9 Foods to Avoid When Your Tummy Hurts
How to settle your stomach
If you're in pain or have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms, you'd do anything to feel better.
Luckily most stomach bugs are short-lived. However, choosing the wrong kind of food when your appetite starts to perk up again may prolong the misery.
Here are 9 foods you should avoid while recovering from an upset stomach.
Although this might not directly affect your stomach, it could make you feel clammy and shaky, which isn't going to improve your overall state, says Robynne Chutkan, MD, assistant professor in the division of gastroenterology at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC.
But even if you're not lactose intolerant, a viral or bacterial infection can affect lactase (the lactose-digesting enzyme) and could cause you to temporarily or even permanently lose your ability to digest lactose, says Dr. Chutkan.
"The chemicals can be hard on the stomach," she says. But the carbonation can also bother some people.
"It can give you a full feeling and if you have an upset stomach and you're burping a lot and feeling full, that can be a problem," she explains.
Chocolate and caffeine
Caffeine can also loosen stools, which isn't good if you already have diarrhea. And chocolate that contains milk products or nuts could be difficult to digest for those who are lactose-intolerant or allergic.
That's because fatty foods activate chemical receptors in the stomach in such a way as to slow down emptying of the stomach, making you feel bloated, explains Dr. Chutkan.
Other high-fat foods such as nuts will make you feel full. That may be good if you're trying to lose weight, but not so great if you're feeling awful.
Foods high in acid
This applies to citrusy fruit juices as well. So while apple juice would probably be fine, orange juice isn't the best choice.
Other fruits tend to be fine, she adds.
If you're not used to these foods, this may not be the time to start. But also pay attention to howand with whatthe spices are cooked. "Spices are associated with cooking in oil, so fat is probably more a reason [for upset stomach] than the spice itself," says Amit Bhan, MD, service chief of gastroenterology at Henry Ford Health System, in West Bloomfield, Mich.
It contains chemicals that are hard to metabolize, irritate the stomach lining, and may be a particular problem for those who already have difficulties with their liver, says Dr. Chutkan.
People with liver problems shouldn't be drinking large amounts of alcohol and anyone with stomach problems would be advised to stay away as well.
So while a can of spaghetti might look attractive because it's sitting right there in your pantry, you may want to leave it alone for now. (The tomato sauce would probably be bad for your stomach anyway.)