20 Ways to Instantly Ease Stomach Ache and Cramps

Having butterflies on your first date? Or feeling bloated after a heavy meal? These symptoms can be signs of anxiety or even IBS (Irritable Bowel Symptom). We know how that feels, and that's why we found 20 simple ways to beat stomach cramps in a matter of minutes.

We at Bright Side teamed up to research the topic and chose the best ways to help you beat the pain fast and easy. Just find the kind you are experiencing and read the possible solutions.

Anxiety stomach aches

Stress is one of the main reasons for almost every illness or physical weakness. Stress, as a psychological pressure, challenges our immune system and causes new sicknesses. It can also lead to panic attacks, which often come with all sorts of stomach aches.

If you feel anxiety and discomfort in your stomach, follow these steps to release the stress.

  1. Take a deep breath and try to fully focus on breathing. Notice how you breathe in and out, don't think about anything else, just follow your breath. That will help you distance your mind from your problems for a while. Even better, you can go outside, breathe in some fresh air, close your eyes, and relax.
  2. Make yourself a cup of herbal tea, enjoy the smell, and the nice warm liquid. Chamomile, ginger, or peppermint are some of the best relaxants, which also fight bacteria. Combine them with breathing techniques to get the most out of them.

3. Meditate, even if you've never tried it before. Meditation may look like something very complex or odd, but it will actually make it easier for you concentrate all your energy and thoughts in one place, thus reducing stress levels. If you think that you have too much stress in your life overall, make meditation a habit.

4. Exercise a little. While you stretch and tense your muscles, you actually throw all your energy to a physical task which doesn't leave any room for anxiety or panic attacks. Morning or evening jogging is also a good idea if you are prone to continual panic attacks.

5. Talk to a friend. When you share your problems and concerns and discuss them with the ones you trust, you may discover some new solutions and get rid of the problem for good. Just try not to overload your friend with negativity. The best idea is to discuss how to overcome your problems and then just have some quality time together.

Gas or IBS pains

Gas and IBS pain can be unexpectedly harsh and sudden. Often, they are the outcome of unhealthy eating habits, like consuming greasy foods or mixing things that shouldn't be eaten together in your stomach. Luckily, there are some ways to ease this pain.

  1. No matter how it looks or sounds, the first thing you should do is pay a visit to the bathroom. This one thing will make you feel better and release unwanted gas.
  2. After you've tried the first step, try some home remedies like herbal teas. All-mighty peppermint and ginger will help you out here. Have a cup of fresh made tea to get rid of excess gas and feel relieved. It also will calm down your digestive system.
  3. Fennel seeds are very effective when it comes to IBS pains or uncontrollable gas. Grab a teaspoon of fennel seeds, wash them in cold water, and chew them. You don't have to swallow the seeds, just taste the flavor of the fennel juice. After 5 or 10 minutes you can clean your mouth and take a sip of water.

4. Try some heat, just don't get burnt! It's better if you apply a heating pad laying down on your stomach so you can fully relax your muscles. If you feel like there's some gas that you can let go, don't hold it in.

5. If nothing helps and you've been experiencing pain for quite a while, consult your doctor and check your internal organs. As we said before, these pains can be caused by bad foods, but there are also some abdominal diseases and sicknesses that could be the reason for your issues.

Menstrual pain

Many women experience stomach cramps during periods. Don't worry, its a normal thing to have some discomfort, expecially during the first 2 days. We have 5 home remedies that will help you ease the pain, but if your cramps last for too long or are unbearably bad, consult your doctor.

  1. Do yoga. There are three effective asanas which are recommended during menstrual cramps: cobra, cat and fish. Try them out, but don't forget to be gentle with yourself. We suggest you look up tutorials or visit a few yoga classes to get the hang of it.
  2. Massage yourself gently. There are few acupressure points for that kind of pain. There are 2 points under your belly button: one is 2 fingerwidths under your belly button, and another is 4 fingerwidths under your belly button. There is also one point 4 fingerwidths above your ankle bones on both of your legs.

3. Take a heating pad, curl up, and maybe even take a short nap. The Evidence-Based Nursing Journal once published a study which proves that heat is as effective as ibuprofen for period cramps.

4. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are not your friends during your period. Try to lessen your intake of them to prevent the pain or keep it from getting worse.

5. Take some nonsteroidal anti-flammatory drugs (NSAIDs), if nothing else helps. There are some special over-the-counter drugs for menstrual cramps which you can use without a doctor's prescription.

Heartburn pain

This one is very unpleasant and annoying, but it can be cured. If you over ate or had too much spicy and fatty food, this can be a reason for heartburn pain.

  1. There are few OTC (over-the-counter) drugs which can help you in this case. Antacids neutralize acids, while PPIs and H2 blockers lower the amount of acid produced in your stomach.
  2. If drugs are not available and you need some natural remedies, try apple cider vinegar. It lowers the pH level and decreases the pain. Mix 2 teaspoons of vinegar with ¼ cup of clean room temperature water and drink the mixture. Repeat in 5 minutes, if needed.
  3. In an extreme heartburn situation you can also use baking soda. Mix half of a teaspoon of soda with ¼ cup of room temperature water. This should help in 10 minutes. If not, repeat the mixture, until you feel better.
  4. Change your diet to prevent future heartburn pain. Avoid spicy and greasy foods, garlic, alcohol, and soda. You can also track which foods cause heartburn, and either avoid them or cook them in a different way.

  5. As the Mayo Clinic reported, chamomile is also effective against heartburn. Make yourself some chamomile tea, drink it with small sips. It's better, if you drink warm tea instead of hot liquids.

Take care of your body, and don't ignore its signals. If you've been experiencing intense pain for more than a few hours, contact your doctor.

Illustrated by Oleg Guta for Bright Side
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