Stomach complaints: what can you do?

Stomach complaints are usually related to how you live. So fortunately you can do a lot yourself to reduce your stomach discomfort, such as:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Minimise your alcohol intake.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Try to change what you eat and drink.
  • Exercise more often.
  • Tackle the causes of stress.
  • Adopt a healthier lifestyle.

An examination of the stomach is often not necessary. Medicines are also often unnecessary. Will you be taking stomach medicine? If so, please do this for as short a time as possible.

What are stomach complaints?

With stomach complaints, you may suffer from pain in the top of your stomach, heartburn and belching.

The complaints may come from the stomach itself. But they can also come from the oesophagus or the first piece of intestine after the stomach (the duodenum).

Stomach complaints are common. Almost everyone suffers from heartburn. Or of food or drink that comes up again. For example, after a large meal. There is no harm in that.

If you often have problems with your stomach or heartburn, it can be very annoying. Usually, stomach complaints go away by themselves. Sometimes temporary medication is needed.

Do you suffer from your complaints for longer than 2 or 3 months? Than please book a consult with your regular doctor or a remote doctor at HelloDoc Health.

What do you notice with stomach complaints?

With stomach complaints, you usually have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Pain in the top of your stomach (stomach ache).
  • Heartburn.
  • Pain or a burning sensation behind your breastbone.
  • Acidic food or drink rising up from your stomach into your throat or mouth (belching).

Pain at the top of your stomach may be worse at night. In some people, the pain subsides after eating. In other people, it actually gets worse.

Doctors call heartburn and belching reflux. You may experience it after eating. Or when you bend over or lie down.

You may also have one or more of these symptoms:

  • A bloated feeling.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Feeling full quickly after eating.
  • Pain or burning in your throat.
What causes stomach complaints?

It is not usually clear what causes your stomach complaints. Usually, you do not have an illness and your stomach is not damaged.

Your stomach symptoms can become worse as a result of the following:

  • Smoking
  • Food, such as:
    • Alcohol
    • Eating too much
    • Greasy food
    • Food with a lot of spices
    • Mandarin, orange, lemon (citrus fruits)
    • Onions or leek
    • Chocolate
    • Peppermint
    • Sour drinks, such as orange juice
    • Soft drinks (carbonated drinks)
  • Psychological complaints, such as:
    • Anxiety
    • Gloominess
    • Stress
  • More pressure on your abdomen because of:
    • Being overweight
    • Coughing
    • Not being able to defecate properly (constipation)
    • Pregnancy
  • Diaphragm rupture
    • The muscles of your diaphragm are so far apart that the top of your stomach sticks out slightly above the diaphragm.
  • Medicines, such as:
    • Painkillers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen or diclofenac (NSAIDs)
    • Anti-Bacterial drugs (antibiotics)
    • Medicines to treat depression
    • Medication to treat diabetes (metformin)
    • Medicines to treat high blood pressure (calcium antagonists)
    • Diuretic (spironolactone)
    • Medicines to treat cardiovascular diseases (nitrates)
    • Blood thinners (DOACs).

If you have stomach flu, you will also have symptoms of your stomach, such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Diarrhoea and sometimes fever are also common.

Have you been having stomach complaints or heartburn for more than 2 or 3 months? Then your complaints may be caused by an illness, such as an infection or a stomach ulcer. In that case you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Nutritional advice for stomach complaints

Healthy living can help make stomach complaints less severe. This is important for all stomach complaints. Also if you use or are going to use stomach medicines.

The following are dietary recommendations for stomach complaints:

  • Eat healthily.
  • Eat food with a lot of fibre. Do not eat too much and not too fat.
  • Drink enough: at least 1.5 litres a day. For example, water and tea.
  • Do not eat or drink anything that will make you feel uncomfortable. For example alcohol, peppermint, fatty food, food with a lot of spices, onion, chocolate, acidic drinks or soft drinks. Do not stop using different products at the same time. Try to stop taking one product for a while. This way you will see if your symptoms are reduced.
  • Spread your meals out over the day.
  • Eat three main meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition, eat something small up to 4 times.
  • Or eat a small meal 6 times a day. Some people with stomach complaints feel much better then.
  • Eat calmly and chew well.
  • Take the time to eat slowly and chew well. Good chewing helps your body to extract important substances from food.
  • Do not eat just before going to sleep.
  • Do you suffer from heartburn? Then it is best not to eat just before you go to sleep. You are more likely to suffer from heartburn if you lie down on a full stomach.
Are you suffering from stomach complaints? We are here to help you!

Would you like to discuss your stomach health issue(s) with a doctor? Just book a consultation at HelloDoc Health! Our consults start with € 24.99 per consult.

We are here to help you!