What to eat and what to avoid when suffering from stomach pain? The most common causes of ailments

What to eat and what to avoid when suffering from stomach pain?  The most common causes of ailments

Stomach pain may have various causes – it is often related to, for example, eating difficult to digest foods – and is indicated by unpleasant symptoms located in the upper part of the abdomen. What diseases can it indicate? Then what to eat and what not to eat and should you use home remedies for stomach pain? Check!

  • What to eat when you have a stomachache?
  • What not to eat when you have a stomach ache?
  • Home remedies for stomach pain – what to treat stomach pain?
  • How and where does your stomach hurt?
  • The most common causes of stomach problems

Using a properly composed diet is an important element of the prevention and treatment of digestive system diseases. Most often, stomach pain is related to dietary mistakes, irregular meals, reaching for stimulants and taking medications that irritate the mucous membrane. Pain that occurs in the upper abdomen may also be related to a disease process affecting other organs of the digestive system. It happens that stomach pain is caused by nervous disorders. Pain should not be ignored, especially if it recurs frequently or is chronic.

What to eat when you have a stomachache?

Stomach pain requires an easily digestible diet, which may include, among others:

  • skim milk, fermented milk drinks (e.g. natural yogurt, kefir) and low-fat or semi-skimmed cottage cheese, as well as homogenized cheeses with natural composition,

  • wheat bread,

  • cooked vegetables (e.g. potatoes, carrots, parsley, pumpkin, squash, beets),

  • lean meat and lean fish,

  • soft-boiled eggs,

  • rice gruel or corn gruel,

  • white rice,

  • small pasta,

  • semolina, couscous and millet,

  • bananas,

  • vegetable broths.

What not to eat when you have a stomach ache?

Stomach pain requires giving up eating many products, including:

  • fatty meats and full-fat milk and dairy products with high fat content,

  • products that are difficult to digest and cause flatulence (e.g. legumes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onion, leek, tomatoes),

  • smoked and preserved products,

  • fried eggs (scrambled eggs, fried eggs),

  • citrus fruits,

  • highly processed products,

  • sweets and salty snacks,

  • carbonated drinks,

  • strong tea and coffee,

  • hot spices,

  • alcohol.

In case of stomach pain, it is recommended to eat small portions of meals more often. If the symptoms recur or persist for a long time, it is necessary to visit a doctor who will not only detect the cause of the unpleasant symptoms, but also select the appropriate treatment.

Home remedies for stomach pain – what to treat stomach pain?

There are several home remedies for stomach pain. The simplest and most effective way is to give up harmful eating habits. Changing your diet and eating meals regularly help, among other things: avoid digestive disorders that cause stomach pain.

On an ad hoc basis, you can use herbal teas that improve digestion, reduce flatulence and gas, have antispasmodic properties and increase the secretion of digestive juices. Traditionally, herbal teas are used for diseases and disorders of the functioning of the stomach, containing e.g. peppermint, chamomile flower, yarrow herb, calamus rhizome, bean leaf, sage leaf, mullein flower, wormwood herb, valerian root and flower linden trees.

What else helps with stomach pain? To relieve pain and support the functioning of the digestive system, home remedies for stomach pain may be useful, such as teas containing herbs and spices, e.g. thyme, marjoram, fennel, white mustard seed, coriander, turmeric, ginger, artichoke. . Herbs and spices not only relieve troublesome symptoms, e.g. indigestion and flatulence, but also prevent their occurrence when added to difficult to digest and bloating dishes.

Linseed has a protective effect on the digestive tract, releasing compounds that coat the mucous membrane and have a soothing and regenerating effect.

Abdominal pain is often caused by contractions of the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. To relieve crampy abdominal pain, you can temporarily take an over-the-counter antispasmodic drug and apply a warm compress to the abdomen or perform a gentle massage.

Please remember that home remedies for stomach pain will not replace a visit to a doctor. Even mild stomach problems should be consulted with a specialist.

How and where does your stomach hurt?

Various factors affect the digestive system and can cause stomach pain. Stomach problems are most often indicated by burning, cramping or dull abdominal pain that is concentrated in the upper abdomen. Additional disease symptoms also often occur. Other symptoms that accompany stomach problems include:

  • feeling of fullness in the abdomen,

  • feeling of heaviness after a meal,

  • nausea, vomiting, flatulence and gas,

  • severe stomach and intestinal cramps,

  • air burping,

  • sour belching,

  • burning in the chest,

  • burning in the throat,

  • unpleasant taste in the mouth,

  • change in bowel habits.

Pain that indicates stomach diseases may occur on an empty stomach or after a meal, and may be bothersome all the time. Not very severe, transient (e.g. after taking herbs for digestion) abdominal pain usually does not indicate serious diseases. Temporary stomach problems that herbal teas can help with include: hard to digest foods and harmful habits, e.g. eating meals in a hurry, skipping subsequent meals and eating too large portions of food.

Acute stomach pain and chronic stomach pain can indicate serious medical conditions. These include, for example:

  • inflammatory diseases, including gastritis associated with Helicobacter pylori infection;

  • damage to the gastric mucosa caused by gastric ulcer;

  • conditions requiring urgent medical intervention and associated with bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract;

  • cancers.

Acute stomach pain and chronic stomach pain should always consult a doctor. Depending on the location of abdominal pain, various diseases may be suspected:

  • diffuse abdominal pain in the upper abdomen may be associated with diseases of the esophagus, stomach and pancreas (e.g. esophageal varices, gastritis, pancreatitis);

  • pain in the upper abdomen on the left side may indicate stomach and/or duodenal ulcers;

  • pain in the upper abdomen on the right side may indicate gallbladder diseases, e.g. gallstones, and liver diseases, e.g. viral hepatitis;

  • abdominal pain around the navel may indicate diseases of the small intestine and large intestine, e.g. inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease), as well as irritable bowel syndrome.

The most common causes of stomach problems

The most common causes of stomach pain include:

  • a diet rich in fatty, fried, bloating and difficult to digest foods, spicy spices, carbonated drinks and caffeinated drinks,

  • irregular eating,

  • eating too large portions of meals,

  • eating on the run,

  • gastroesophageal reflux (regression of stomach contents into the esophagus),

  • hyperacidity (excessive secretion of gastric juice),

  • hypoacidity (insufficient secretion of stomach acid),

  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),

  • gastritis caused by Helicobacter pylori infection,

  • food allergy or intolerance,

  • stomach and/or duodenal ulcers.

Other causes of stomach pain include drinking alcohol and smoking, taking certain medications, and chronic stress. Stomach pain that occurs with other symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased body temperature, weakness) may indicate food poisoning or rotavirus infection (also known as stomach flu or enteric flu). Food poisoning may be related to, for example, eating stale or raw food in which harmful bacteria have developed.


  • Szczeklik A., Internal Medicine Szczeklik. Textbook of internal diseases, Medycyna Practical Publishing House, Kraków, 2013

  • Szczeklik A., Internal diseases, Volume I, Medycyna Practical Publishing House, Kraków, 2005

  • Ilona Kaczmarczyk-Sedlak, Arkadiusz Ciołkowski, Herbs in medicine. Digestive system diseases, Wydawnictwo Lekarskie PZWL, Warsaw, 2017

  • Dziak M., Kuźnicka B.: Herbs and their uses. History and present day. National Medical Publishers, 3rd edition corrected and supplemented, Warsaw, 1984

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