Sour stomach could hamper your quality of life. In this article, I have discussed all the details you need to know about the sour stomach. If you’re suffering from it, grab some cold water, relax, sit comfortably and read this article.
Sour stomach is acute and occurs periodically. It is best described as a range of uncomfortable symptoms related to upper gastrointestinal disturbances such as stomach bloating, nausea regurgitation and excessive belching. The gastroesophageal conditions namely acid reflux and indigestion are the cause of these symptoms.
The other symptoms of a sour stomach include heartburn, stomach ache, bad taste in the mouth, abdominal pain and distension and loud gurgling stomach noises.
How Do We Get Sour Stomach
The common reasons that cause you to suffer from sour stomach may include the following
- Spicy foods
- Excessive consumption of carbonated beverages
- Eating quickly
- Extensive physical activity after eating
- Air swallowing
- Lying flat face down after eating
- Snacking close to bedtime.
- Foods such as citrus, tomato, mint, and onions.
- Being pregnant
- Fatty or greasy foods.
- Consuming too much chocolate.
- Consuming too much alcohol.
- Tight inner garments
- Emotional trauma.
- Medications such as antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Consuming too much caffeine
According to wisegeek.org excessive amounts of hydrochloric acid present in the digestive tract may cause stomach pain. To make the matters worse acid reflux and heartburn accompany the stomach ache. Excessive amounts of acid are due to overactive stomach.
The underactive stomach also causes a sour stomach. It is the shortage of HCL in the digestive chamber. The proteins and fats take too long to digest and remain in the stomach. This action causes discomfort from the fermentation and gas that is created. The symptoms become worse if sugars are trapped inside the stomach.
So how would you distinguish between an overactive or underactive stomach? Because the symptoms are, mostly same for both. If the sour stomach occurs immediately after meals, then it is due to underactive stomach.
If you have an overactive stomach, the discomfort usually begins anywhere from 45 minutes to 5 to 6 hours after the meals or even in the middle of the night. Healthy eating and lifestyle practices may help you overcome the overactive or underactive stomach and ultimately free you from the problem of a sour stomach.
As we age, we tend to secrete less of HCL, so we need to be careful of how we combine foods. Fats and proteins are very hard to digest when eaten along with sugars. Proteins and fats stay in the stomach for up to 4 hours. The carbs are digested in intestines and pass through the stomach in only minutes. However, proteins, fats, and sugars if eaten together stay in the stomach for too long causing gas to form and cause intestinal discomfort.
If you suffer from sour stomach, you should carefully observe your body’s responses to food because your body will let you know when you have exceeded your power of digestion. For example, if you combine eggs and orange juice, you’re mixing in proteins and fruits, and it is a sure formula for digestive discomfort in many people. You have to be more careful with your combinations of food. Simply eating less will be an antidote to your sour stomach. It is always important to eat your food slowly and chew thoroughly.
When should you be alarmed with the frequency of sour stomach?
As we saw earlier, the sour stomach is not recurrent, persistent or constant. It may occur periodically. If you’re suffering from sour stomach often then it may be linked to more serious gastrointestinal conditions. If left untreated it can lead to a host of other complications.
Some serious medical conditions such as
- Lactose intolerance
- Fructose intolerance
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Peptic ulcer
- Stomach cancer
- Hiatus hernia
- Colon cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intestinal Ischemia
- Food poisoning may have chronic or persistent sour stomach as a symptom. We’ll talk briefly about these symptoms.
You can check out the various medical conditions which have the symptoms of bloating, distended stomach, gas, stomach pain and discomfort, typical of a sour stomach here in WebMD Symptom Checker.
When the body cannot digest lactose which is a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products, it is known as lactose intolerance. When lactose moves through the small intestine without being properly digested, it causes belly pain, gas and bloating.
Fructose is sugar naturally found in fruits, vegetables, honey and fruit juices. When your digestive system does not absorb sugar properly, it can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and gas. If you suffer from fructose intolerance, you should limit high fructose foods.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a disorder that commonly affects the large intestine. IBS causes cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, gas, constipation and diarrhea. It does not cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your chance of colorectal cancer.
When the pancreas becomes inflamed, it is called as pancreatitis. The damage happens when the digestive enzymes are activated before they are released into the small intestine and begin attacking the pancreas. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain is some of the symptoms.
It refers to painful sores in the lining of the stomach. The ulcer is the result of an imbalance between the digestive fluids in the stomach and duodenum. These ulcers are also due to an infection by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. The symptoms include bloating, nausea and heartburn.
It begins when cancer cells form in the inner lining of the stomach. They can also grow into a tumor. At the beginning stages, stomach cancer may cause indigestion, heartburn, bloating and nausea. As the tumor grows, you may experience stomach pain, weight loss for no reason, blood in the stool and yellowish eyes and skin.
When a body part pushes into an area where it does not belong, it is called a hernia. The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm. When the stomach bulges up into the chest through hiatus, it is called hiatus hernia. The symptoms include heartburn, acid reflux, dry cough and difficulty swallowing.
It is a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood sugar. The reason may be because insulin production is inadequate or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin or both.
Type 1 diabetes – the body does not produce insulin. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.
Type 2 diabetes- here the body does not produce insulin for proper function. Excessive thirst, hunger, blurry vision and frequent urination especially during the night are the symptoms. Type 2 diabetes and its symptoms will develop slowly.
The gallbladder is a small organ located under the liver. Gallstones are not stones, but they are pieces of solid material that form in the gallbladder. They are two kinds- the cholesterol stones and the pigment stones. The symptoms may include pain in your upper belly and back, nausea, vomiting and other digestive problems.
It is the inflammation and erosion of the lining of the stomach. Gastritis may occur suddenly or gradually. The symptoms include nausea, abdominal bloating, recurrent sour stomach, stomach pain, indigestion and black tarry stools.
It is the cancer of the large intestine. They begin as small, non-cancerous clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. After some time these polyps become colon cancer. Sour stomach, weakness and fatigue, weight loss and abdominal pain are some of the symptoms of colon cancer. The upset stomach caused by colon cancer can feel like gas, bloating and aching.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It primarily includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Inflammatory bowel disease can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis include abdominal pain and bleeding, fatigue, rectal bleeding, rectal pain and inability to defecate in spite of urgency.
Crohn’s disease – it can affect any part of the digestive tract. The tell-tale symptoms of Crohn’s disease include abdominal cramps and pain, persistent diarrhea, urgent need to move bowels, constipation, and rectal bleeding. Only proper testing performed by a doctor can render a diagnosis.
Contamination of food caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or their toxins causes food poisoning. The symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramps and watery diarrhea.
It is the infection of the small intestine caused by a microscopic parasite called Giardia Lamblia. It spreads through contact with infected people. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, bloating and abdominal cramps and excessive gas.
Effective Home Remedies For Sour Stomach
1. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea helps to relieve discomfort caused by lactose intolerance. It relaxes your mind, reduces bloating and neutralizes stomach acid. Chamomile provides relief from pain and digestive issues.
How to prepare: Add two teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers to one cup of hot water. Allow it to steep for 5 minutes and then strain. Drink this herbal tea a few times a day.
2. Slippery elm
The slippery elm is obtained from the red elm tree, and the inner bark is used as a medicine. Slippery elm helps soothe intestinal inflammation and is good for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It can heal irritated digestive tract tissues.
It causes reflux stimulus of nerve endings in the GI tract leading to increased mucus secretion. The mucus protects against ulcers and excess acidity.
How to use: you can prepare a soothing gruel by combining one tsp of slippery elm powder, one tsp sugar and two cups of boiling water. Flavor with cinnamon and mix well. Drink one or two cups twice a day.
3. Anti-inflammatory green drink
You can make this anti-inflammatory green drink similar to a smoothie with lemon juice, ginger, dandelion, cucumber, celery, and kale. It is best suitable to treat pancreatitis. This drink soothes the pancreatic duct and helps in healthy secretion of pancreatic enzymes.
4. Coffee enemas
The caffeine from coffee goes to the liver and causes the liver to produce more bile. The bile contains processed toxins, and it is eliminated via the small intestine.
Coffee enema speeds up detoxification process and reduces the amount of piled up yet to be detoxified substances. Coffee enemas is a useful remedy for pancreatitis, it moves out the toxins and relaxes the pancreas and gall bladder. You can read about the detailed procedure here.
Coconut water and coconut milk have anti-ulcer properties. Coconut is great for people suffering from peptic ulcer. It contains antibacterial qualities and kills the bacteria that causes ulcers.
You can relish a few cups of the coconut water or coconut milk daily. You can eat the kernel of the tender coconut once a week.
Otherwise take one tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning for one week. The coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids which can be easily digested.
Cabbage has good amounts of vitamin C and is highly beneficial for patients with H.pylori infections. Thus cabbage is a great remedy for peptic ulcer. It produces an amino acid that stimulates blood flow to the stomach lining, strengthens it and heals the ulcer.
Take ½ of raw cabbage and two carrots blend them to make juice. Drink a ½ cup of this juice before every meal and at bedtime. Repeat daily for few weeks.
Garlic contains organosulphur compounds like allicin and alliin that inhibit the growth of cancers or tumors lining the stomach. So garlic is a useful herbal remedy for stomach cancer.
Garlic halts the activation of cancer-causing substances, reduces cell proliferation and enhance DNA repair. Recommended dosage for treatment of garlic for stomach cancer is 900mg daily for about a month. If you’re taking, any medications consult your doctor.
8. Green tea
Green tea contains polyphenols EGCG which is most potent in fighting cancer cells. Thus green tea is an effective home remedy to treat stomach cancer. Researchers say that the cancer cells failed to grow or enlarge after division in the presence of EGCG.
Green tea even helps to prevent cancer. You can drink green tea twice daily as a part of healthy diet.
9. Warm water fix
It’s a perfect remedy for a hiatus hernia. After waking up drink a glass of warm water. Stand up and fold your elbows, so your arms touch the chest. Rise up and down on your toes. Lift your arms up and take quick breaths with your mouth open. This process will tighten the diaphragm and close the whole.
Abdominal self-massage reduces the discomforts and symptoms of a hiatus hernia. Lie on your back. Put your fingers just below the breastbone. Apply downward pressure and slowly move towards your belly button. Do it twice daily for 5 minutes in the morning and evening.
11. Bitter gourd
Also known as the bitter melon, it is very helpful in controlling diabetes due to its blood glucose lowering effects. Bitter gourd influences glucose metabolism all over the body.It helps to increase pancreatic insulin secretion and prevents insulin resistance. Drink bitter gourd juice in empty stomach each morning for at least two months to see the results.
12. Mango leaves
The tender mango leaves can be used to treat diabetes. It regulates insulin levels in the blood and improves blood lipid profiles.
Soak 10 to 15 tender mango leaves in a glass of water overnight. In the morning filter the water and drink in empty stomach. Eat ½ tsp of powdered mango leaves two times daily.
13. Apple juice and apple cider vinegar
Apple juice dissolves gall stones when taken with vinegar. The malic acid in apple softens gallstones, and vinegar stops the liver from making cholesterol.
Add 1tbsp vinegar to a glass of apple juice. Drink this once every day.
14. Beetroot, cucumber and carrot juice
Beets strengthens and cleans the gall bladder and is a good remedy for gall stones. It also cleanses colon and blood. Cucumber detoxifies the liver and gall bladder. Carrot juice is high in vitamin C. Take one each of beetroot and cucumber and four carrots. Take the juice and mix it well. Drink twice a day.
15. Carom seeds
They are a natural antacid and is highly beneficial for gastritis. Mix 1 tsp each of carom seeds and dried ginger along with some black salt. Take one tsp of this mixture along with a glass of warm water three times a day.
If you’re suffering from gastritis, yogurt can be a good addition to your diet. The probiotics in yogurt protect your stomach lining from H. pylori bacteria that causes gastritis. Eat 2 cups of plain probiotic yogurt daily until you get relief.
This herb is used for hundreds of ailments in Ayurveda. Research says that Ashwagandha helps in slowing down the growth of cancer cells and inhibits the growth of tumor cells without harming good ones. Ashwagandha herb is ideal for colon cancer. You can mix ½ tsp of ashwagandha powder with warm milk and honey and eat twice daily.
It reduces the inflammation markers that are precursors to colon cancer. Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, so it soothes and heals the digestive tract. It is considered the best home remedy for colon cancer. You can add fresh ginger to your daily cooking or drink ginger tea.
Prebiotics is food for intestinal bacteria and for probiotics (living microorganisms that you may consume). The function of your intestinal bacteria will improve if you add prebiotics to your diet. Prebiotics is a very good home remedy for inflammatory bowel disease. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates found in honey, artichokes, bananas, onions and garlic.
20. Fish oil
Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties and help to reduce Crohn’s symptoms. You can start fish oil supplementation after your doctor’s advice.
21. Oregon grape
The purple berries of the Oregon Grape evergreen shrub have been shown to be very effective in treating a Giardia infection. It consists of an alkaloid called berberine which directly inhibits giardiasis from spreading.
22. Long pepper
Scientifically known as the Piper Longum, long pepper is very effective in eliminating parasites from the digestive tract. Long pepper stimulates immune system which can eliminate protozoans naturally. It is very effective in treating giardiasis. You can steep one tsp of long pepper in hot water for 20 minutes, mix some honey and drink it.
23. Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds are a great home remedy to treat the symptoms of intestinal ischemia. It has powerful carminative properties. You can chew a teaspoon of these seeds for acid reflux and indigestion relief. The seeds can relieve spasms in the gut, control flatulence and relieve nausea. You should visit a doctor immediately if you feel sudden severe abdominal pain.
It has anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The acidic content of lemon kills bacteria that cause food poisoning. You can add a pinch of sugar to a tsp of lemon juice and drink two to three times a day. Sip on warm water with lemon juice to clear your system.
It is an excellent herb to soothe abdominal discomfort caused by food poisoning. It also has antimicrobial properties. You can extract basil juice from a few leaves, add a tsp of honey and drink it several times a day.
26. Fenugreek seeds and yogurt
Fenugreek seeds help treat abdominal discomfort. Yogurt has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It helps fight bacteria causing food poisoning. Take one tsp fenugreek seeds along with one tablespoon of yogurt. The combination gives immediate relief from stomach ache and vomiting.
27. Remedy for fructose intolerance
You should avoid high fructose foods such as juices, grapes, apples, watermelon, asparagus, zucchini and peas. Avoid agave, honey, molasses and coconut sugar. Include foods such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries, green beans and lettuce. You should follow a strict low FODMAP diet.
Research says that licorice works efficiently and prevents stomach ulcers. It helps the stomach to produce more mucus and protects the inner lining. Drink licorice tea for two to three times daily for about a week to get positive results.
Neem leaf extracts improve blood circulation by dilating blood vessels and reduces the need for hypoglycemic drugs. You should use tender leaves of neem for diabetic treatment. Take the neem extract in the morning to quicken the positive results.
Curcumin is an active ingredient present in turmeric which has anticancer properties. It can kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. Curcumin has the best effects on bowel cancer, stomach cancer, and breast cancer cells. You can add turmeric to your curries and dishes. Otherwise, you can take it in a pill form.
If you experience persistent symptoms of sour stomach, you should visit a gastroenterologist to seek medical advice. Sour stomach could be a symptom of any major medical issues. If you’re suffering from sour stomach due to any common reasons listed above, just change your habits. Take proper rest, exercise and eat simple, healthy foods to keep sour stomach at bay.