Nervous stomach can be a repercussion of irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, or even a stomach ulcer. High levels of anxiety and stress are considered to be the main culprit behind nervous stomach. However, though anxiety is believed to trigger a nervous stomach, people with weaker gastrointestinal tracts, are more prone to develop a nervous stomach, on experiencing stressful and anxious situations.
Overeating, consuming unhealthy foods high in fat and spice, leading a sedentary lifestyle, etc. can cause nervous stomachs. The person may experience symptoms like bloating, nausea, heartburn, stomach cramps, diarrhea, etc. When a person is stressed out or anxious, the stomach produces more amounts of acid, which is responsible for all these symptoms. Sometimes, lack of adequate amounts of acid can also be the cause.
Herbs like peppermint, chamomile, and basil have a soothing effect on a nervous stomach. Ginger is also a very helpful remedy.
The anti-spasmodic properties of peppermint can reduce the cramping and uneasy feeling one has in the stomach. Besides, the pleasant smell of peppermint can also have a soothing effect on your nerves. Peppermint calms the stomach acids that are devouring your stomach lining. It also help bring relief from heartburn and indigestion.
Chamomile is another herb which has a soothing effect on your whole system. Chamomile is known to relieve most of the common gastrointestinal disorders. It has a calming effect on the digestive tract, which provides nervous stomach relief. However, what chamomile is famous for above all is its relaxation properties. It calms the mind, which makes it even more appropriate for nervous stomachs. Drinking chamomile tea at regular intervals is a good option to help relieve nervous stomach ache.
Ginger can help you with nervous as well as upset stomach. It helps push food through the bowels faster, thereby preventing unwanted gas formation. Ginger also alleviates the feeling of nausea and vomiting due to uneasiness in stomach. Drinking hot ginger tea can relieve you of many digestive health problems. You can also have ginger ale to get relief from a nervous stomach.
The benefits of basil tea in the area of digestion have been known for centuries together. It not only helps reduce gas, distension, heartburn, etc. but also strengthens the stomach lining. Drinking its tea also help relieve stress and calms the nerves. For chronic cases of nervous stomach, have basil tea after dinner every day.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known to improve digestion and also brings relief from heartburn. It mimics the stomach acid and facilitates proper digestion. Mix 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar with 1 tbsp. honey in a glass of water, and drink this mixture before every meal.
Apart from the above mentioned nervous stomach home remedies, you can also seek nervous stomach treatment with the help of certain over-the-counter medications. Although, these medications are not effective ways to treat this condition in the long run, you can certainly rely upon them to bring relief from unbearable heartburn, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, etc.
Antacids are prescribed for reducing heartburn, while pink bismuth (Bismuth subsalicylate) can help most of the symptoms associated with a nervous stomach. Drugs like TUMS, Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids, Gas X, and Phazyme are also prescribed to bring relief. Activated charcoal tablets are also very effective over-the-counter medications. They can absorb excess gas from the stomach thereby reducing the feeling of bloating. They also separate toxins from the bloodstream.
Changes in Lifestyle
Instead of dealing with the symptoms, it's important to deal with the root problem, which is anxiety. Reducing anxiety will help reduce the digestion-related conditions.
Praying to the Almighty and giving one's worries into the hands of God, who promises to take care of you, will help get the overbearing tension of one's mind. Meditation is also a way to relieve the mind of unwanted, debilitating stress. Make it a point to meditate for at least 15-20 minutes every day. Relax your mind and body.
During times of stress, it helps to confide in a close friend, family member or counselor. Pouring out one's fears and deepest thoughts is much more healing than bottling it all within oneself. The emotional support you get from them will help sail through difficult times.
Going for walks in the morning will help keep your mind at peace. It helps you prepare for the day ahead. Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones, and keep you cheerful through the day. Moreover, lack of physical activity causes the toxins to retain in the body, thereby leading to uneasiness in stomach.
Avoid Spicy/Fatty Foods
Spicy sauces, curries, marinades, etc. can irritate the stomach lining. Similarly, fatty foods like fried food, cheesy foods, etc. can also trigger heartburn and stomach upsets. Junk foods must be avoided. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet to prevent your stomach from getting irritated. Moreover, avoid overeating and if possible consume 6 small meals instead of three large ones.
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Wine, alcohol, coffee, smoking, etc. can trigger a nervous stomach, which is why it is best to avoid them. If avoiding is not possible, they must be had in limited quantities. Fruit juices are high in acid content and must be avoided if you are suffering from chronic gastritis.
Water is essential for the smooth functioning of the digestive system. So make sure you drink plenty of water each day. High-fiber foods are recommended, however, must be coupled with lots of water to prevent bloating. Intake of adequate water also helps prevent constipation, and also prevents heartburn, by lowering the acid level in the stomach.
Aromatherapy has proven to be effective in providing stress relief. Essential oils like lavender oil, peppermint oil, Ylang Ylang oil, etc. will help the body relax. These oils are available in the form of candles, which you can light after you get home. The aroma will flood the house and calm your nerves.
The remedy for nervous stomach will vary from individual to individual. What may work for somebody, may not prove to be effective to another. Thus, it is important to try to find out what works for you.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert advice from a nutritionist/health care provider.