One common health problem that affects people of all ages is abdominal pain. The pain can be caused by many conditions. However, the main causes include an infection, abnormal growth, inflammation, obstruction (blockage) and intestinal disorders.
The abdomen is divided into four quadrants: right upper quadrant, left upper quadrant, right lower quadrant and left lower quadrant. It is very important to know the exact location of the pain. This helps narrow down possible causes.
In fact, there can be different causes behind abdominal pain in different areas. For instance, pain in the upper abdomen may relate to the liver, right kidney, portions of the colon, spleen, pancreas or stomach.
Upper left abdominal pain can be due to an enlarged spleen, fecal impaction (hardened stool that can’t be eliminated), injury, kidney infection, heart attack or cancer. On the other hand, upper right abdominal pain can be due to hepatitis, injury, pneumonia or appendicitis.
Upper abdominal pain can be dull, intermittent or sharp, depending upon the cause. If the pain is intense and chronic, immediate medical attention is needed.
Once the cause is known, treatment becomes easier. For mild upper abdominal pain, you can get relief from simple home remedies and lifestyle changes.
Here are the top 10 ways to treat upper abdominal pain.
1. Water Intake
Increasing your fluid intake when suffering from upper abdominal pain due to pneumonia or a kidney infection can help a lot. It will help flush toxins out of your body, keeping it clean and healthy.
Also, proper water intake is important for healthy digestion.
- Drink an ample amount of water daily to keep your body hydrated.
- Also, you can drink lemon water, tender coconut water, and fresh fruit or vegetable juice to help keep you hydrated.
Do not drink caffeinated and alcoholic beverages until your abdominal pain is gone.
2. Hot Compress
A hot compress is another quick and effective remedy for upper abdominal pain. The warmth of the compress will help relax the muscles of your abdomen, thus reducing the pain.
A hot compress is also effective at reducing inflammation.
- Prepare a hot water bottle or warm up a heating pad on a low setting. Wrap it in a small towel and place on the painful area for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat as needed.
- Enjoying a warm bath or shower for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day will also help relieve stomach pain.
Caution: Be careful when using a hot water compress to reduce the risk of burns.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar also helps treat upper abdominal pain. It improves digestion and maintains proper pH levels in the body, which is important for proper functioning of different organs.
Plus, it fights any kind of infection and inflammation.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of warm water.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Drink this solution two times a day until the stomach pain is gone.
4. Castor Oil
Castor oil is an effective home remedy for upper abdominal pain if the cause is an appendicitis. A castor oil pack can help relieve the blockage and reduce inflammation.
It also improves digestion and helps the intestines move normally, which in turn relieves issues in the appendix.
- Fold a large flannel cloth into layers.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of castor oil on it and wrap it in plastic.
- Lie down on an old towel and put the pack on your abdomen.
- Apply heat for 30 to 60 minutes by placing a hot water bottle on top of the plastic.
- Remove the pack, then rinse off any oil with lukewarm water.
- Use this remedy 3 times a week for 2 to 3 months.
Caution: Do not use this remedy if you are menstruating or may be pregnant. When dealing with appendicidis, make sure to also visit you doctor for proper treatment as soon as possible.
Another great home remedy for upper abdominal pain is ginger. Being anti-inflammatory in nature, ginger helps reduce inflammation in the stomach and alleviate a stomachache.
- Sip on warm ginger tea to reduce pain. To make ginger tea, peel and slice a ½ inch-long piece of ginger root. Put the slices in 1 cup of hot water. Cover it and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey if you want, and drink it while it is still warm. You can then chew the ginger slices as well.
- You can also drink ginger ale to get relief from a stomachache.
This warm spice contains the compound curcumin, which helps reduce inflammation that occurs in the stomach and elsewhere. Turmeric stimulates acid production in the stomach and maintains the pH of the stomach, which helps ensure a healthy digestive system.
It also promotes effective digestion and aids in treating digestive issues that can give rise to pain in the abdomen.
- Boil 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 glass of milk or 2 glasses of water. Drink it twice daily.
- You can also take 400 to 600 milligrams of curcumin supplement up to 3 times a day or with each meal. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
Licorice is a powerful herb that can be used to treat a number of stomach conditions, including upper abdominal pain.
It helps increase the mucous coating in the stomach and other parts of the digestive system, protecting the internal tissues from irritation.
Plus, its mild laxative effect plays a key role in regulating bowel movements.
- Add 1 teaspoon of licorice powder to a cup of hot water. Cover, let it steep for 10 minutes and strain it. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day for 1 week.
- You can also take 250 to 500 mg of standardized deglycyrrhizinated licorice 2 or 3 times a day. However, always consult your doctor first.
8. Baking Soda
Baking soda helps restore the pH balance in the body and fight any kind of infection. This can help reduce pain in the abdomen.
It is also effective at reducing stomach pain due to gas and bloating.
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water.
- You can also squeeze the juice of 1 or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in it.
- Mix thoroughly, then drink it.
- If needed, drink it once more after a few hours. However, do not consume baking soda in excess.
Caution: Do not use baking soda if you suffer from any serious digestive condition or high blood pressure.
For mild upper abdominal pain, fennel is very effective. Fennel seeds have carminative, diuretic, pain-reducing and antimicrobial properties that can help fight the cause behind the pain.
The seeds can provide relief from other indigestion symptoms like gas and bloating, too.
- Add 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds to a cup of hot water, and let it steep for 8 to 10 minutes. Strain it. Add a little raw honey and drink it slowly. Drink 2 to 3 cups of fennel tea daily.
- Alternatively, you can chew 1 to 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds after a meal.
Peppermint has a calming effect on the whole body, including your stomach.
The menthol in it works as a natural analgesic and it has an antispasmodic effect on the muscles, which in turn reduces a stomachache. Plus, peppermint improves the digestion process.
- Make peppermint tea by adding 1 tablespoon of fresh peppermint leaves to a cup of hot water and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and add some raw honey. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times daily for a few weeks.
- You can also simply chew some fresh peppermint leaves.
Caution: Do not take peppermint if you are suffering from heartburn.
- Eat probiotic foods like yogurt to help promote growth of good bacteria in your colon and normalize digestion.
- When suffering from any kind of stomach problem, eat bland foods like rice, potatoes and toast until you feel better.
- Avoid constipation by practicing healthy bowel habits and drinking adequate amount of water daily.
- Do not drink carbonated drinks.
- Avoid potentially irritating foods that are spicy, acidic, fried or fatty.
- Do not drink alcohol, as it can irritate the mucous lining of your stomach.
- Adopt healthy eating habits by eating slowly and not overeating.
- Eat smaller meals more often to help ease the effects of stomach acid.