Your stomach is at the very core of your being. If it’s upset to the point where you are feeling actual pain, that’s a problem you want to solve right away. It can truly interfere with the course of your day if you are running in and out of the bathroom, trying desperately to feel better. Maybe you just accept the fact that you have a sensitive stomach, or you might be aware of certain diseases that cause tummy troubles, such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, or irritable bowel syndrome. Those all require special forms of caring for your body to prevent symptoms and flare-ups with the right diet and medication.

Yet, an average person can experience stomach issues on a regular basis if they aren’t careful. There is an old expression about having a “cast-iron stomach”, which means that your stomach can basically handle anything you throw its way with ease. Consider yourself lucky if you have that kind of stomach where you can eat anything you want, including fatty fried foods and ice cream. Those are two common ones that can upset someone’s stomach. So if you aren’t eating those foods and you still get stomach pain, you might be wondering why? Be your own health hero to discover five common causes of an upset tummy that you probably don’t even realize are an issue.

Gum

There are two reasons that gum can sometimes give you a stomachache. One is the fact that if you are chewing gum you are taking in more air than you are used to. That causes air bubbles to build up in the digestive tract giving you gas, which can cause pain.

The other reason is that sugar-free gum can sometimes give you stomach pain due to the artificial sugars in it. Sorbitol is one of the main ingredients that can wreak havoc on your stomach. So check the labels of your gum to find out if that’s what is causing the problem. This is probably for the person who is chewing more than one piece a day. If you repetitively pop sugarless gum into your mouth often during the day, that might be the culprit of your tummy issues. Either quit gum cold turkey to find out or switch to regular gum without artificial sugars. Although your dentist might take issue with that for the health of your teeth.

Get Dr. Nandi's Beat IBS NaturallyMedication Side Effects

A slew of prescribed medication has the very common side effect of stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. Anything from antibiotics to medications given for depression issues can interfere with the proper workings of your stomach. Check the list of common side effects of each medication you are on to find out if that’s the issue. Sometimes with meditation, your body just needs time to adjust to them, but if you are on medications long term that are still causing you problems, you can check with your doctor about how to manage your symptoms or change medications. 

Stress

Alfred Nobel once said, “worry is the stomach’s worst poison.” It’s absolutely true. Stress does a number of the body. If you are experiencing daily stomach aches for seemingly no reason at all, look at your stress level. Are you worked up to the point about all the things you have to do in your day that it’s making you sick? That’s where you have to stop and reassess how you are handling your stress level. Take some time out for yourself each day with some deep breathing exercises. Look into a relaxing yoga class to slow yourself down, or find a new hobby that brings you joy. Taking time out of your busy day to unwind is vital to your sanity. This is especially true even if you work a stressful job full time, and have a family to take care of. You’ll be able to better handle what life throws your way if you think about your own stress level first.

Appendicitis

It’s estimated that 1 in 15 people will have a problem with their appendix during a lifetime. If you have stomach pain that comes on suddenly with pain and pressure on the lower right side of your stomach, then it might be appendicitis. The appendix can become inflamed which causes pain. You might have other symptoms such as high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea which may seem like the common flu. Getting it checked out by a healthcare professional is wise though because most cases require emergency surgery since you don’t want it to rupture.

Constipation

Are your bowel movements regular? Sounds like a personal question, but it can lead to a solution on your stomach pain. Many people don’t even realize that constipation can be a problem. What’s normal for regular bowel movements? Constipation is defined according to the Mayo Clinic as difficulty having bowel movements or fewer than three bathroom trips per week. If you aren’t going at least three times per week, your stomach pain could just be constipation. Up your fiber content by eating lots of fruits and vegetables with whole grain bread, and cereals. Here is a great recipe for Warm Quinoa Salad from Dr. Nandi’s website that is chock full of good filling fiber.

You can also take a fiber supplement, like Metamucil. If you aren’t going hardly at all, you might consider a daily laxative product, like Miralax to get things moving. That type of over the counter medication binds water to your bowel movements, which makes them easier to pass.