Tummy troubles. It’s something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. For some people, it’s a discomfort that occurs maybe once or twice a year, it comes and goes and life goes on. For others, abdominal discomfort is a worry that looms over their shoulder at all times.
What Causes Tummy Troubles?
Stomach pain can come from a variety of places. Sometimes it’s caused by certain actions or foods, other times it’s caused by an underlying medical condition. Here are some of the most common causes of tummy troubles, and some ways to prevent them.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (also known as IBS) is a very common stomach condition, affecting nearly 45 million people in the US.  It occurs more commonly in females than males, but both are affected. The exact causes of IBS are still unknown, but it is known that the connections between the stomach, brain, and nervous system are thrown out of whack, causing some very unpleasant situations to occur in the bowels. Diarrhea, constipation, gas, burping, acid reflux, and bloating are all common symptoms. IBS is highly unpredictable–it affects each sufferer in a different way. However, there are some things that can be done to lessen the effects of IBS.
Luckily, there are holistic ways to reduce the symptoms of IBS. Some simple ways to reduce its effects are:
- Avoiding inflammatory foods. These include caffeine, dairy, gluten, spicy foods, and alcohol.
- Take supplements. There are various health boosting supplements that can help restore balance to an upset digestive system. Probiotics aid in nearly all digestive functions. Digestive enzymes help control stomach acid levels and aid in nutrient absorption. Aloe Vera Juice helps relieve constipation, peppermint & ginger essential oils help soothe inflammation in the intestines. Davina’s specially formulated Tummy Tamer has a powerhouse of oils that are great for the digestive system and can help lessen the effects of IBS.
- Reduce Stress. Stress levels can cause loads of different health problems. Stress upsets the stomach and makes digestion difficult. Try relaxation exercises or diffusing Lavender essential oil to help reduce stress levels.
- Exercise. As much as we may hate hearing it, regular exercise works wonders on the body, and the tummy is no exception. A 2011 study that appeared in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that increased physical activity reduces symptoms associated with IBS and improves quality of life–the study shows that exercise is so effective it should be considered the primary treatment method of IBS .
- Probiotics. Probiotics, or good bacteria in the gut is one of the best defenses against IBS.
Irritable Bowel Disease
Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) is similar to IBS but much more severe. IBD is also much rarer, affecting 1-2 million Americans. The symptoms of IBD are, for the most part, the same as IBS, but much more painful, common, and difficult to treat. Just life IBS, IBD is tricky to diagnose, as it affects each person in a unique way. Some of the same treatments that work for IBS can work for IBD, but as always, if pain is severe and/or frequent, you need to seek out a medical professional and get additional help.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, nearly 65% of the world’s population has a reduced ability to digest lactose . Lactose intolerance can affect each person in a different way. For some, consuming dairy products will result in a little gas or bloating–for others, it can mean a trip to the emergency room.
The most obvious way to reduce discomfort from lactose intolerance is to stop eating dairy products! However, if the siren call of milk, ice cream, and cheese is too much to handle, then there are natural ways to reduce the symptoms.
- Consume reduced amounts of dairy: consuming less lactose in a serving can make it more bearable on the tummy.
- Use yogurt instead of milk: Many types of yogurt contain no lactose and can make a delicious alternative to milk in common recipes like cereal.
- Use Tummy Tamer essential oil: Simply rubbing this essential oil blend by Davina Wellness on the stomach after consuming dairy can greatly reduce the effects of lactose related problems.
Whether it’s pigging out at a fancy restaurant, an all you can eat buffet, or a pizza party at work, we’ve all been so stuffed that we feel like we can hardly move. This is obviously an unhealthy practice, but it can also be surprisingly painful. There are a few tricks to help reduce the discomfort of overeating. Essential oils, like the Tummy Tamer essential oil blend mentioned before, are an excellent way to help keep things running smoothly when we cause a traffic jam in our stomachs. Consuming lots of fiber on a daily basis will also promote a faster and healthier digestion which will help discomfort pass quicker.
The best thing to do however is to avoid overeating in the first place. Here are some ways to help keep your stomach full and happy without overeating:
- Eat Nutrient Rich Foods (AKA healthy foods): Eating healthy foods will help your body know it’s being given enough nourishment. When a body has a need for certain nutrients, it will tell the brain to eat more. By eating healthy we can keep our body going strong and avoid cravings.
- Eat More Fat: For many people this tip seems counterintuitive–isn’t fat evil? Well, that’s actually not true. Some fats are indeed unhealthy, but many foods provide natural, healthy fats which provide loads of nourishment to the body, and quickly make us feel “satisfied” at mealtime without having to go back for seconds. Good choices of foods that provide these healthy fats are avocado, olive oil, coconuts, nuts, seeds, and high-quality dairy.
- Reduce Stress: Stress causes us to crave comfort foods. Exercise and stress reduction will help us make good choices when presented with the opportunity to overeat.
“Sensitive Stomach” may not be the most scientific term, but most other causes of upset stomach can be thrown in this category. The flu can lead to diarrhea flying can lead to nausea and barfing, and eating a bad piece of food can lead to pain that just won’t quit. For these cures, many of the above treatments can be used, additionally, essential oils can make for a great first step in treating these conditions.
Peppermint, Basil, Ginger, Fennel, and Coriander essential oils are all great for calming an upset stomach. Davina Wellness’ custom Tummy Tamer blend contains a little bit of each of these, and can be used to help put all kinds of stomach pain to rest.
Stomach problems are very common. Most people deal with them frequently, and nearly everyone experiences them at some time or another. Luckily there are many natural, safe ways to deal with all kinds of stomach problems. While it’s important to take every measure possible to keep our bodies healthy, it’s also important to know our limits–some stomach issues may seem small at first, but if left untreated can lead to serious consequences. If stomach issues are severe or last for a long time, stop by a doctor’s office and get professional help.