Dealing with stomach aches

Stomach ache or abdominal pain can be dull, sharp or intermittent. The common causes include constipation, diarrhoea, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, stress, gas and bloating.

India-based nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla shares tips on how to deal with stomach aches: CONSTIPATION This is caused by insufficient dietary fibre, indulging in too much processed food and dairy products, dehydration, a lack of exercise, ignoring the urge to defecate and stress.

Chronic constipation can lead to gas production, stomach bloating and ache.

Dietary interventions include consuming whole grains, such as dalia (broken wheat), red rice and rajgira (amaranth grain), and legumes, as well as fruits and veggies rich in fibre, such as dark-green leafy vegetables, pear and papaya.

Other remedies include drinking plenty of fluids, starting the day with warm lemon water and consuming vegetable smoothies. DIARRHOEA This can be caused by a viral infection, drugs and food allergies. Remedies include consuming coconut water, buttermilk and salted rice kanji (porridge). LACTOSE INTOLERANCE People with lactose intolerance usually lack the enzyme lactase to digest the lactose in milk leading to stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Avoiding milk is beneficial. It can be substituted with almond and coconut milk.

GAS AND BLOATING This can result from food sensitivities, constipation or indigestion leading to abdominal pain.

Manage this by dropping food irritants, eating food high in fibre, drinking adequate water and chewing food properly.

Add herbs like turmeric that help to break down food. ACID REFLUX It is caused by low stomach acid, magnesium deficiency, certain types of food, hernia and eating too quickly.

Relief is found by avoiding citrus-based food, alcohol, spicy meals and peppermint.

Practise mindful eating - chew every mouthful 20 to 30 times. Drink aloe juice in the morning, and sauf (fennel) and black cumin water before meals to produce stomach acid. STRESS Stress can cause low stomach acid. Remedies include drinking a glass of warm water and fresh lemon. You can also try adding one tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar.

Indo-Asian News Service


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