One thing’s for sure, having a stomach that’s off doesn’t feel good. It can show up as a nagging burn, queasiness, gnawing or a dull ache.
If you’ve experienced this before you’ve likely wondered whether eating something would make it better–or worse.
There are many reasons for a sour stomach, but some people are simply more prone to stomach upset, nausea and indigestion. There are some common triggers to watch out for:
- Alcohol- drinking alcohol of any kind irritates the GI tract. You’ll feel worse the more you drink and the longer alcohol has contact with your GI tract, including the next day.
- An empty stomach- if you go a long time (over 4 hours) without eating, when your stomach secretes it’s normal acid there won’t be anything there to neutralize it, causing a sour acidic feeling. This can lead to nausea or reflux.
- Overeating- When your stomach is full, the sphincter between your stomach and your esophagus will relax and open, allowing contents to splash up creating a feeling of indigestion.
- Problem foods– Certain foods like tomatoes, garlic, onion, mint, and high-fat content foods can all cause the sphincter to your esophagus to relax and open. This is worse when these foods are consumed in the same meal. This will depend on your body, but it’s something to consider if you get this feeling often.
You don’t have to deal with a sour stomach for long. There are some foods that can ease this falling naturally.
- Ginger: has been used for thousands of years and is a common natural remedy for nausea and upset stomach. Consider boiling water with a piece of ginger in it, brewing a ginger tea, or eating a ginger chew if you have one on hand.
- Peppermint: This minty herb is known to help ease bloating after a meal (and can help with other kinds of stomach pain). To take advantage of this plant power, drink peppermint tea after a meal to soothe your stomach. If you have acid reflux, this might not be the best option for you, as mint can be a trigger.
- Licorice: Here we’re talking about the real licorice root, not the red or black candy you might be thinking of. Licorice root contains a compound that causes stomach cells to produce more mucus, creating a protective coating for the stomach. You can drink licorice tea, or find a licorice chew (often called DGL, Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice).
Note: licorice is not recommended for pregnant women or if you have high blood pressure.
- Baking Soda: It’s the alkaline nature (high pH) that can neutralize the acid in your sour stomach. To use it, mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with a cup of water and drink it down for a home remedy relief.
When To See Your Doctor
If you have stomach symptoms often this might mean something more is going on. Watch out for vomiting along with your sour stomach, any unintentional weight loss, or if you find you’re using antacids daily to soothe your stomach, these are indications it’s time to seek help from your doctor.