At Home Remedies for Stomach Aches

Yesterday, I wrote about hidden causes of stomach pain, and how all too often, when we head to the doctor with symptoms including bloating, gas, diarrhea and then some, we’re not often asked about what we’re eating.

It becomes our task to become our own investigators and troubleshoot our way through what foods may be causing our issues entirely, or, at least, making them much worse.

But even for someone who’s a Paleo veteran and is extremely cautious of what they’re eating at any given time, there are occasions in which we still fall ill, due to unknowingly being ‘glutened’ or eating a meal in a restaurant only to find out later it was cooked in soybean oil.

In these instances, rather than just shrug our shoulder and sit back and wait for the discomfort to dissipate, we can be a bit more proactive by including some surefire, real food remedies to help east the situation.

A couple of months back, I listed some top go-to remedies to have on hand in the event you find yourself in distress, all of which can be just what the doctor…err, naturopath ordered.

And if you’re feeling really awful, you may not even find the idea of eating anything appealing, so sometimes, going the liquid route makes more sense.

Using some of the foods, herbs and spices I recommended in the Soothing Paleo Foods post, you can try your hand at whipping up any of the concoctions below, all of which are quick to make, even in your weakened state!

  • Coconut Ginger Elixir

If your symptoms include diarrhea, you can count on becoming at least a bit dehydrated. And rather than relying on the commercially available remedies like RED # 40 infused Pedialyte, or Gatorade, fresh coconut water can be your ally. Dr. Robynne Chutkan, a gastroenterologist and an assistant professor of medicine at Georgetown University Hospital, suggests it to her patients.

“Diarrhea is the main obstacle to hydration [for these patients], but I am not a fan of Gatorade to treat it,” Chutkan says. “It’s very synthetic stuff and has citric acid, sodium citrate and sugar. And it’s very concentrated, which could lead to the worsening of diarrhea. Coconut water is great because it’s already diluted and it’s natural.[1]”   Add ginger [2], with its naturally soothing properties and you’ve got double the chance to soothe that tummy! Simply mash some fresh ginger root, in a sturdy ceramic mug and pour hot water on top until the mug is ¾ full. Let steep for five minutes and then top off with fresh coconut water.

  • Broth with Oregano

Oregano, with it’s anti microbial properties[3] can help fight off bacteria that may be causing you pain and discomfort.   Add that to a cup of broth, highly indicated in the treatment of leaky gut, which I’d venture to guess that more people have suffered from than not, and you can sip your way to feeling better during the course of the day. If you haven’t had a chance to make and freeze your own bone broth, even a simple chicken broth can still help you feel better. Chicken soup also contains 50 milligrams of potassium that can help replenish potassium levels lost through vomiting and watery diarrhea[4].

  • Kim Chi

Probiotics and fermented foods can help to lower systemic inflammation, decrease oxidative stress, improve nutritional status, and even help to correct SIBO,[5] small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. While you can make your own if you’re so inclined, one of the upsides of Paleo’s growing popularity is that it’s now quite easy to find no-junk added Kim Chi in many a health food store, or Whole Foods Market. Incidentally, just how Paleo is Kim Chi?  Read more here…

  • Mint Water or Tea

If you’re really having a hard time even getting water down, it may well be time to head to the ER[6]. Far from a substitute for serious dehydration, sipping peppermint[7] infused water or warm tea can also help settle your belly in the meanwhile.

The overall takeaway message here, again, is not to suggest that every IBS or colitis diagnosis is inaccurate, or that those with legitimate medical concerns can expect to recover fully in a short period of time simply by cutting out gluten.

The suggested soothing foods and drinks are a mere sprinkling of the many beneficial foods, herbs and spices we have at our fingertips when we follow a real Paleo diet.

If you’re among those who feel you’ve been Paleo and aren’t reaping the gains, it may be worth your while to delve a little deeper. Some need to combine Paleo with a low FODMAP approach, the autoimmune protocol or find their own personal balance based on trial and error over the years..

Seem tedious?

I don’t feel that way. I see it as a gift to embrace that we all have the option to be as proactive about our health as possible and that begins with choosing what we put in our mouths based on how each and every food makes our body feel.

[1] “Coconut Water To The Rescue? Parsing The Medical Claims.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2015

[2] “Warm Up to Ginger.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 19 June 2015.

[3] “Why Oil Of Oregano Is Your New Best Friend.” The Huffington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2015.

[4] “Gastroenteritis & Soup.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 24 June 2015. Web. 03 Aug. 2015

[5] Dinan TG, Stanton C, Cryan JF. Psychobiotics: a novel class of psychotropic. Biol Psychiatry. 2013;74(10):720-6.

[6] http://www.paleoista.com/food-and-drink/foods-and-drinks-to-soothe-upset-stomach/

[7] Shah, Yagana. “9 Foods That Soothe An Upset Stomach.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2015