Usually associated with acid reflux and indigestion, sour stomach proves to be an inconvenient condition for anyone’s gastrointestinal region. Treatment of this condition depends on what the underlying causes are. Aside from prescription drugs, there are natural home remedies that can help treat the condition. However, the key to preventing this condition altogether is a great amount of discipline to change one’s lifestyle.
What Is Sour Stomach?
The term “sour stomach” is used to describe a condition which particularly occurs in the gastrointestinal region. This condition occurs usually because of indigestion or acid reflux. Acids would irritate the stomach which, in turn, would result in nausea and belching (which produces a sour, unpleasant taste in the mouth).
The condition is usually associated with acid reflux and indigestion. It may occur for a few days but can possible last for a week. The symptoms include the following:
- Acid reflux or heartburn (a painful, burning sensation which occurs in the upper abdomen and spreads through the chest and throat)
- Bloating or constantly feeling full
- Flatulence or gas
- Heaviness and uneasiness around the stomach area
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain above the bellybutton and around the stomach
As such, the bloat accompanying this condition is uncomfortable. The belch is also accompanied by a sour, bile taste. In addition to this, stomach cramps and irritation might occur.
Vomiting would usually occur right away, and hours after feeling ill, a person would most probably vomit clear liquids that smell acrid and sour. This vomiting (along with belches) would last for hours or until all the acid in the stomach has been flushed out. Although many people have a high dislike for vomiting, it is the body’s ways of purging out the excess acids and bile in the stomach.
Sour stomach can occur for a number of reasons, and it is important to know these causes before applying treatment.
What Causes Sour Stomach?
A large part of the reason why sour stomach occurs can be attributed to overeating. People who eat too much food that are rich in carbohydrates, fats, and sugars tend to experience sour stomach afterwards. Also, eating too much greasy and spicy food, as well as a lot of junk food and over-processed meals, contribute greatly to the occurrence of the condition.
In children, it occurs whenever they play right after eating large amounts of junk food. This is because any rigorous or strenuous activity that occurs right after eating in large amounts strains the stomach, preventing it from concentrating on digesting the food eaten. In addition to that, the condition is also due to eating too quickly, swallowing too much air while eating, or eating at an irregular schedule.
The following are other factors that contribute to the occurrence of sour stomach.
- Alcohol abuse
- Anxiety and stress
- Certain narcotics
- Chemotherapy and other radiation therapies
- Medications such as antibiotics, aspirins, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac and ibuprofen
- Too much caffeine intake
Now that the symptoms and causes are clear, it is important to search for remedies to be able to provide relief whenever the condition occurs.
Natural Home Remedies for Sour Stomach
There are countless medications available for combatting this condition. If, however, you choose to use natural home remedies, here is a list you can use as a guide.
- Angelica Root
Angelica root is a well-known remedy for improving a person’s digestion. To use with sour stomach, make sure to drink at least one cup a day to help in stimulating proper digestion. However, this is not for breastfeeding or pregnant women.
- Baking Soda
Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass full of cold water. This is known to provide quick relief for belching, gas, and flatulence.
- Carrot Juice
Mix about half a glass of carrot juice with half a glass of water. It is widely known that drinking carrot juice helps reduce the symptoms associated with sour stomach.
- Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are known to reduce bloating and gas and therefore, helps in improving digestion. You can chew a handful of fennel seeds after every meal, or drink a cup of fennel tea mixed with a little honey.
Since a long time ago, ginger has been known to treat a couple of digestive problems such as acidity, gas, and stomach pain. It also helps reduce cramps as it works as an anti-spasmodic treatment. You can either chew a fresh piece of ginger or drink a cup of ginger tea to provide instant relief if you find yourself having a sour stomach.
- Herbal Teas
Aside from ginger tea, it is also advisable to drink herbal teas such as chamomile, green, and peppermint tea to alleviate the symptoms of sour stomach. However, peppermint tea is not advisable to those who are suffering from acid reflux since menthol is known to cause the esophageal valve to relax. This might only worsen the symptoms.
Papaya is an excellent home remedy to help improve the digestion. It also helps reduce the acidity in the stomach and can also help in the treatment of other digestion-related conditions.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent Sour Stomach
There is a saying that prevention is still better than cure. If you find yourself suffering from sour stomach a little too often, then maybe it’s high time you change a few things regarding your lifestyle.
- Avoid eating food that is too fatty, oily, or spicy
- Avoid eating too much citrus fruits
- Avoid consuming too much carbonated and caffeinated drinks
- Avoid sleeping right after eating
- Chew your food well and avoid eating too fast
- Drink about 8-10 glasses of water daily
- Eat 4-5 small meals a day instead of 3 heavy meals
- Exercise regularly to help control obesity and indigestion due to acidity
- Reduce anxiety and stress by learning meditation and yoga or simply getting enough rest and a minimum of 8 hours of sleep
If you find yourself suffering from sour stomach and the symptoms haven’t improved even after following the tips above, seek the advice of a health care professional.