How to Fix an Upset Stomach

Two Parts:What to Eat & DrinkWhat to Do

There are many reasons why your stomach might be upset. Sometimes it seems silly to go to a doctor if it's just something that's not sitting well with you. Here are some ideas to keep the nausea at bay.

Part 1
What to Eat & Drink

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    Try eating just a bit. Something light and simple might settle your stomach. Try eating yogurt, bland crackers, or high fiber foods. Avoid spicy foods, dairy (yogurt being the lone exception -- it's full of probiotics), or anything with a strong scent.
    • If the thought of food just grosses you out, don't force it. You may just make things worse.
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    Drink something. Your stomachache may be a result of dehydration. If you want, try an herbal tea as an alternative to water. Also try Gatorade; it has many more minerals that help calm your stomach.
    • If you're puking or have diarrhea, it's especially important that you stay hydrated. Your body is losing fluid at an alarming rate and it should be replaced as soon as possible.
    • If neither of these are an option, try ginger ale or flat soda. Flat! Not the fresh kind.[1]
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    Go for the BRAT diet. BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. You can add other bland foods to the BRAT diet, too. For example, you can try saltine crackers, boiled potatoes, or clear soups. Don’t start eating dairy products and sugary or fatty foods right away. These foods may trigger nausea even more.[2]
    • This may not be so good for children, however. Because BRAT diet foods are low in fiber, protein, and fat, the diet lacks enough nutrition to help a child's gastrointestinal tract recover. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that kids resume eating a normal, well-balanced diet appropriate for their age within 24 hours of getting sick. That diet should include a mix of fruits, vegetables, meat, yogurt, and complex carbohydrates.[3]

Part 2
What to Do

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    Go to the bathroom. Take a book or something to take your mind off the pain. Unfortunately, you may just have to wait.
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    Vomit. Sometimes, the pain is not going to go away until you throw up. Be ready as soon as your stomach cramps begin, but only induce vomiting if the pain has not stopped within 2-3 hours.
    • Though it won't be your most fashionable accessory, keep a bucket or other container nearby. You'll be grateful you don't need to run to the bathroom.
    • If you still have pain in 5-6 hours after vomiting a few times and eating something, call your doctor. Take your temperature and monitor your other symptoms, too.
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    Rest. Though motion sickness is a very specific thing, once you're already sick, motion does you absolutely zero favors. Lie down and get comfortable. If that's not an option, stay as motionless as possible.
    • This goes for babies and children, too. All ages will benefit from outside stability when the same can't be said for the insides.
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    Visit your doctor. If the problem persists, your upset stomach is just a symptom of a grander issue. If you experience nausea for an extended period of time in addition to other symptoms like pain, trouble walking, and rashes, call a doctor immediately.
    • Most upset stomachs resolve themselves within a few hours. If yours persists, look for other symptoms. If they are present, you may want to consider a doctor visit.


  • Dry crackers and chicken noodle soup may help settle your stomach.
  • You can drink water, Gatorade, teas, Ginger Ale, or any fluid with electrolytes or minerals.
  • Try lying down with your feet elevated. This has been scientifically proven to help fight the stomach pain.
  • Drink lemon lime soda. It helps with an upset stomach.


  • Do not hesitate to call your doctor if you are experiencing other symptoms, too.

Article Info

Categories: Conditions and Treatments | Intestinal and Digestive Health