improve the appearance of dimpled skin.
To avoid getting to stage 3 cellulite, there is much a person can do, advises the American Skincare and Cellulite Expert Association. This includes exercising regularly, cutting consumption of carbohydrates and saturated fats, ensuring that three-fourths of the food you eat consists of vegetables, whole grains and fruits, drinking two glasses of water for each serving of coffee, alcohol or tea, reducing intake of alcohol, coffee and tea, and drinking a minimum of eight 8-oz. glasses of water daily.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Functional Bowel Disorders
- Your symptoms must have begun at least 6 months ago
- You have stomach pain or discomfort for at least 3 days a month for the last 3 months
- At least two of the following statements are true: Pain is relieved by having a bowel movement; pain is linked to a change in how often you have a bowel movement; pain is linked to a change in the appearance of your stool.
To meet Rome III criteria for functional dyspepsia:
- Your symptoms must have begun at least 6 months ago
- You have one or more of the following symptoms: Bothersome fullness after eating a meal; you become full quickly while eating; pain in upper central portion of the abdomen; burning in upper central portion of the abdomen;
- And there is no evidence of structural disease that is likely to explain the symptoms.
Your doctor may order tests through our comprehensive gastrointestinal lab to rule out other conditions, which can include:
- Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy: Used for initial diagnosis, both use a thin, flexible fiberoptic scope with camera to examine different areas, including the colon, small intestine and large intestine to see any ulcers, bleeding and inflammation.
- Upper endoscopy: Uses a thin, flexible fiberoptic scope with camera inserted through the mouth, following the tract to the stomach and upper small intestine to look for bleeding, ulcers and inflammation.
- Esophageal manometry: Uses a thin, flexible tube to measure the muscles of the esophagus and the function of the lower esophageal sphincter to see how well you are swallowing and digesting food.
- Anorectal manometry: A thin, flexible tube with a balloon at the end is inserted into the rectum to measure the tone in the anal sphincter and rectal muscles to determine problems with moving the bowels.
- Laboratory tests: Blood work plus stool samples to check for bacteria and intestinal bleeding.
- Imaging tests: Collaborating with experts in Radiology for imaging and interpreting gastrointestinal abnormalities, including abdominal x-rays, barium enema, computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and assessment of stomach emptying.
Treatment Options for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Functional Dyspepsia
There are no cures for functional bowel disorders. Patients suffering from these gastrointestinal disorders will all experience abdominal pain and discomfort, but then have varying degrees of constipation, diarrhea, bloating and urgency. To treat effectively, it’s important for our team—which includes gastrointestinal physicians, a board-certified dietician, physical therapists, and a behavioral therapist—to understand your frequency and severity of symptoms, from being a nuisance to mapping out every bathroom from home to the workplace to avoid an accident, so we can create an individualized plan that’s right for you.
Diet plus lifestyle changes, such as decreasing stress and adding an exercise program, are often all that’s needed for those whose symptoms are mainly a nuisance. Our team, which includes a board-certified dietitian, will create a treatment plan individualized for your needs. Learn more about how we are exploring the links between food and health by visiting our Culinary Medicine and Culinary Medicine Classes pages, where you can also learn about classes designed to demonstrate recipes related to specific medical conditions. Over-the-counter or prescription medication is an option when diet and lifestyle changes aren’t enough. A variety of medications are available, and your doctor will determine which medicine(s) is right for you based on your symptoms and needs. Physical therapy and/or biofeedback training (an alternative therapy that uses the mind to control a body function using guidance from a biofeedback instructor) can be used to help retrain the muscles of the pelvic floor and/or anal sphincter.
Clinical trials are an option for those who qualify. We are a key site for the development of virtually every drug to treat IBS in the last 10 years.
Clinical Research Studies at the Functional Bowel Disorders Clinic
There are several ongoing clinical studies related to functional bowel disorders at the University of Michigan. These studies are designed to improve our ability to diagnose and treat these disorders. If you are interested in learning more or participating in a study, talk with your health care provider, or go to UMClinicalStudies.org, the University of Michigan’s website about clinical studies for health research, and follow these steps to find FBD clinical studies:
- Click on the Volunteers heading
- In the drop-down menu, click on Find Studies
- On the next page, click on Search by Condition
- The next page will be a list of conditions—scroll down to Stomach/Esophagus/Bowel Conditions
Other Information About Digestive and Liver Health
To see related gastroenterological services we offer, visit our Digestive and Liver Health overview page.
Make an Appointment
To schedule an appointment to discuss your need for treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome or another functional bowel disorder, call us at 888-229-7408.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
If IBS is the cause of abdominal pain, it may become worse after you eat a meal or if you are stressed. If you have IBS, you will have symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation and bloating, but they will not cause bleeding or weight loss.
You may experience sharp gas pains that occur throughout the abdomen area if constipation is the reason for your abdominal pain. People who are constipated often have a feeling of being bloated and full, and their abdomen may even become visibly distended.
An ulcer is a sore on the lining of your stomach or first part of the small intestine. Ulcers may cause a burning sensation similar to hunger pangs. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting or heartburn.
Abdominal pain caused by pancreatitis, which is inflammation in the pancreas, is a severe and sharp pain occurring in the upper middle of the abdomen that can sometimes radiate to your back or chest. You may also experience other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and fever. Pancreatitis may occur as either a sudden acute attack or a chronic condition.
Abdominal discomfort and tenderness in the lower left abdomen area may be caused by diverticulitis. This is when the small pouches inside the large intestine become infected or inflamed. Other symptoms may include a low-grade fever, nausea, vomiting or constipation.
Stomach ache and abdominal pain
A stomach ache is a term often used to refer to cramps or a dull ache in the tummy (abdomen). It’s usually short-lived and is often not serious.
Severe abdominal pain is a greater cause for concern. If it starts suddenly and unexpectedly, it should be regarded as a medical emergency, especially if the pain is concentrated in a particular area.
If this is the case phone your GP as soon as possible, or the 111 service if your GP is closed.
If you feel pain in the area around your ribs, read about chest pain for information and advice.
Stomach cramps with bloating
Stomach cramps with bloating are often caused by trapped wind. This is a very common problem that can be embarrassing but is easily dealt with.
Your pharmacist will be able to recommend a product such as buscopan or mebeverine, which can be bought over the counter to treat the problem.
Sudden stomach cramps with diarrhoea
If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause may be a tummy bug (gastroenteritis). This means you have a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and bowel, which should get better without treatment after a few days.
Gastroenteritis may be caused by coming into close contact with someone who’s infected, or by eating contaminated food (food poisoning).
If you have repeated bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhoea, you may have a long-term condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Sudden severe abdominal pain
If you have sudden agonising pain in a particular area of your abdomen, phone your GP immediately or the 111 service if your GP is closed. It may be a sign of a serious problem that could rapidly get worse without treatment.
Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:
- appendicitis – the swelling of the appendix (a finger-like pouch connected to the large intestine), which causes agonising pain in the lower right-hand side of your abdomen, and means your appendix will need to be removed
- a bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer – a bleeding, open sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine)
- acute cholecystitis – inflammation of the gallbladder, which is often caused by gallstones, in many cases, your gallbladder will need to be removed
- kidney stones – small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and you’ll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
- diverticulitis – inflammation of the small pouches in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in hospital
If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital immediately.
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel (gastroenteritis). It may also be caused by a pulled muscle in your abdomen or by an injury.
Long-term or recurring abdominal pain
See your GP if you or your child have persistent or repeated abdominal pain. The cause is often not serious and can be managed.
Possible causes in adults include:
- IBS – a common condition that causes bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation, the pain is often relieved when you go to the toilet
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – long-term conditions that involve inflammation of the gut, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and endometriosis
- a urinary tract infection (UTI) that keeps returning – in these cases, you’ll usually also experience a burning sensation when you urinate
- period pain – painful muscle cramps in women that are linked to the menstrual cycle
- other stomach-related problems – such as a stomach ulcer, heartburn and acid reflux or gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining)
Possible causes in children include:
- a UTI that keeps returning
- heartburn and acid reflux
- abdominal migraines – recurrent episodes of abdominal pain with no identifiable cause
Call 911 if:
Call 911 if:
- The pain is in your lower right abdomen and tender to the touch, and you also have fever or are vomiting. These may be signs of appendicitis.
- You’re vomiting blood.
- You have a hard time breathing.
- You’re pregnant and have belly pain or vaginal bleeding.
1. Over-the-Counter Medications
- For gas pain, medicine that has the ingredient simethicone (Mylanta, Gas-X) can help get rid of it.
- For heartburn from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), try an antacid or acid reducer (Pepcid AC, Zantac 75).
- For constipation, a mild stool softener or laxative may help get things moving again.
- For cramping from diarrhea, medicines that have loperamide (Imodium) or bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol) might make you feel better.
- For other types of pain, acetaminophen (Aspirin Free Anacin, Liquiprin, Panadol, Tylenol) might be helpful. But stay away from non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Midol, Motrin), or naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan). They can irritate your stomach.
2. Home Remedies
You might try a heating pad to ease belly pain. Chamomile or peppermint tea may help with gas. Be sure to drink plenty of clear fluids so your body has enough water.
You also can do things to make stomach pain less likely. It can help to:
- Eat several smaller meals instead of three big ones
- Chew your food slowly and well
- Stay away from foods that bother you (spicy or fried foods, for example)
- Ease stress with exercise, meditation, or yoga
3. When to See a Doctor
It’s time to get medical help if:
- You have severe belly pain or the pain lasts several days
- You have nausea and fever and can’t keep food down for several days
- You have bloody stools
- It hurts to pee
- You have blood in your urine
- You cannot pass stools, especially if you’re also vomiting
- You had an injury to your belly in the days before the pain started
- You have heartburn that doesn’t get better with over-the-counter drugs or lasts longer than 2 weeks
DISCLAIMER: This post was developed in sponsored partnership with Buscopan, however, as always, all opinions are genuine.
I share my tips for how to stop stomach cramps and pain, and discuss causes, symptoms and remedies.
Let’s be real. Stomach cramps are just not fun. I can tell you that I’ve had my fair share of annoying tummy troubles and have come up with some really great strategies to get rid of stomach cramps in their track. But first, let’s take a peek at what’s actually going on.
What the Heck Are Stomach Cramps?
Stomach cramps are the tightening of the stomach and intestinal muscles. It’s usually intermittent, but can become chronic in some specific conditions. We all know the feeling, and it never feels good.
What are the Causes of Stomach Cramps?
There are a lot of common reasons for stomach cramps, so it’s important to speak to your family doctor if it’s becoming a regular occurrence. Here are some of the most common reasons for stomach cramps.
1. You’re Feeling Stressed
The brain interacts with the body through the enteric nervous system (among other systems, of course), which helps regulate our digestion. Stress can disrupt the natural digestive process, causing abdominal pain and cramps. Just another reason why stress totally sucks.
2. You Need to Up the H2O
When we get dehydrated as a result of excess vomiting, diarrhea or sweating, we lose a lot of important electrolytes. Since electrolytes (like calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium) are key players in proper muscle contractions, skimping out can cause painful spasms.
3. You’re Feeling Farty
Hey, everyone farts, nothing to be ashamed of there. But when you have a lot of gas in your gut, your intestinal muscles tend to spasm and cramp in an effort to get rid of it. Not fun times.
4. Gastrointestinal issues
If you’ve been diagnosed with an actual digestive issue, stomach cramping may become part of your everyday life. Definitely speak to your doctor about a long-term solution if this sounds like you.
5. You’re Backed Up
When you’re low on water, fibre, or a combination of both, you might find yourself a wee bit constipated. In this situation, your bowels start to cramp up as they try to deal with the built-up pressure inside. It’s bad news bears all around, really. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and getting your 25-38 grams of fibre each day.
6. You Ate Too Much, Too Fast
Hey, even eating too much salad too fast can cause some gastric distress. When your body has to work extra hard in a short period of time, you can experience some mild cramping so slow down your eating pace.
7. You Went a Little Crazy on the Fatty Foods
Fat is harder for our body to digest than carbohydrates so overdoing it on greasy foods like gravy, butter, and fried foods can do a number on the ol’ digestive tract.
8. Your Mouth is on Fire
The active component in hot peppers, capsaicin, has a tendency to irritate the stomach lining, perpetuating stomach pains and cramps. If you’re already prone, go easy on the spicy curries and sauces.
9. You OD’d on Coffee
Caffeine can increase stomach acid and irritate the stomach lining, both of which can cause stomach cramps and even diarrhea if you’re not used to it. Maybe switch to a gentle camomile tea if coffee isn’t your friend.
10. You Ate a Little Too Many Sweets
We know an excess of sugar isn’t the best for us, and our stomach definitely agrees. As sugar is processed through our gut, some of it can get fermented in our lower intestine by bacteria, causing bloating, gas and cramps.
11. You Got into the Bag of Sugar Free Candies
Sugar free candies may seem like a good idea, but they’re typically sweetened with a sugar alcohol like sorbitol which is notorious for causing bloating, cramping and yes, even rampant diarrhea. Stay away. Stay far away. That’s all I’m going to say.
12. You’re Lactose Intolerant and Ate a Tub of B&Js
Considering one in five Canadians are lactose intolerant, stomach cramps can be expected after massive ice cream sundaes. Take a lactase enzyme supplement or just pace yourself.
13. You Had One Too Many Adult Bevvies
Alcohol in excess can damage the stomach lining, resulting in pain, cramps, diarrhea and in extreme cases, serious damage. Always know your limits and stick within it!
How to stop Stomach Cramps and Pain
Friends, you really don’t have to live in pain with stomach cramps. In addition to avoiding or cutting back on some of the aforementioned scenarios, here are a few natural strategies to get rid of stomach cramps.
1. Heat it Up
Heat can help relax your tight spasming tummy by increasing blood circulation, so grab a heating pad or run a warm bath.
2. Starchy Foods and Grains
While an excess of sugar may be inflammatory, slow burning carbs like starches and whole grains help to coat the lining of the stomach, easing digestion and promoting a soothing effect.
There is some research that ginger may be effective for abdominal discomfort and indigestion because it helps to reduce the time for the stomach to empty. Try steeping some fresh ginger in water for a quick tea, or adding grated fresh ginger to stir-fries and juice.
4. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is a natural anti-spasmodic, meaning it helps to sooth our intestinal tract and calm muscle contractions that cause cramps. It also helps stimulate the gallbladder to secrete bile used to digest fats so it’s a good pairing for those fattier holiday meals.
5. Treat Yourself to a Massage
If it’s just a little gas, you may need to work that out so giving yourself a gentle tummy massage may help ease stomach cramps.
6. Up the Electrolytes
When we’re experiencing a lot of cramping, like stomach cramps, it may be a sign that we’re low on sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium since these electrolytes are responsible for muscle contractions. Aim to up your intake with foods like bananas, coconut water, milk, tomatoes, citrus, pumpkin seeds and sea salt.
Buscopan® is an antispasmodic medication that helps calm cramping muscles and reduces tummy pain. It’s specifically formulated to help target the pain at the source (and not just mask it), while providing relief of stomach cramps. It’s available behind the pharmacist’s counter without a prescription so you don’t have to suffer from those tummy troubles.
8. Easy Exercise
Research suggests (like here and here) that gentle exercise can help calm our gastric tract and reduce bloating, gas and pain. Try to get out every day for a brisk walk or scenic bike ride.
9. Rest and De-stress
If it’s stress related (and hey, that’s totally common), you might just need to pull back and take a break. Try to get in some extra sleep or just lay down for an hour to see if the stomach cramps disappear.
Hopefully this post helped give you some ideas on how to get rid of stomach cramps?
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If you liked this post, you may like:
Gas and Bloating 101 – 5 Reasons for Tummy Trouble
Are Food Sensitivity Tests BS or Legit?
Tips to Avoid the Holiday Heartburn & Indigestion
I would love to know what foods or scenarios you have found cause stomach cramps for you?
What tricks and remedies have you’ve found to stop stomach cramps?
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Buscopan®, however, all opinions are genuine.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.
Stop Your Stomach from Hurting
- Drink ginger tea. This will soothe your stomach problem unless your stomach is sensitive to this spicy herb. If this is the case, you can buy a ginger supplement at your local nutrition store.
- Try eating or drinking licorice or fennel. Either of these is an effective treatment for a stomachache unless the taste is aversive. You can chew the licorice or fennel to soothe indigestion. You can take them as supplements, or drink either one as part of an herbal tea.
- Peppermint will ease stomach pain. Add a little of this plant to a glass of warm water, or chew a sprig of peppermint as it is. It comes in supplement form, but also as a flavoring for mint tea. It can also relieve menstrual cramps.
- Chamomile not only soothes nausea and stomachaches, but it settles nerves and promotes sleep. As a tea you can find chamomile at your grocery store. Lemon in chamomile tea also helps relieve stomach upset.
- Lemon and warm water soothes a stomachache. Lemons are readily available in the produce section of your neighborhood grocery store. Try using a half lemon in a glass of warm water.
- Take baking soda and water. There is no need to buy a costly antacid, as it is only sodium bicarbonate, just like plain baking soda. The simple recipe is a teaspoon or two of baking soda in a glass of warm water. Take again a couple hours later if the stomach discomfort still lingers.
- Drink warm saltwater. Add a teaspoon of table salt to a glass of water to get your stomach back to normal. It will also relieve sore throat pain. Just add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water, and drink it. Doctors say to use a different stomachache remedy if you have high blood pressure, or other health problem. ]