You know that roiling feeling. Or maybe it’s cramps. Digestive bloat? Whatever your stomach ailment, there are some simple solutions to soothe it.
One of the most common reasons people of all ages get an upset stomach is due to motion sickness. It can strike in a car, boat, or even airplane, and it leaves the person feeling nauseous, dizzy, sweating, and generally sick. It’s caused by a sense of imbalance or change of equilibrium in the inner ear that causes confusion in the brain. In other words, your eyes tell your brain that you are at rest (because the things in the vehicle aren’t moving), but your ears sense motion and tell your brain you moving.
Some people are more prone to motion sickness than others, and if you are one of them, there are some measures you can take in advance of traveling to help prevent it. First, sit in the front seat of the car or in a seat in a vehicle that faces the direction in which you are traveling. On an airplane, over the wing is best and on the ship, the lower center cabins work best. Don’t look out of the window on your right or left; rather, look out of the window straight ahead of you and fix your gaze at a point far ahead. Also, don’t read while traveling!
It’s important that you hydrate with water and eat a healthy meal that is not spicy or greasy. Something high in protein is best. Anti-nausea products (Dramamine and Bonine) are often recommended for adults and children who suffer from motion sickness. Your doctor may suggest this over-the-counter remedy if your motion sickness is more severe. Many people prefer Bonine because it’s less likely to cause drowsiness. Acupressure point P6 wristbands (Sea Bands) are helpful for many people who suffer from motion sickness. It’s recommended that you put them on about 15 minutes prior to travel and leave them on throughout travel time. Queasy Pops (made by Three Lollies) come in many flavors, including cola and ginger, which is known to reduce stomach upset. They are recommended for adults, children, and there’s a line for pregnant women with morning sickness, too!
Ginger has been used for centuries, especially in Asia to relieve nausea. You can find ginger gum in your local drugstore and crystallized or dried ginger tablets in health food stores. Keep in mind that the soda ginger ale is not as beneficial as one would think since it doesn’t have significant amounts of ginger for it to be curative. Peppermint can be helpful to relieve gas cramps, so consider peppermint tea. Chewing fennel seeds can also help with this problem.
If you do find yourself with stomach upset for any reason, consider the BRAT diet. BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. These bland foods soothe your belly aches and contain easily digestible simple sugars and starches. They are low in acidity, which makes them less likely to cause more stomach upset. If you’ve had an upset stomach and have been vomiting, consider coconut water to replenish electrolytes and other nutrients. It’s natural and better for you than sports drinks that are often loaded with sugars.
If you regularly have stomach issues, consider taking probiotics, which are a beneficial bacteria that can maintain a healthy digestive tract. They are found naturally in many dairy products like kefir, buttermilk, and yogurt. Acidophilus is one of the most powerful and commonly known probiotics. You can find supplements in your local drugstore or dairy products that are fortified with probiotics. Also if you regularly get stomach upset from indigestion, consider drinking ginger, peppermint, or fennel tea after spicy meals to soothe your tummy.