View Full Version : Need help with icky stomach.

07-22-2003, 04:30 PM
I've been having trouble with my stomach lately. It's been especially bad this past week. Since Saturday I haven't had a drop of caffeine, and I haven't been eating anything that I'm not "supposed to". I've also been taking Tagamet, but I'm still feeling like cr*p. Does anyone have any other suggestions?


07-22-2003, 04:37 PM
Poor thing! Try miso soup and ginger tea. Those always help my tummy. Feel better:)

07-22-2003, 04:39 PM
Good to see you around, Chrisi. Sorry you're not feeling well. :(

Is Tagament an antacid? When I have an upset stomach I try to stick to bland food - I think it is called the BRAT diet - Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast(?)

Is anyone else in your family sick or did you notice your symptoms after eating something in particular? If so, I would think about food poisoning of some kind, but if not, maybe not.

Sometimes the hot weather does a number on my tummy too.

Hope you feel better!

Little Bit
07-22-2003, 04:51 PM
I had an icky stomach for a while not long ago, and found that nothing worked very well for me but Pepto Bismol. Yeah, the pink stuff. :eek: :o The Maximum Strength liquid, not the tablets. Regular doses, not totalling more than the daily amounts called for on the side of the bottle. I only took it if symptoms recurred. After a few days, things calmed down, but I felt pretty yucky for a while.

HTH! :) Feel better soon.

Other than that, Ginger Ale is nice. :)

07-22-2003, 05:11 PM
Hope you're feeling better soon.

Now..."icky stomach" doesn't help...:o :D
Are you having too much heart-burn; diarrhea? cramps? NAusea?? vomiting??
Do you have any food intolerances/allergies that you're aware of?
Are you on any new meds?
You said you've taken Tagament...is that something you normally take or new for you? As posted before, are you the only family member who's dealing with this?
Any new stress in your life? Is it above and closer to your belly button-"icky" like (stomach) or lower..below the belly-button (intestinal)??
Finally, are you noticing this is around your period?? Are you tender near your ovary area???

Again, hope you're feeling better soon.

07-22-2003, 05:51 PM
I don't have heartburn at all, or any of the other things you mentioned....I call it "sour stomach", and it is more in my stomach, not intestinal I think. I've had problems with my stomach before, but this is going on longer than before. We have had a lot of stress during the past couple of months, but that sort of reached it's peak right after the 4th of July. (I was having some problems on and off around then). Nobody else in the family has anything, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with my period. No new meds...started the Tagamet on Saturday.

07-22-2003, 06:40 PM
Do you have a sinus infection or seasonal allergies?

DH always complains of "sour stomach" when it's allergy season. It's from the sinus drainage....
maybe trying a decongestant that would dry stuff out (if you dont' have any existing heart issues like high BP or anything like that) may help.

Tums may help with sour stomach.

Hope you feel better :)

07-22-2003, 06:51 PM
I was having a great deal of trouble with my stomach for quite a while. The dr. kept telling me that my ph balance was off and I needed to take sodium bicarbonate tablets (prescription) I kept insisting that I couldn't take them and so he said to take baking soda a couple times a day. You have to find the exact combo to take it with (finally koolaid worked the best) I've gone back to the tablets and I have to admit my stomach is much, much better! I so hate when the doctor is right!:)


07-23-2003, 08:40 AM
I got this in an newsletter email from Dr. Weil. It may be of some help to you:

Tip: Natural Healing for Stomach Aches

Looking for gentler, natural remedies for your stomach pains? Some prescription medications only mask symptoms and do not address the problem. They can also be expensive. If you don't want to take prescription medications for your heartburn, nausea, or upset stomach, try these natural remedies:

Licorice extract DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice). DGL increases the mucous coating of the stomach, making it more resistant to the effects of acid. DGL is available as tablets or powder: Take one to two tablets (or a quarter-teaspoon of the powder) 15 minutes before meals and again at bedtime. Allow the material to dissolve slowly in your mouth and run down your throat.

Pure peppermint tea. This is wonderful for nausea, indigestion, and some cases of heartburn, but don't use it to treat esophageal reflux syndrome.

Chamomile tea. This is excellent for heartburn and indigestion and will not aggravate esophageal reflux.

I strongly suggest looking for the causes of your problems and eliminating them. Excess consumption of stomach irritants like coffee (even decaf), other forms of caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, and smoking are all common culprits. Stress can also be a factor; try breathing exercises to reduce your stress levels.

07-24-2003, 07:30 AM
Not saying that this is the problem, but here is some food for thought for all of you acid reflux/heartburn sufferers reading this?
First of all, the stomach is not something to take casually. It is either good, or bad, and bad can mean nothing, or it can mean bleeding ulcer or cancer, so for stomach problems that recur or are chronic, get them checked out by a doctor. Also, don't follow what I?m about to tell you without the supervision of a trained health care provider. It's stupid to risk it. And, if you take NSAIDs, Vioxx, Celebrex, et al be especially wary. These drugs land over 100,000 people in the hospital annually for GI tract and stomach side effects and almost 10,000 people are thought to die from these side effects annually, so just be very careful!

We deal with a lot of people who've got the stomach diagnosis du jour, whether that's acid reflux, heartburn or whatever. Most of them have had problems for years and either take a prescription, or use daily antacids and over the counter (OTC), medications in addition to a bland and boring diet. What I'm about to tell you has worked, so far, on every patient we've done it with. I'm not claiming 100% success because in health care there is no such thing, but this is an extremely effective protocol and the results speak for themselves. There is some thinking involved with the clinical rationale, and a paradigm shift is in order, so read the whole thing and it'll make sense!

We start by getting a proper diagnosis from their MD. If tests need to be done, they're done. Most of the time these patients are labeled as "heartburn" or "acid reflux" or "GERD" but we want to make sure there are no fresh ulcers and the like. If the patient takes rx drugs like Nexium and its cousins, we talk to the MD about getting them off the meds for a little while. You can always go back on them if this fails. Also, we encourage patients to stop reaching for the TUMS and Rolaids every five minutes and we also spend a few minutes explaining the complete BS that these companies claim their products as calcium supplements. Sure, they have calcium in them, but none is absorbed in your body. In fact the very nature of what an antacid does, neutralize stomach acid, insures that your body will not absorb any of the calcium in the tablets because your body requires an acidic environment to absorb calcium in the first place!

So, the first thing is to find out what foods upset the stomach. In my experience, diets heavy in starches, pasta, bread, grains, sugar are the real culprit. This is a recipe for GERD.

As a chiropractor, I address the nerve supply to the stomach, too. If the brain and stomach cannot communicate because of interference in the signals at the spinal level, nothing will help, so we keep their spines well-adjusted. I have yet to meet a patient with chronic stomach problems that didn't also have terrible problems in the mid thoracic region. Not surprisingly these are the nerves that supply the stomach and the sphincter muscles that keep acid in and control the outflow of food into the GI tract.

So, we attempt to clean up the diet a bit and we keep the spine adjusted to hopefully have a beneficial effect on the nerve supply to and from the stomach. Pretty simple stuff. Then we check for hiatal hernia. There are different types, but essentially what happens is that the hole in the diaphragm for the esophagus to go through to connect to the stomach is "too big" and it allows the stomach to sort of slide up and into it. Some are really bad, most are not. This is a common condition. Gentle manipulation of the stomach and diaphragm can help tone the ligaments and muscles that are dysfunctioning, and for patients who can do it, I actually tell them to chug a couple glasses of water and jump off a chair onto the floor! This will frequently yank the stomach back down into its proper position. Sounds ridiculous but it works! Hiatal hernia can result in all sorts of stomach symptoms in addition to a lot of hiccups and stuff.

Sorry I'm so long-winded. So, the next piece of the puzzle is stomach acid. Here's the paradigm shift and I'll explain the rationale next. Also, you don't have to do all this stuff. I'm describing ideal treatment on an ideal patient. I've had some that do nothing other than get adjusted and take the supplement I'm about to mention and have 100% success, so don't think you have to do all this stuff for success. The more aspects of a problem that can be addressed, though, the greater the chance for success.

Anyway, we use a product made by Standard Process, Inc. called Zypan. Zypan contains hydrochloric acid, an enzyme called pepsin and several pancreatic enzymes. Yes, there is extra acid in this product, and it works like a miracle! Typically we recommend 2 tablets with each meal for no more than three bottles of 90 tablets each. This costs the patient a whopping $33 total and usually they never need Zypan again after it (or just occasionally). No lifetime prescriptions required!

"But wait! The Purple Pill people and the rest of their gang, including my doctor, have been telling me that my problem is caused by too much acid in my stomach, so we need to neutralize it and block acid production! You're crazy!? Maybe so, but my explanation actually makes physiological sense, so read on! The idea that the stomach is "making too much acid" is a great oversimplification. The result is that pharmaceutical companies make trillions of dollars every year on drugs with dangerous side-effects that do nothing to stop the problem. And, you lose.

When you eat your stomach produces hydrochloric acid (HCl) from parietal cells (the little cells that get zapped in the Purple Pill ads...those evil cells!). Contrary to popular belief, this acid isn't to melt everything that hits your stomach, but rather it is required to convert an enzyme. In addition to HCl, your stomach secretes pepsinogen. This enzyme doesn't do a whole lot, but HCl converts pepsinogen to pepsin, a very good proteolytic (eats proteins) enzyme. Some other enzymes are involved, too, but I'm trying to keep this as simple as possible. So, you have acid and enzymes and the goal is for them to start the digestion process and start breaking food down.

When everything is working right (go back to the discussion on hiatal hernia, nerve supply, etc) your stomach will work on the meal for a while then start pushing it down the GI tract. Once that food is out of the stomach the enzymes and HCl stop secreting and you're ready for another round of food a few hours later. So, explain to me why we would want to block the formation of HCl? In fact, because your stomach secretes HCl, it is protected against that type of acid. Otherwise, your stomach would eat itself! Let's look at what happens when your stomach is not working right:

You eat a meal and it hits your stomach. If you do not secrete enough HCl, you will not convert enough pepsinogen into pepsin and you will not digest food fast enough. No wonder people who take prescription acid blockers don't feel too great! They're blocking the rest of what little acid this poor person's stomach can manage to make in the first place!

So, the food sits in the stomach, sort of getting digested at a really slow rate. The stomach is churning, and the food really isn't doing a whole lot, so you get mechanical wear on the stomach lining. This hurts, and if it happens enough, it can wear the protective lining from the stomach and cause an ulcer, which can be harmed by your stomach HCl! Also, while this churning and less-than-great digestion are taking place, this food is sitting in your stomach and literally rotting. The result is gas buildup (burping and farting), regurgitation (acid reflux) and the formation of organic acids. Organic acids are the result of the fermentation/rotting occurring in your poorly functioning stomach. Unlike HCl, your stomach is NOT protected against these organic acids, so you get pain, and the potential for an ulcer.

Antacids and rx drugs do neutralize acid, which is helpful when you're being attacked by a rotting, festering meal in your stomach. But they do not help the problem, and in fact, make it worse because they reduce your stomach's natural acidity. Zypan, and products like it, do exactly the opposite. They have extra acid and more enzymes so they help your stomach learn how to digest food again. This is why Zypan is usually a short-term product. Once your stomach starts working right and you stop screwing it up with these antacid products, it will figure things out for itself with little additional help. So, Zypan reacidifies the stomach, provides extra proteolytic enzymes and helps heal the stomach. You start digesting your food better, and, miraculously, the acid reflux/heartburn is gone. Imagine that!

Now, for patients who have active ulcers we use a product called Okra Pepsin E3. It coats the stomach and protects it, and helps heal the ulcers. We also use a product called Multizyme, which is basically Zypan without the HCl. Once the ulcers are healed, we then start using Zypan and it works beautifully. So, there you have it. Pretty much everything you're told about heartburn et al is an oversimplification which, not altogether coincidentally, results in enormous sales of largely ineffective products. If your doctor calls me a quack when you ask him why he hasn't told you this, please ask him to review Chapter 64 on Secretory Functions of the Alimentary Tract and Chapter 65 on Digestion and Absorption in the Gastrointestinal Tract of Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology (ninth edition). He may even get some continuing education credits for it! Fortunately in this case you can only buy Standard Process products through health care providers. 90% of chiropractors will have Zypan in their office and your MD could always open an account, too. I think some doctors (not me) sell through the internet, too, but again, using these products without a diagnosis and doctor supervision is highly discouraged, so don't take the quick route out. Hope this sheds some light on a very common and altogether misunderstood problem. And, FWIW, Zypan has been sold by SP since 1958, so I think ut has a proven track record!

07-24-2003, 08:50 AM
Originally posted by BlueMoose
INo new meds...started the Tagamet on Saturday.

I'd suggest quitting the tagamet and trying an acid reducer like Pepcid or Zantac. (My credentials: healed ulcer; now on Nexxium supplemented by Pepcid.)

The problem with Tagamet is that you can't take it with a lot of other meds. Pepcid or Zantac, which are newer drugs, are pretty benign in the way they work.

As to your symptoms: you say you have a sour stomach. Is it a sort of gnawing feeling? Or like a feeling that you need to burp but can't? You may have an acid reflux-type condition (it's made worse by stress) and they're easily treatable.

Big question: are you taking anything like Motrin, aspirin, ibuprofen (yeah, I know it's Motrin), advil, alleve, naprosyn? Those suppress your body's defenses against stomach acid and if you are having an acid problem, you shouldn't be taking them. Tylenol.

Do talk with your doctor.

Leisa M
07-24-2003, 09:39 PM
My DH has a sour stomach every now and then. I keep several cans of Srpigt in the fridge. Water just seems to make it worse, not sure why. But the Sprite seems to help with the sour stomach. Maybe the carbonation.

Maybe Doc can explain it for us.

07-25-2003, 04:55 AM
I looked around for an answer to the question and couldn't find it. Sorry! Just thinking it through, though, the mst likely reason Sprite or 7-Up would help soothe your stomach is because of the burping resulting from the carbonation. Burp a few times, gets rid of the mechanical pressure of gas buildup in the stomach, and you feel better. The acid content of the Sprite may have something to do with it, too, but I'm not really sure why or how. Plan saltine crackers are usually a pretty sure way to calm an upset stomach, too. But, again, that Zypan is the best thing I've ever come across for chronic or acute indigestion/acid reflux/GERD/heartburn, inability to tolerate protein in the diet well and for patients who produce lots of gas when they eat (a sure sign of an alkaline bowel). My mantra is that if it works for you and it isn't terribly unhealthy, stick with it!

Leisa M
07-25-2003, 11:35 AM
DH does Sprite and saltine crackers. When he feels better, I fix some Jello and he does soup for a couple of days.

07-26-2003, 06:44 AM
That's funny, because the other night I was just craving a Diet Root Beer that I had in the fridge, so I decided to have it. It really seemed to help my stomach. I have been feeling much better the last 2 days (although I'm still having some caffeine withdrawal headaches!). I've been eating really "safe" foods, and I think I'll keep doing that for at least a few more days. I guess I'll be skipping the pizza that everyone else will be eating tonight.:mad: Bummer!

07-26-2003, 01:19 PM
I know this may sound silly, but if you were a dog and your owner called the vet that I work for, this is what I would tell you:

--If there is no vomiting, switch to a bland diet (for dogs, this is boiled rice and meat, but of I think for people the BRAT diet would do the same ;) )

--If there is diarrhea, do the bland diet and be sure you keep hydrated. Dehydration can make you feel even ickier.

--Stay on the bland diet, eating only small frequent meals instead of a few large ones, until symptoms ease. Then gradually resume your normal eating habits.

--if your stomach problems persist, see your doctor (or vet, as the case may be :D)

I know you're not a dog, and I'm certainly not poking fun, but the same idea applies to everyone. If your stomach is bugging you, chances are it just needs a break to settle down, and bland diet lets it take care of itself. If that doesn't work, something else is probably going on and you should see your doctor. Stress, as noted above, is a common trigger for stomach troubles in humans and animals alike.

07-26-2003, 03:16 PM
Rebecca, I know you're not poking fun:) , and that's just what I've been doing. I have been feeling much better the past couple of days. Thanks!