What are Some Causes of an Upset Stomach?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
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  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2019
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The term, upset stomach, requires some definition. For some, this means an uncomfortably full feeling, and perhaps a small amount of queasiness. Others use the term to describe painful tummies with diarrhea, vomiting or flatulence. Another definition is acid indigestion, which can cause heartburn. Due to the vast number of ways that upset stomach may be perceived and described, it’s difficult to identify all causes. Thus, there many things that can result in nausea, which people may wish to consider.

Mildly upset tummies are most often caused by eating too much and usually too quickly. Most people will find relief for this condition a few hours after it occurs. Using an antacid might help aid indigestion associated with this. However, as soon as the stomach has time to process and digest, pain or discomfort tends to go away.

When nausea is accompanied with diarrhea or vomiting, common causes include mild to severe cases of food poisoning and viruses. If vomiting or diarrhea doesn’t subside in a day or so, and if it’s accompanied by fever, people should see a doctor. Food poisoning cases can require antibiotics, and dehydration is a concern when diarrhea or vomiting won’t stop. Some people suffer from chronic diarrhea and may need to investigate if they have conditions like parasitic infections, spastic colon, or irritable bowel syndrome.


There are medications that may cause chronic stomach pain or upset. The list of these is extensive. If taking new medications look to side effect lists to see if an upset stomach is a possible cause. When this becomes difficult to handle, people may want to see if they can switch to another medication with fewer side effects.

If a sick stomach is described as severe stomach pain, and perhaps nausea, this can suggest more serious conditions. Some people in the midst of a heart attack will feel intense abdominal pain. What feels like very bad heartburn can also be a heart attack. Other conditions that might create stomach pain include mononucleosis, appendicitis and pancreatitis. If a person vomits blood or passes stools that are bloody or black, this is a matter that deserves a doctor’s care, especially if extreme stomach pain is present.

Chronic (ongoing) upset stomach may be the result of numerous conditions. Sometimes people with extreme food allergies, such as wheat, may suffer from stomach pains every time they consume wheat. Crohn’s disease may cause chronic pain, as can pelvic inflammatory disease and certain forms of cancer. Gastro-intestinal reflux disease may create a fairly constant heartburn state, and people who have ulcers may also feel that the stomach is always in pain.

If stomach pain doesn’t subside, check with a doctor. There are many ways to determine the causes of upset stomach and many treatments that can help people find relief. As mentioned though, usually sore stomach especially after consumption of a large meal is merely the result of overeating.


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Post 3

Mutsy-I used to have that problem, but I eat smaller meals now and that seemed to do the trick.

Now I only get upset stomach symptoms when I am nervous and I get a little dizziness upset stomach and my hands feel clammy as well.

This is really a stress upset stomach and sometimes the stress also gives me an upset stomach constipation problem that I can only cure by drinking more water and eating more fiber.

I know that a canine upset stomach is often due to ingesting grass or killing lizards. For some reason, every time my sister’s dog does this, he starts to vomit.

A dog’s upset stomach really involves special care and a vet should check out the animal. Upset stomach diarrhea an an upset stomach vomiting are really the major ways that an upset stomach manifests itself both in humans and in animals.

Post 2

Bhutan-I do that too. What I hate is when I get indigestion upset stomach.

I hate the acid reflux that I get and normally that happens when I eat foods that are too rich and high in fat, or I eat too fast.

I also try to avoid foods with heavy sauces especially later in the evening because that is when my tendency to have acid reflux along with an upset stomach.

Also, if you have this problem, it is best to try to lose a little bit of weight because being overweight will intensify the symptoms and have them occur more frequently.

This is something that you have to be careful with because it can

eventually burn the lining of your stomach and that can cause throat, esophageal, or stomach cancer.

You can treat this condition with Nexium, but it is best to alter your diet and lose weight. I recently lost 10 pounds and the incidents of indigestion and acid reflux has been reduced by about 75% without any medication.

Post 1

Many things can cause upset stomach symptoms. Sometimes an upset stomach causes are a result of stress and anxiety.

Here the physical pain that is felt in the abdominal area is due to stress.

It may also cause vomiting in severe cases, but usually when a person has an upset stomach and it has a different cause.

It could be the stomach flu or food poisoning that caused the vomiting. When this happens special care is necessary in order to heal. Eating a soft foods diet is required in this condition because the intestinal walls need time to heal.

Drinking clear broth soup, Jell-O, and mash potatoes seemed to be good choices for those suffering

from an upset diarrhea or vomiting.

With diarrhea, the body may become dehydrated so it is important to restore the electrolytes lost by drinking a lot of water and drinks like Gatorade.

They also have Popsicle versions of the drink so that you don’t get bored. That is what I give my children when they are sick.

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