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Stomach troubles with no clear cause: Here’s what you can do
Your stomach doesn’t feel good. It’s not heartburn, but it’s related to eating. Sometimes the discomfort begins during a meal, sometimes about half an hour later. You feel bloated and full or have a burning pain. You’re nauseated, and you might even vomit. You might call it an "upset stomach" or "indigestion." Doctors call it dyspepsia. When common tests can’t identify a cause, the problem is said to be functional dyspepsia. When there is no clear medical solution, diet, exercise habits, adequate sleep, and stress reduction can help.
- Avoid foods that trigger symptoms. Common culprits are caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, and spicy, acidic, or fatty foods.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals so your stomach does not distend and can empty quickly.
- Chew your food slowly and completely.
- Avoid activities that result in swallowing excess air, such eating quickly, chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages, and smoking.
- Don’t lie down within two hours of eating.
- Keep your weight under control.
- Use stress reduction techniques, including relaxation therapies.
- Exercise. In addition to being good for your overall health, it’s a proven stress reducer.
- Try cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Get enough rest.
- Go to bed and get up at the same times each day.
- Avoid caffeine after noon.
- Perform aerobic exercise three to five times a week for 20 to 40 minutes per session.
- Don’t exercise immediately after eating.
For more on the connection between brain health and gut health, read The Sensitive Gut, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
Image: © skynesher | GettyImages
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No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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