by Deirdre Layne November 16, 2013
Conditions Associated With Pain of the Gastrointestinal Tract
Abdominal pain is a non-specific symptom and can be attributed to a number of medical conditions ranging in severity from simple gastritis to stomach cancer. Though diagnosis can be difficult because of the wide range of medical conditions that can cause abdominal pain, it is generally not serious and simple to treat.
The first step in treating stomach pain is determining how long the patient has been suffering from the pain, how severe the pain is, and the specific location of the pain. Knowing which factors increase the severity of pain and which factors help to relieve it can also aid in diagnosis. A few of the most common causes of stomach pain include:
Gastritis is a medical term used to describe inflammation of the stomach. The condition can have a number of causes, such as laxative use or a stomach virus. Gastritis can even be caused by emotional stress and is the most common cause of stomach pain.
- Chronic Conditions of the Digestive System
Conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome can cause recurring episodes of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other disruptions of the digestive tract. If you are experiencing chronic diarrhea or constipation along with gastrointestinal pain, you may be suffering from a chronic condition of the digestive system.
Natural Remedies for Gastrointestinal pain
Apple Cider Vinegar
Long used as a home remedy for pain in the stomach associated with food poisoning, apple cider vinegar can be taken as a general tonic to ameliorate pain in the stomach. Simply add one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to an 8oz glass of water and drink the tonic with each meal.
For quick relief of gastrointestinal pain, take one to two chewable DGL licorice tablets as needed. Licorice also promotes gastrointestinal healing, providing a dual benefit to anyone suffering from poor stomach health.
Continue on below to read inexpensive home remedies like oatmeal and turmeric that have cured our readers from stomach pain! If you have healed your abdominal pain with a home remedy or supplement, please let us know!
ACV for Abdominal Pain
Home Remedy Ingredients
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 6-8 ounces water (optional)
You can drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar straight to halt stomach pain due to food poisoning. For any other stomach pains you want to mix a teaspoon to two tablespoon's worth of ACV in a large glass of water. Drunk with meals, this can be a general tonic for chronic stomach pain.
[YEA] 11/17/2006: Diana from Bemidji, MN: "For over a year my medical doctors have been unable to find a cause or treatment for my severe abdominal pain that had caused me to be unable to work full-time. They then labeled my problem "anxiety." I finally ran into the idea of hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) and the use of apple cider vinegar and digestive enzymes. WOW! I had almost immediate relief! I even love the taste of the vinegar undiluted. I work for a medical clinic and am extremely disappointed in doctors' lack of knowledge in natural remedies and their insistence on labeling me as having stomach pain as a result of anxiety. I'm glad I accidentally came across this remedy. It has saved my life, in my opinion."Replies
02/20/2010: Natalie from Centereach, Ny replies: "hi there
did you have any reflux or had an endiscopy done. i was diagnosed with a small hiatel hernia and some acid reflux. nut the thing is i didnt have these pains till i started taking the ppis, prilosec. protonics, nexium, zantac. only in four months. but i stopped takiing the ppis. cause i was getting bad side effects from all of them i have been off it a month. i feel like my stomach is going crazy but i have this pain in my abdoman left side a little underneath my breast. im getting an mri done this monday to rule out pancreas. what i want to know is how you felt after you took the vinager????"
02/02/2011: Pamm from Birmingham, Alabama replies: "I was in the hospital for 4 days with severe stomach pain under my left breast behind rib cage with burning sensation & bloated stomach worst pain I have ever experienced & they did upper gi and the only thing I was told I had was Gastritis. They put me on Prilosec prescription & at first it helped & alot of air was released out of my stomach almost immediately and it got better but today is 5 days on meds and it stopped working now, so I am back to square one & hurting again. I was told I had high stomach acid in hospital, but now wonder if I still do after taking prilosec, since it stopped working. I know I don't have colitis I don't have any symptoms pointing that direction. I have tried taking apple cider vinegar and its not helping either. I wish everyone luck here & I hope my pain goes away. I am open to any suggestions? Thank you!"
02/03/2011: Deborah R from La Porte, Texas replies: "Have you tried two tsp of ACV with 1/2 tsp of baking soda? I've been taking this for about a month and it has made a huge difference in my digestive tract!"
02/09/2011: Brijorg from New Haven, Ct replies: "Pamm from Birmingham, I think what you want to use is manuka honey. This stuff worked like a miracle for my reflux and is supposed to cure about any GI tract issue.
The way I did it was to apply 1 Teaspoon of the honey to a 1"x1" piece of rice bread, chew well and swallow 20 minutes before eating. The bread will prevent the honey from being absorbed into bloodstream too quickly, will coat the esophagus and GI tract to help protect it from the acid and begin healing. It is supposed to take up to 3-6 months to heal completely, but you can feel it begin to work almost immediately.
My friend thought I was nuts for not wanting to keep using the pills which gave relief (but suppressing symptoms not dealing with the problem) but then led me to eat/drink things I should have been avoiding (drinks with acid, dairy, etc) until balance is restored. I felt 80% better in just 2-3 days. Please, please, please try the manuka, it saved my life."
05/22/2011: Artasian from Seattle, Wa replies: "If despite medical help & Apple Cider Vinegar one doesn't find relief for excessive stomach acid... I found a highly effective ancient yoga procedure which is supposed to work miracles. It's highly effective if done a couple of times a week till u taper it off to once or twice a month. The procedure is very simple and in India one calls it " Kunjal". Any good yoga teacher can teach u the simple technique which is quite simply a warm water stomach wash. Great for ppl who suffer from excess acidity & general detox plus what better than the joys of no side effects!!"
09/26/2011: Pamm from Birmingham, Al replies: "Brijorg, I just now seen your reply, I wish Earth Clinic sent emails to show people who replies to your post, however I am getting the stuff you said to get for your stomach today. Can I order it online? I am experiencing the tightness in stomach & lots of pressure, can't handle it anymore it keeps me up at night. They said Gastritis but Prilosec does not work anymore. I will try your remedy thank you so much!!"
EC: Hi Pamm, we recently added a feature where you will now be notified if someone replies to a post you are watching in your registered member account. Simply log in and click the "watch" icon at the bottom of this thread and you will be asked if you'd like to be notified. Click yes.
02/08/2012: Nuamah from Tema, Tema, ghana replies: "I used to have stomach upset. I can hear a lot of noise and pains in the left side of my stomach. What is that?"
[YEA] 02/09/2006: Adrienne from Chicago, IL: "I got food poisoning on Feb.4th.. I saw this suggestion this morning. I immediately tried the ACV.. Another testament to this product. It took about two hours or so to start working. My abdominal pains seemed to be shifting from all around. I realized that the pain had subsided and has now left.. thank-goodness for this site and this suggestion. I feel much better."Replies
05/01/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "Also if you don't have the ACV you can just drink the water 1/2 hour before eating prepares the body to pour on the acid that breaks down the food, and add a bit of salt to your diet and get similar results... Read the book Your body's many cries for water by Dr. Batmanghelidj.
For gallbladder issues and problems digesting fats, use betafood. For liver issues use coconut oil in your diet. Add magnesium to your diet for muscle health that affects digestion and elimination and add probiotics."
[YEA] 10/06/2006: Lorraine from Half Moon Bay, CA: "I had a "frozen shoulder" and the physical therapy was a bit painful. I was told by the physical therapist, and previously by a chiropractor, that Advil was beneficial to help the inflammation. The chiropractor said that 2400 mg daily was okay, and I got into the habit of taking it 3 pills at a time. One day I started having lingering abdominal cramps and heartburn. I went to a doctor and he said there was a sore on my larynx that looked to be from stomach acid. he put me on Nexium and told me to stop taking Advil. He also gave me a list of foods not to eat (tomato, chocolate etc.) My symptoms got better on this program, but my stomach still seems more sensitive than it used to be."
[YEA] 11/18/2011: Lisa from S. California, Ca, Usa: "I've had ulcers in the past and tried prescription medications that did help, but I don't always want to go to the doctor when they flare up. I have a flare up 1-2x a year.
DGL licorice in chewable form will get rid of stomach pain in around 10 minutes. It's a little hard to get past the taste/texture of the chewables but it is the best thing out there. We're talking about pain that will stop me in my tracks and this stuff works. I take 1-2 chewables at a time and sometimes need to take throughout the day."Replies
11/19/2011: Timh from Louisville, Usa replies: "Lisa, I have been using DGL and sometimes regular Licorice for digestive healing for yrs, but the strength isn't enough. Now I chew 2 tabs DGL and add 1/2 spoon Allantoin dissolved and swallowed. This is necessary only once a day for a few days and you're good for a long while. Manufacturers should include Allantoin to their DGL for that extra needed healing power."
06/27/2013: Karamio from Oakland, Ca, Usa replies: "To TIMH from Louisville - Why on earth would you take Allantoin internally for anything? I think you must mean aloe!!! Allantoin is a chemical compound used in skin care, toothpaste etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allantoin"
06/28/2013: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Karamio: Allantoin is the active ingredient in the herb Comfrey. Allantoin is an epithelial tissue proliferator, that is, it increases the rate at which epithelial cells regenerate. The skin, intestines, and lungs, are made largely of epithelial tissue. Allantoin is not programmed to be effective on only skin tissue, this is why the herb Comfrey is so effective for disorders of involving all epithelial tissue organs like intestines and lungs."
05/07/2013: Harriette from Brighton, CO: "My husband had a massive heart attack last year. He is on many heart meds. He had his gall bladder removed a couple months ago and is having terrible abdominal pain that travels up his chest and esophagus. Doc does not know what it is. Any ideas/cures?"Replies
05/08/2013: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "Hi Harriette - Since your husband no longer has a gallbladder, is it possible he needs bile salts to help with his digestion? They can be found at most health food stores or online.
If the doctor or pharmacist didn't supply any information regarding side effects or contraindications with the prescriptions, perhaps you could check the Internet to see if that is the reason for his stomach distress. My dad had severe stomach problems and it turned out that the statins he had been taking were to blame.
Also, it might be an idea to work with a naturopath (in conjunction with the conventional doctor if you don't feel comfortable just using alternative medicine).
Dr. Stephen Sinatra (cardiologist) has a book that might interest you (most libraries carry it) - Reverse Heart Disease Now. If you read the reviews on Amazon, you will find that it helped a lot of folks.
I'm sure others will have some suggestions for you and your husband. I wish you the best of luck finding the right answer. Take care, Bess"
05/08/2013: Harriette from Brighton, Co replies: "Thank you, Bess. I will ask the cardiologist about bile salts to see if they may interact with any of my husband's meds. My husband is convinced the meds (and possibly the Lipitor or Plavix) is causing these abdominal pains. The question is, how does he take them and improve his quality of life?"
05/08/2013: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "Hi again Harriette - I think your husband might be right. My dad's pains didn't stop until he was off the statins. That was in the 1990s and he is still going strong - he will be 91 this July!
Dr. Sinatra's book might give your husband some insight on why his body is reacting that way. He outlines what medication most people may need (as opposed to the barrage of drugs given out), the type of supplements to take and why doctors today are obsessed with cholesterol.
Another good source for information is mercola.com - if you type statins in his search engine, you will find all sorts of information about muscle pain, etc. linked to statins.
And, of course, our very own Earth Clinic has some great info:
Doctors love to prescribe a whole parcel of drugs in a "one size fits all" manner, hoping that maybe one of the pills will do something eventually. Unfortunately, it's the patient who suffers through the trial and error period while the doctor denies the drugs could have serious consequences.
Be prepared when you visit the cardiologist again. In his book, Dr. Sinatra provides scientific references for those in the medical field. Since he is a cardiologist himself, your doctor may pay heed.
Best of luck Harriette! Take care, Bess"
05/08/2013: Rsw from Uniontown, Oh replies: "There is a Yahoo group called Stopped Our Statins, and they would be able to tell you if these pains are statin related or not. Statin side effects are many and often unrelated, so can be difficult to make the connection. I'm generally not a proponent of statins, but since your husband has had a major heart attack, I believe there may be some benefit to him in continuing with a statin, if only to reduce inflammation. There may also be other things he can do, also. Dr. Ornish's recommendation for meditation has been demonstrated to be beneficial. Make sure he is also taking CoQ10 in the form of Ubiquinol (as opposed to Ubiquinone) when taking a statin, since this important compound is depleted by the statin, but is necessary for the brain and muscles."
05/09/2013: Trudyg from Anon replies: "Statins gave me all sorts of muscle/joint pains. Dr didn't believe me. I stopped taking them, started natural things (exercise, diet, red rice yeast, etc) and haven't looked back. I don't really trust drs anymore."
05/10/2013: Harriette from Brighton, Co replies: "The cardiologist took my husband off Lipitor, Plavix and Digoxin. He stopped them as of yesterday. The abdominal pains are gone! We don't know if it was the Lipitor or which one was wreaking havoc with his gut. All we know is that is feeling the best he has felt in months! Thanks, everyone, for your input and help!"
[YEA] Sara from Houston, Texas: "Break open a vitamin A capsule and apply. I've tried everything. This helps me prevent a full blown outbreak. I get the virus on my nose!"
02/15/2012: Anon from Anon: "Mix 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (not baking powder) into a glass of water, add 1 heaping teaspoon psillium fiber, stir up real good, drink immediately. Then drink another glass of plain water.
On an empty stomach: cover and steep in water 1 teaspoon Chamomile tea and 1 teaspoon Catnip tea together, drink when cool enough, wait an hour, then drink milk/soy milk.
With meals (preferably salad) 2 teaspoon Swedish Bitters mixed into a glass of water, 2 times a day as needed.
Quit drinking soda, coffee, green and black tea, cocoa, don't eat chocolate, gluten (such as in wheat, barley, rhy, somtimes oats), dairy, sugar.
On an empty stomach: mix into hot/warm soy milk 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon clove powder, drink (you can add cinnamon, cocoa powder or coffee too, if you like). Drink lots of water. Eat several fresh oranges. Very strong, very dehydrating, do it when you have the day off. Don't go to bed until much later.
Fast on green juices and fresh fruit. Parsley, cilantro, bok choy, fennel.
Consider hepatitis, IBS, celiac, hernia.
Gluten free oatmeal, 2 tablespoons raw organic coconut oil, 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon. Mix and eat on empty stomach. Drink lots of water.
Dice and lightly cook a large onion in 1 tablespoon safflower oil, it should still have some of the bite to it, eat the entire thing on an empty stomach."Replies
07/10/2013: Wen from Benton, Arkansas replies: "Soy is highly estrogenic as well as having other issues, please look into using another milk such as almond if you can't drink dairy"
[YEA] 07/16/2009: Vicky from Manila, Philippines: "Hi there! I read some of your problem, well, indeed, I have abdominal pain also and it has been aching for seven years and I have undergone several treatment and medicines but still those procedures which is really "costly" didn't work for me. what worst is one of my physicians whom I asked for other opinion adviced me to prevent my favorite foods that is harmful to my stomach system and that I should prevent of having full stomach.I was really on my dilema and eager to find solution for this so I tried to take "oatmeal" an instant one and though I don't really like the taste and texture of it, I drink it every morning with an empty stomach before breakfast. I used it as "hot beverage" in a half glass of hot water, eneough to dissolve the instant oatmeal. You can also try to eat it as porridge but your eating habit will be change because of lightweight food in your stomach so better you take the oatmeal as hot beverage, not thick but just eneought to drink it. Your acidity will also lessen and soon will dissapear plus you'll gain other benefit from it. I don't also prevent taking my antiallergy and avoiding my favorite foods just because of my stomach condition....I hope it somehow help you out there because the only way to cure our illness is to find remedy and it work for me... I am now free from acidity, and stomach pain..."Replies
[WARNING!] 02/12/2012: Skinnythia from Canton, Georgia replies: "You might want to watch the oatmeal. I have had the pinching in the sides, on both sides, high and low, for most of my life. I finally got really tired of it and started questioning my drs. About a year ago. I wanted to make sure there was nothing wrong with me. So much that I had been told through out my life in way of pain had ended up as being major, (Heart area pain ended up being large hole in my heart, being found after stroke at age 40). So I started the quest and didn't let the Drs. say relax. I finally had a colonoscopy to find I had kinks in my colon, and really needed to stop all fiber, and drink the Mi_____x once a day because of how kinked up I was. He was shocked because it was so difficult to do the colonoscopy. My pain was from not emptying properly. I thought I was, but guess I wasn't. Now I don't do it like I'm told to. And the other day, I forgot and for two days ate oatmeal. I ended up writhing in pain on the floor of Hobby Lobby. The pain didn't subside for 10-15 min. My husband, an EMT was so worried, but I had realized what I had done. I went home and started a double dose, for 2 days, and then single dose for 2. I thinks I'll try 1/2 dose every day. It really helps. But do get checked out to make sure it is the problem. And people, take care of yourselves!"
02/13/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Milled Flax Seed is my daily hero for Colon health; it provides a gentle yet strong purge that keeps those inner layers clean. I also use Aloe Vera softgels every other day to purge infection, which from my personal experience, Flax cannot."
12/01/2013: Ecfan99 from Everywhere, Usa, Usa: "Stomach pain with Blood in Stools - What is This?
Hello - I am planning to see a doctor about this, but the last few times I've spoken with doctors about it, they were clueless, so I'd love some thoughts on what I'm dealing with before speaking to the doctor again.
I've been experiencing pain at the bottom of my esophagus that I believe is acid reflux. I've had a few bouts lately where the inflammation/pain spreads to all over my stomach area, and the entire area below breasts and above hips is very painful, even painful to the touch. I've also had some blood in stools after these bouts. A few months ago I had an "attack" where the pain was so bad I ended up in the hospital overnight. They thought it might be my appendix (by the time they poked around my stomach area the pain had spread everywhere, and putting pressure on my appendix made me see stars), but it turned out it wasn't the appendix. The pain was gone by the next day, although I had blood in my stools for an additional day. So they sent me home with no answers and a huge hospital bill. I'd really (really! ) like to avoid that happening again.
I've had these bad attacks about three or four times where the pain was enough to double me over. I believe broccoli triggers the pain, so I have cut that out. Also overindulging in alcohol, so I've cut that out too. These are the things that make me think it's acid reflux. I've been treating them with G******n (antacid) and curcumin, which sometimes help.
Again, I'm not opposed to medical help - I just don't want to be sent home with no answers and I can not afford unnecessary medical tests and bills.
Some background that may/may not be helpful: I eat gluten and soy free, with minimal dairy. I take 50 mg Iodoral a day, with companion supplements. I have PCOS, fibrocystic breasts, and a goiter (hence the iodine). I have a lot of worry and stress in my life. I used to drink a lot of wine but I have cut that out. I'm 45. Thanks for any insight. What other information can I provide that would help?"Replies
12/01/2013: Mike 62 from Denver, Colorado replies: "Ecfan99: I was all messed up at your age. Eventually I learned that cooked regular food does not provide enough nutrition. All you have to do is eat raw organic produce and raw grassfed animal products like hamburger and eggs. Eat 80% carbs, 5% fiber, 10% protein, and 5% oil by weight. I take the concentrates. They are easier and less costly. They are shipped from reputable companies at wholesale prices. The way to get well soon is to take some every hour with 12oz of water. Ferments have the most bioactive nutrients and are pre digested so start with them. The asian market has non gmo red miso and kimchi. They also have caviar. Try raw honey and whole sugars like evaporated cane, date, and palm for carbs. The best veggie is making green smoothies in a blender from organic baby leaves. The best fruit are berries. Whole Foods has pastured eggs, 17 mushroom extract blend from Washington, nondenatured whey, black chia seeds, and colostrum. Watch raw food and superfood videos."
07/14/2013: Thakur from Ktm, Nepal: "i have lower left abdomen pain but when I experience it after 4 hrs more or less its gone by its own or reduce when I intake food. I tried to consult a doctor but they didnt know what is it. They already make an ultrasound for my abdomen but nothing they found.
Please sugesst about this."
01/24/2013: Anonymous from Toronto, Canada: "Hi all, I have a mild pain on the left side of the stomach -abdomen. It is on the left side below the rib and 1 inch above the navel. It is there for more than 2 years. I do have bowel issues, dyspepsia, constipation, diarrea. What can I do the natural way to cure it. Thanks.,"Replies
01/24/2013: Mel from Waterford, Ct replies: "Stomach pain with either constipation or diarrhea over a long period of time. Have you been checked for Celiac Disease or Gluten sensitivity?"
01/26/2013: Anonymous from Toronto, Canada replies: "I don't have celiac disease. I have mild lactose intolerance. I can drink milk a lot, I can eat cheese, But I can't take cream, sourcream, choclate milk bought from store. The stomach pain is slightly on the lower left side. I don't have continuous diarea or constipation. The digestion is not good though. Thanks"
Remedies to Remove a Blockage
02/03/2013: Jenny from London, U.K.: "Hi I am suffer from pain and itch on both my lower bowel inside my stomach. At the moment am doing garlic enema to kill parasite just in case. Because I do get itch on my bottom. Recently the doctor told me I have blockage sigmoid colon. I feel like the pain is like moving toward on my right bowel. Please help me with your advice. I am seeking for help if there is anything you can advise me on alternative matter to remove the blockage."
01/18/2012: Anon from Anon: "Take a teaspoon or two of swedish bitters shortly after you eat."
[YEA] 07/24/2007: Brenda from Klang, Selangor, Malaysia: "I was having abdominal pain about 3 hours after meal for 2 weeks. The pain radiated to upper right abdomen and I felt like bending over when the pain started. My GP sent me for blood test and scan with negative results. After desperately looking for an alternative therapy, i found your web-site & figured out it could be a bug. That evening, I had a teaspoon of turmeric powder, some cinnamon and half teaspoon of baking soda with warm water. The taste was actually quite nice with the cinnamon powder. I thought it was such coincidence that I did not feel any pain for the 1st time in 2 weeks the next day. And I continued with the concoction every evening for 5 days. Amazingly, the pain did not come back at all. To me, this is a miracle. Thank you for this site and to everyone for sharing."Replies
09/20/2011: Megan from Philadelphia, Pa replies: "You probably should be careful, it may be your gallbladder, I had the same pains on and off until one day it was unbearable and I had to get my gallbladder removed that night. Just a warning!"
[YEA] 02/03/2013: Ellen C. from Arlington, Tx replies: "Yea! My 10 year old had a bad stomach ache yesterday. Fleeting pains in different areas. Some sharp and some dull aching pain. She also has a rash that is associated with a viral illness. The rash started about 5 days before the stomach ache. She is extremely picky about tasting things, but I mixed raw, Manuka honey, raw regular honey, a dash of turmeric, a dash of baking soda, and a lot of cinnamon in a tablespoon together. I mixed it in the spoon, itself. I tasted it and it tasted like cinnamon honey. She slowly ate it bit by bit, off of the spoon. In about 10 minutes, she said the pain was much better. Several hours later it got worse again, and she begged for more of the mixture. I made it again, and it helped the pain go away enough for her to sleep. All of her pain was gone this morning. Thank you so much for posting this remedy. My daughter thanks you too!"