A sour stomach is something that none of us want to get. It puts you in severe discomfort and can upset the plans you had for the day.
When you get a severely upset stomach you are compelled to stay at home or stay away from work.
Obviously, none of us want to be in embarrassing situations caused disturbed stomach when you are in the office or with friends.
For some reason or other, every one of us gets stomachaches and upset stomach issues at least a couple times in a year. Some get it quite frequently.
Most cases of distress in the tummy are not serious. It disappears by itself after a few hours and easily curable with home remedies or OTC products.
What Is A Sour Stomach?
You have experienced it several times already, yet you might be wondering what a sour stomach all about is.
It is a disturbed and irritated condition of the upper gastrointestinal tract which may exhibit symptoms like a burning sensation in the stomach, nausea, belching, sour burps, upper abdominal pain, diarrhea, and indigestion [1,2,3].
It is also known in other names like acid reflux (GERD), stomach pain, stomach bloating, heartburn, or indigestion.
Most people do experience heartburn usually after having certain types of foods that have not gone well with their stomachs.
According to some of the health surveys, 60% of the adult population in the world experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) at least once in a year.
People who suffer GERD have poor health quality of life. They have stomach issues with most foods they eat, face sleep disorders, and poor concentration at study and work.
Your life can go haywire if you get frequent and recurring upset stomach issues.
Fortunately, heartburns or upset stomach problem does not last for more than a day or two. Usually, they disappear on their own without needing any medical assistance.
Only chronic cases of disturbances in the stomach need medical intervention. If you have serious gastrointestinal conditions with persistent causes can lead to a host of complications if not treated in time.
Symptoms Of A Sour Stomach
The symptoms of a sour stomach are closely connected to two common gastroesophageal conditions, namely acid reflux and indigestion.
Any severe disturbance in the upper digestive tract usually exhibits the following symptoms:
Belching or Burping
It usually occurs when the stomach distends or expands because of too much of swallowed air. Burping is produced while releasing the excess air in the stomach via the mouth.
Any kind of severe irritation in the upper digestive tract can make you feel nausea. When the foods you eat do not properly go through the digestive tract, your stomach gets upset and develops nausea feeling.
The presence of an excess amount of gastric acid reaching up to your esophagus causes a burning sensation in the chest and throat.
It is the uncomfortable feeling of fullness, tightness, or swelling in the abdomen, which is usually caused by a mixture of air and food in the stomach.
One of the most common symptoms of a sour stomach is abdominal pain. It may last for a few hours and can cause severe pain if the stomach’s condition is really bad.
Regurgitation is the forceful expulsion of stomach contents backward through the esophagus and to the mouth. Regurgitation is an important mechanism of the body to get rid of the noxious substances. This symptom is usually experienced by persons with an upset stomach or heartburn.
Constipation can happen because of eating foods with poor fiber and liquid content. Processed foods, red meat, and fatty foods can also result in constipation.
People who are suffering from a sour stomach could also experience symptoms like stress, mild fever, headache, physical weakness, and drowsiness.
What Causes a Sour Stomach?
The most common reasons for the sour stomach are acid reflux and indigestion.
Acid reflux (GERD) is the incidence of stomach acid entering the esophagus. It is characterized by a burning pain, known as heartburn, which has the epicenter in the lower chest area of the body.
GERD syndrome is caused by overeating, excess stomach acid and reduced tonicity of the sphincter.
Dyspepsia or indigestion causes belching, nausea, stomach pain and bloating. Indigestion usually subsides by itself after a day.
However, chronic dyspepsia conditions caused by gallstones, gastritis or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) need to be treated medically.
Common reasons for indigestion issues are unhealthy diets, spicy foods, alcohol, irregular eating pattern, or extreme weather conditions.
Sour Stomach Remedies
Let us now see how to get rid of a sour stomach.
It is common for everyone to get upset stomachs occasionally. It usually lasts only a few hours or a day.
Home remedies are undoubtedly the best solution for stopping sour stomach and indigestion.
Of course, you can find several OTC medicines and products that can help you to ease the upset stomach. However, it is better to avoid them for the side effects they might have on your health.
Here are a few coolest and effective home remedies for getting rid of stomach bloating and heartburn.
1. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is a traditionally used natural remedy to soothing and healing an upset stomach.
Drinking peppermint tea helps in easing the symptoms of the sour stomach like nausea, vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Peppermint aids in the inhibition of peristaltic movement, reduce stomach spasm, cramps and ease dyspepsia.
Menthol present in peppermint is beneficial for treating microbial infections in the stomach that cause pain or infection.
Directions For Use: Add a few fresh peppermint leaves in one cup of boiling water and let the essences of the leaves steep into the water for a few minutes. Strain out the leaves and let the tea cool down; drink 4 cups peppermint tea per day till you have got rid of the upset stomach.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
The antibacterial properties in ACV are useful for relieving stomach problems caused by bacteria.
The acidic content in ACV is useful for balancing gut microbiota and restores the healthy pH level in the stomach lining.
The acetic acid in ACV is beneficial for better digestion and metabolism.
Directions For Use: Add 1 tablespoon of ACV to 1 glass of water and drink. When you have an upset stomach, drink ACV water thrice a day.
You can also drink ACV water daily once to maintain a healthy stomach and metabolism.
3. Rice Water
Drinking rice water is an age-old traditional remedy used to treat stomach problems.
Rice water has a unique ability to protect the stomach lining from inflammation and stomach ulcers.
When you have diarrhea, drinking rice water can keep you well hydrated and repulses the food poisoning effects.
Directions For Use: Cook ½ cup of rice in 2 cups of water at a moderate temperature. When the rice is cooked in the right proportion (rice gets cooked in 20 minutes), strain the rice water into a bowl and drink it after it cools down.
When you have a sour stomach, drink 4 to 6 glasses of rice water daily to get fast relief.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera juice is beneficial for irritable bowel syndrome and for cleansing the digestive tract.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disorder that causes constipation, indigestion, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
It works well to manage acid reflux, stomach bloating and flatulence by cleansing the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, reducing colonic build-up and improving the transit of bowel waste.
Aloe is effective in soothing irritation and inflammation in the intestinal lining. It helps to reduce colitis symptoms and ulcers.
Aloe vera is a proven laxative useful for getting rid of constipation.
Some of the recent researches have reported the efficacy of Aloe Vera juice in promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in the gut.
Direction For Use: For each serving add two tablespoons of aloe vera juice to 1 cup of water; blend it well until smooth. You can drink the aloe vera juice twice or thrice a day to effectively manage the upset stomach.
5. Charred Toast
Burnt toast is a folk remedy for an upset stomach. Charred toast treatment works well for curing vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.
It is believed that the charred toast is able to absorb the toxins from the digestive system.
According to the book “Human Biochemistry,” the carbon present in the burnt toast absorbs impurities in the digestive tract and acts as a filter to prevent some compounds and microorganisms from passing through the mucus membrane of the gut.
Directions For Use: Make two whole-wheat burnt toasts and eat them slowly. Do not eat any other food for next one hour.
6. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal absorbs and removes the toxins in the digestive tract. It is a folk medicine for curing food poisoning.
Directions For Use: Add one teaspoon activated charcoal powder to a glass of water or liquid foods and have it. You can also get activated charcoal capsules in the drug store; consume one capsule per day.
7. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is an excellent home remedy for getting rid of indigestion and reflux-acid problems in the stomach.
The anti-inflammatory properties in Ginger help to increase the digestive enzyme and neutralize the toxins in the abdomen. This gives relief from upset stomach and stomach ache.
The anti-nausea elements in Ginger reduce nausea, vomiting and motion sickness by expelling the intestinal gas.
Gingesulfonic acid contained in ginger boosts anti-ulcer activities in the stomach.
Gingerols and shogaols are two powerful antioxidants in ginger beneficial for relaxing the intestinal tract.
Drinking ginger tea helps in the smooth passage of foods through the digestive tract which improves the absorption of nutrients and prevents indigestion.
Eating a slice of ginger quickly increases the production of saliva, bile and gastric juices which improve digestion and prevents gas.
Directions For Use: Add a tablespoon of neatly sliced fresh ginger root into two cups of boiling water. Let the essence of the ginger steep in the water for 5 minutes. Strain the water into a cup and enjoy the ginger tea. You can add a teaspoon of honey to the ginger tea for better taste.
Drink the ginger tea twice or thrice daily till the upset stomach is totally healed.
8. Fennel Tea
Fennel tea is excellent for improving digestion and absorption nutrients.
It’s aromatic and carminative properties are an excellent ally to treat flatulence, diarrhea, bloating or stomach cramps.
The antibacterial properties in fennel seed are useful for preventing gastrointestinal problems and aids in keeping the gut microbiota healthy.
There are studies that have indicated the efficacy of the fennel seed in getting rid of the harmful gut bacteria which causes gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea.
It is a fantastic diuretic that promotes diuresis. It is also a good natural remedy for stopping indigestion.
Directions For Use: You can make fennel tea with the fennel seed, leaves or roots.
Take two teaspoons of fennel seed and crush it. Add the crushed seeds to two cups of boiling water; let the essence of the seeds steep into the hot water for a few minutes.
Strain the tea and enjoy drinking this healthy drink; drink a few cups of fennel tea every day.
In the same way, you can also prepare fennel tea with leaves or roots of the fennel plant.
How To Prevent A Sour Stomach?
An upset stomach or indigestion mostly happens because of unhealthy diet habits and lifestyle.
You can easily prevent the occurrence of sour stomach problems by making healthy changes in the foods you eat. A healthy body is also necessary to give abode to a healthy digestive system.
Here are a few tips for preventing indigestion and acid reflux:
- Do not overeat; stop eating when your hunger pangs are satiated;
- Include a generous amount of soluble fiber foods (pectins, β-glucans, psyllium, guar gum, etc) in your daily diet;
- You should compulsorily have enough amounts of a variety of fruits and green vegetable in your daily diet;
- Eat slowly and chew the foods properly;
- Eat at regular intervals and do not skip meals at random;
- Do not eat citrus fruits in empty stomach for this can cause acid reflux;
- Avoid some of the foods and drinks like fried, spicy and processed foods, alcohol, soda, coffee, artificial sweeteners, and bad fats;
- Drink one glass of water at every hour of the day;
- Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep daily;
- Avoid smoking;
- Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes daily;
- Do yoga exercises that increase circulation and reduce bloating in the stomach;
- Do not sleep or lie down immediately after eating;
- Stay free of tension and stress;
- Reduce the intake of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
The Bottom Line
Sour stomach is mainly the result of bad eating and lifestyle habits. You can easily prevent and manage recurring acid reflux and indigestion issues by weeding out the unhealthy food and lifestyle habits.
However, if the stomach issues are caused by underlying diseases or side effects of medication, you need to take medical assistance to overcome the issue.
Some of the best diets and remedies for sour stomach are herbal teas, aloe vera juice, burnt toast, rice water, and activated charcoal.
Include in your diet foods such as cherries, apricots, raisins, prunes, carrot, yogurt, mint juice and caraway seeds to prevent and cure indigestion and acid reflux problems.
If you have severe stomach ache caused by acidity or indigestion, it is worth doing a hot water compress on the stomach to get fast relief from pain.