What Settles an Upset Stomach Quickly?

Reviewed on 12/13/2021
Home treatments to settle an upset stomach may include consuming small amounts of clear liquids, drinking plenty of fluids, small sips of water or sucking on ice chips, sports drinks, clear sodas, diluted juices, clear soup broth or bouillon, popsicles, caffeine-free tea, and the BRAT diet.
Home treatments to settle an upset stomach may include consuming small amounts of clear liquids, drinking plenty of fluids, small sips of water or sucking on ice chips, sports drinks, clear sodas, diluted juices, clear soup broth or bouillon, popsicles, caffeine-free tea, and the BRAT diet. 

An upset stomach, also sometimes called a stomach ache, refers to pain and discomfort in the abdominal area. 

Most of the time, an upset stomach can be treated at home. An upset stomach may be settled by:

  • Consuming clear liquids in frequent, small amounts
  • Drinking plenty of fluids so urine is a pale yellow or clear color
  • If vomiting occurs, start with small sips of water or sucking on ice chips and if these are well tolerated, try:
    • Sports drinks
    • Clear, non-caffeinated sodas such as ginger ale, 7-Up, or Sprite 
    • Diluted juices such as apple, grape, cherry, or cranberry (avoid citrus juices)
    • Clear soup broth or bouillon
    • Popsicles
    • Caffeine-free tea
  • If fluids are well tolerated, slowly add bland solid foods such as the BRAT diet
    • Bananas
    • Rice, white
    • Applesauce
    • Toast, plain or with only jelly or honey if desired
  • Avoid:
    • Dairy products
    • Spicy foods
    • Fatty or greasy foods
    • Whole grains 
    • Raw vegetables
    • Caffeine
    • Alcohol

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications may help relieve certain symptoms associated with an upset stomach. Talk to your doctor to determine which medicine is right for you. 

If an upset stomach is caused by a specific medical problem, such as an ulcer, treatments for that problem can help relieve symptoms. 

What Are Symptoms of Upset Stomach?

Symptoms of an upset stomach include: 

An upset stomach is usually not serious, but see a doctor if you have an upset stomach and: 

  • Bloody bowel movements, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Pain is severe and lasts more than an hour or comes and goes for more than 24 hours
  • Inability to eat or drink for hours
  • Fever higher than 102°F (39°C)
  • Weight loss without trying, or loss of interest in food

What Causes Upset Stomach?

Upset stomach is a symptom of many different conditions. 

Common causes of upset stomach include:

Serious conditions that may cause upset stomach can include:

QUESTION

Pancreatitis is inflammation of an organ in the abdomen called the pancreas. See Answer

How Is Upset Stomach Diagnosed?

Most cases of upset stomach are mild and self-limiting and able to be treated at home. The cause of more serious cases of upset can be diagnosed with a patient history of symptoms and a physical examination of the abdomen, which may include palpation of the area to check for tenderness, enlarged organs, or masses, and listening to the abdomen with a stethoscope for bowel sounds

Other physical examinations to help determine the cause of an upset stomach may include: 

  • Rectal examination
  • Pelvic examination
  • Eye examination
  • Skin examination for jaundice 
  • Heart and lung exams

Imaging studies used to diagnose the causes of abdominal pain may include: 

Pregnancy should be ruled out in all females of childbearing age with abdominal pain.

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Reviewed on 12/13/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/stomach-ache-and-stomach-upset-the-basics?search=upset%20stomach&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=c2a97765-27a7-40f0-a650-59e7720d10ce

https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/medical/upset-stomach/

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/evaluation-of-the-adult-with-abdominal-pain