Stomach pain: where does it come from?

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A sharp, burning, pressing or stabbing pain: the stomach shows in its own way that something is wrong. This is what lies behind stomach pain.

What is stomach pain?

Sometimes it's just a little tug, other times a sharp stab somewhere in the stomach. Usually these aren't signs of a serious illness, and the pain disappears relatively quickly. But this is the stomach's way of showing what is good for you and what is not.

Stomach cramps – what’s happening exactly?

Stomach cramps are actually nothing more than stomach aches occurring one after the other. The cramps interrupt digestion – and the stomach goes on strike. When you think about all the things the stomach has to process, it’s not surprising that this occurs from time to time. In extreme cases, the stomach and small intestine come across suspicious substances, such as too much unhealthy food or alcohol. They then immediately send nerve signals to the «vomiting centre», located in the brain. This causes the person to vomit.

Common causes of stomach pain

  • Stress
  • Eating too much or too fast
  • Spicy or greasy food
  • Food that has spoiled
  • Intolerances
  • Taking medication
  • Smoking and alcohol

Household remedies for stomach pain

  • Drink herbal tea: sage tea, camomile, caraway, fennel, anise and lemon balm tea all soothe the stomach.
  • Eat rice, potatoes or oatmeal soup.
  • Bitter substances stimulate digestion: dandelion, yarrow, vermouth, hops, ginger tea, chicory.
  • Warmth eases cramps: place a hot water bottle on your stomach.

Does schnapps help with stomach pain?

No. Medical specialists from the University Hospital in Zurich examined 20 healthy adults and found that fondue is digested more quickly when tea or water is drunk at the meal. Wine or schnapps, on the other hand, doesn't help digestion. The more alcohol the subjects drank, the more trouble they had digesting. But why do many people feel better when they drink schnapps after a meal? Alcohol is said to relax the stomach muscles and reduce the feeling of fullness. However, this feeling is deceptive, as the digestion process is then delayed.

Consult a doctor in the following cases:

  • The pain lasts for several days.
  • Stomach cramps with accompanying symptoms like vomiting, nausea and stomach burn can be signs of gastritis.
  • You frequently spot blood in your stools.
  • Severe abdominal cramps associated with vomiting may be a sign of food poisoning.

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