Nervous stomach is not a disease; but having a sour stomach every now and then indicates dysfunction of the digestive system. Remember, sedentary or stressful lifestyle can be the main cause of 'upset stomach' incidents. As you know, wrong eating habits can cause stomach problems. Nervous stomach symptoms may vary according to the cause.
Nervous Stomach Causes
Acid reflux disease (GERD) and stomach ulcers can cause discomfort and pain in the stomach. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common cause of stomach pain and upset stomach. Increased or decreased secretion of digestive enzymes affects stomach functions. An allergy or food intolerance can destroy stomach health. Consumption of spicy/oily/fast food, eating too much at a time, eating foods rich in fat, not chewing the food properly, eating meals hastily are some of the common causes of nervous stomach. Excessive smoking, fasting, following fad diets, late night eating or eating heavy snacks at night eventually may result in stomach problems. Lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle, emotional stress, hormonal changes, depression and other mental disorders also cause nervous stomach. You must have noticed cramping, tightness, or fluttering feelings during stressful situations. When you are upset (frightened or angry), your stomach is upset too.
Morning sickness during pregnancy, side effects of drugs, consumption of antibiotics, motion sickness, alcohol abuse are also responsible for nervous stomach. Upset stomach in children can be due to a breach in relationship between the peer or due to academic pressures that they have to face. Stomach disorders like gastritis, low blood sugar, Crohn's disease, Helicobacter pylori (bacterial) infection, stomach flu, viral infections, loss of intestinal flora, malabsorption, vitamin deficiency and other medical conditions can cause queasy stomach.
As there exist several causes of upset stomach, symptoms may vary from person to person. People who suffer from nervous stomach may experience one or more of the following symptoms.
- Low-grade fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headache, skin rash usually indicate food poisoning or food allergy.
- Common nervous stomach symptoms are cramping, pain, flatulence, bloating, loss of appetite, changes in bowel habits etc.
- Symptoms like nausea, vomiting, indigestion, heartburn, bloating, gas, profuse sweating, flatulence, etc. can be experienced after eating.
- Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms include diarrhea or diarrhea alternating with constipation; constipation, mucus in the stools and abdominal pain.
- Anxiety or an unusual feeling of uneasiness, sadness, worry; resulting into fear and more stress is usually experienced along with stomach pain.
- A stressed-out person usually complains about queasy stomach and pain.
Nervous stomach treatment varies according to the cause and severity of the symptoms. For determining the treatment, doctors need to find out the cause first. Nervous stomach is not a disease. It responds well to the home remedies. If you are leading a stressful lifestyle, you just need to lie down and take enough rest. Yoga and meditation can help lower stress. If the symptoms are mild, you may take prescribed or over-the-counter medications/antihistamines/soda-lemon (depending upon the cause) to get rid of the symptoms.
You may chew a small piece of ginger with lime; or peppermint to get rid of nausea. You may follow a liquid diet or increase the consumption of water to keep your body well-hydrated and to enhance the process of detoxification. Consumption of light food, antacid or herbal teas like peppermint, chamomile, ginger tea, can help relieve stomach pain, heartburn and bloating. You should quit smoking and should avoid caffeine and alcohol. You may include fatty and spicy foods in your diet; but in limited quantities. Eating small light meals at regular intervals is the simplest way of avoiding stomach upset. Whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables should be present in your diet in large quantities, as they provide dietary fiber. You should plan your diet carefully. Avoid junk food and canned food which contains preservatives. Fruit juices or high acid fruits may worsen the situation. Avoid sweets and desserts as far as possible.
This PsycholoGenie article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Mild symptoms of queasy stomach can be easily controlled with the help of dietary and lifestyle changes. Increased physical activity and regular exercise help improve stomach health. But if you often experience the symptoms of nervous stomach, make sure to consult your physician.