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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bosch PhD RDN LDN

Why Does My Stomach Hurt?

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

The term gastritis is used in the medical profession to refer to inflammation, irritation or erosion of the lining of the stomach. Symptoms of gastritis include: abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, indigestion, hiccups, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Usually, when a client is talking to me about stomach issues, they are describing one or all of the above. In most of my blogs, I focus on the positive things first. I like you to know what you CAN do to change your health and well-being. However, I also believe knowledge is power. Being aware and informed on what’s hurting your gut is just as important as knowing how you can heal and repair it. Here are a few of the most common nutrition and lifestyle factors that contribute to stomach pains such as: bloating, gas, nausea, loss of appetite, heartburn and more.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): While there is a time to take NSAIDs, they are not intended for long term use. Side effects can include: heartburn, gas, stomach pain, feeling bloated, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. If you experience any of these symptoms, discuss it with your physician and treatment team. Common NSAIDs include: aspirin, Celebrex, Voltaren, ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, and Naprosyn.

Sugar and Refined Flours: Excessive intake of sugar and refined flour can cause inflammation in the body and promote the growth of unhealthy gut bacteria.

Alcohol: Alcohol, even in small to modest amounts, causes your stomach to produce more acid than usual. Over time, this can cause inflammation of the stomach lining and lead to gastritis.

Excessive Coffee Consumption: Not only is coffee high in caffeine, but it’s also acidic, causing the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid (HCL), which can contribute to heartburn and indigestion. If you find yourself experiencing some of these issues, reduce or eliminate coffee intake until symptoms subside.

Stress: While stress does not actually cause gastritis, it can make things worse. It is important to find healthy ways to manage stress throughout life.

Nutrition Supplements & Lifestyle Practices to Heal the Gut

One of the first things to do if experiencing gut issues such as abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, indigestion, hiccups, vomiting and loss of appetite is to eliminate or reduce the foods and lifestyle factors mentioned above. After you have reduced and eliminated the common factors that can contribute to pain, there are additional nutrition, supplement, and lifestyle practices to help heal your gut.

Spore-based Probiotic: Take an oral spore-based probiotic supplement. Spore-based probiotics are precursors to probiotics without actually being probiotics, therefore when treating an irritated gut, it is important to include spore-based probiotics.

Butyrate: Add a Butyrate supplement to your diet regime. Butyrate is a fatty acid that works as an anti-inflammatory agent and supports digestive health. Your healthy gut bacteria also make Butyrate from fiber rich foods such as whole grains, legumes, and vegetables. When struggling with stomach distress, talk with your treatment team about potentially adding a Butyrate supplement.

Fermented Foods: Consume fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, water or brine-cured olives, pickles, pickled vegetables, and cultured plant-based milk products such as kefir and yogurt.

Plant-based Fats: Eat more plant-based healthy fats such as avocados, olives, nuts and seeds, and extra virgin olive oil.

Stress Management: Find healthy ways to manage stress such as yoga, meditation, journaling, spending time outdoors and walking in the park.

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