What Can I Take for an Upset Stomach?

When an upset stomach hits, it can be frustrating if you don’t know what to do to manage the symptoms. An upset stomach happens to people of all ages, but it doesn’t mean that you need to live with the discomfort. The good news is that there are many natural remedies and medications that can minimize your symptoms and help you feel better as soon as possible.

When the symptoms start to set in, the first question that comes to mind is: what can I take for an upset stomach? You want to alleviate the symptoms so you can return to normal activities.

Symptoms of an Upset Stomach

Most of the time, you will know it right away when an upset stomach starts to set in. The most common symptoms include:

  • Nausea: Do you have the feeling like you need to throw up? Or, maybe the nausea is causing you to lose your appetite and make food unappealing. Nausea can range from mild discomfort to severe nausea that results in vomiting. Not all upset stomachs cause nausea, but if you have nausea, then it is typically associated with an upset stomach.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is another type of upset stomach affecting the lower digestive tract. You might start to feel cramping in the intestinal area, followed by loose bowels. This type of stomach ache might cause you to run to the bathroom repeatedly until the discomfort finally subsides. Depending on the cause, diarrhea might show up quickly and dissipate after the bowels are clear. Or, it can last for a while and require medical intervention to clear up the symptoms.
  • Stomach Pain: Does your upset stomach have you doubled over in pain? You might have a bit of pain that comes and goes or intense pain that makes it difficult to stand up straight. This pain is often associated with other symptoms, such as cramping, discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, and more.
  • Heartburn: If the stomach acid starts to come up the digestive tract, it can result in heartburn and a burning sensation up the esophagus. Even mild forms of heartburn should be treated right away due to the irritation and inflammation that can occur from the stomach acid.

When these symptoms show up, you are desperate to find relief. Not only can the symptoms be so severe that they interfere with daily activities, but a stomach ache could also be a sign of a deeper health issue that needs to be addressed. For example, having an upset stomach might be a symptom of another health condition. Addressing the root cause is the best way to alleviate stomach discomfort once and for all.

Medicines and Natural Remedies for an Upset Stomach

Since an upset stomach can happen anytime, it’s smart to keep over-the-counter medications and different home remedies on hand. These remedies are easily available when the symptoms set in. Some people find early treatment is the best solution to minimize long-term discomfort. For example, if you use these home remedies at the earliest signs of a stomachache, then there’s a better chance that you can limit the condition before it becomes severe.

What medications and natural remedies do you keep on hand for an upset stomach? Here are a few options to consider. One remedy might be sufficient depending on the severity of the upset stomach. Or, there are times when you might need to try several remedies to achieve the relief that you desire.

Pepto Bismol

This pink medication has been around for years and is widely known as an effective remedy for all types of upset stomachs. When you drink Pepto Bismol, it helps by coating the digestive tract to soothe any discomfort you are experiencing.

The good news is that Pepto Bismol is an effective one-size-fits-all medication for a variety of symptoms. It doesn’t matter if you are feeling nauseous or running to the bathroom because of diarrhea; Pepto Bismol can help.

This medication is available for both adults and children. However, if you are planning to use it for a child, then make sure to buy the pediatric medication and always follow the dosage and frequency instructions.


If heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of your upset stomach, it can be helpful to keep Tums on hand. This over-the-counter medication comes in a chewable form, with ingredients that help to neutralize stomach acid.

Tums are popular among people who get an upset stomach after eating certain types of food. For example, do you often get heartburn after eating a spicy dish? Then Tums can be helpful after the meal. Or Tums are commonly used by women who are experiencing nausea and morning sickness.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint is an age-old remedy for soothing an upset stomach. One option is to sip on peppermint tea to minimize your symptoms.

Or, if you want a more powerful result, peppermint oil can be helpful. Never drink the oil unless the product is specifically labeled for human consumption. Otherwise, peppermint oil can be used externally.

For example, you can open the cap and breathe in through your nose to inhale the oil scent. Or, put a few drops in the palms of your hands, then cup the hands over your nose and breathe deeply. Another option is to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Then, gently massage the combination onto your stomach – focusing on the affected areas. This topical application is effective because you smell the oil, and the compounds can be absorbed into the body through the skin.

Heating Pad

If cramping or discomfort continues, consider using a heating pad for symptom management. A little bit of heat can go a long way to reduce symptoms and help you find relief.

Electric heating pads can be plugged into the wall and provide heat within minutes. Or, there are other heating pads that you warm in the microwave or pour in hot water. An electric pad is the most convenient solution if you use a heating pad regularly.

Drink Ginger

Ginger has a strong flavor, with specific compounds that can settle the stomach. Many people find that ginger is effective for settling different types of upset stomachs, including diarrhea andnausea.

You can make homemade ginger tea by boiling shredded pieces of fresh ginger in water. Make sure to strain out the ginger chunks before drinking the tea. Also, you can add a little bit of lemon and/or honey for flavor.

Another option is to buy ginger tea bags that you soak in a mug with hot water. Or, there are pre-made ginger drinks that you can keep on hand to help with upset stomachs, such as Hana Tonic.

When to See a Doctor If You Have Stomach Pains

Home remedies can be effective for managing your symptoms, but there are times when it makes sense to visit a doctor. The information in this article isn’t intended to be medical advice. Always consult a doctor if you suspect diagnosis or treatment is necessary.

Here are a few signs that you should call a doctor for a stomach ache:

  • The presence of a fever
  • Symptoms continue longer than 24 – 48 hours
  • The symptoms are worsening
  • The symptoms are disrupting regular activities at home or work
  • Unexplained weight loss

Always seek emergency care if you have any of these symptoms with your upset stomach:

  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting blood
  • Passing blood in the bowel movements
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Severe tenderness in the abdominal area
  • You are pregnant

Hana Tonic for an Upset Stomach

Hana Tonic is an excellent option fora natural remedy that helps to alleviate stomach discomfort. If you are looking for a way to manage your symptoms and support overall health at the same time, then keep this health shot on hand at all times.