If you have an autoimmune disease or invisible illness, I’d put money on it that you also have waves of stomach pain and digestive issues. I, literally, feel your pain.
In fact, mine have gotten so bad over the years, I’ve thought I had stomach ulcers, tumors, cancer or more autoimmune issues that attack the esophagus.
But, for most of us, digestive distress, cramps, constipation, and stomach pain are just collateral damage from other issues, like diet, stress, medication, and our old friend: inflammation.
The good news is: for those of us that are fortunate enough to not be dealing with some kind of serious health issue, we can usually find ways to treat it at home holistically.
The great news about these remedies is they won’t hurt y0u if they don’t help you, you can use them whenever you want, and over time, they might even help your body heal itself.
What causes stomach pain?
As a person with two autoimmune diseases, I’ve learned a lot over the last 8 years about inflammation, gut health, leaky gut and food intolerances.
For most of us, our random stomach pain, indigestion and cramps are simply a reaction to our diet, health issues, lack of exercise and stress. Stress is really a big one, guys.
If this is the case, usually one of these natural remedies is going to help you out, usually by flushing out anything that could be sitting in there causing issues, or decreasing inflammation in your gut from diet/stress, and helping your lymphatic system to do its job of keeping everything flowing.
For those of us with autoimmune issues – we are also looking at our bodies sluggish lymphatic system, so toxins and other things are allowed to just sit around, chillin’, causing all kinds of drama, whereas someone else without inflammation/autoimmune, would have already kicked them to the curb.
That means that these remedies are a very low-risk scenario with pretty good probability that you’ll get some relief without pumping more NSAIDS or chemicals into your body. So, I call that a win.
On that note, I am not a doctor. I’m just a normal person who battles everyday for my health and I’ve tried a lot of things over the years and shared that with friends and family who struggle with their own health issues, like thyroid issues, fibromyalgia, arthritis, lupus, and much more. I share this in the hopes that you can try some new things and find what works for you. But, you are always your own best advocate. Stop anything that hurts or doesn’t help you and never hesitate to reach out to your trusted medical team for advice.
5 Natural Remedies for Stomach & Abdominal Pain:
*Affiliate links are used below, which means at no cost to you, I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through my links!
1. Castor Oil Packs for Constipation:
I’m a big fan of castor oil packs. They are so easy, relaxing, affordable and do an incredible job of helping the body detox anything that is stagnant.
Castor oil works by stimulating your lymph and liver function, which allows the body to speed up the process of removing toxins from your tissues. Lymphatic congestion is a key factor in inflammation and autoimmune disease. So, if you are having chronic stomach pain or digestive issues, you could be struggling with a sluggish lymphatic system where toxins are building up and making you sick.
Castor oil packs can be placed on different areas of the body, such as over the thyroid, over the liver, over the mid-section, etc., to target particular areas of the body, and the many benefits include:
- Shrinking uterine fibroids
- Shrinking and reducing ovarian cysts
- Reducing symptoms of PCOS
- Relaxing the digestive system and improving constipation
- Reducing gallbladder inflammation/stones
- Improving lymphatic drainage
- Reducing gut inflammation
- Reducing headaches and migraines
- Shrinking cysts in breast tissue
- Detoxifying the liver
- Shrinking thyroid cysts and nodules
- Reducing painful menstrual cramps
- Shortening periods and regulating cycles
Basically, it’s like a super cleanse for your body – and encourages your body to do a better job of what it should be doing already. But, if you’re sick or struggling with health issues, thats a big heads up that your body needs help improving these basic functions.
Yowza! That means they are your best friend when it comes to constipation, stomach issues, even PMS symptoms (just don’t use them when you’re actually on your period).
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use them for stomach pain:
- Soak a small piece of fabric or flannel in castor oil so it’s damp, but not dripping. Do this over a sink or area where you can’t stain anything.
- Then, lay on an old towel, wearing old clothes (CASTOR OIL STAINS) and place the fabric piece over your stomach/abdominal area.
- Cover it with another old flannel, thin towel or a shirt you don’t care about.
- Place a heating pad on top.
- Relax for up to 30 minutes or longer.
- If possible, elevate your lower legs.
That’s it. Seriously. So easy. If you’re feeling lazy, just lay on the old towel, gently rub some of the castor oil all around where you stomach/digestive system is, lay the older towel on top and put the heating pad on top. This helps you skip a couple of steps and still get the same benefits.
Some directions online will tell you to wrap your stomach in plastic wrap after putting on the oil. Please do not do this, friends. Plastic is a known endocrine disruptor and it will leach into your largest organ: your skin.
2. Drink a lot more water. Way more.
I’ve just started a new thing where I drink a gallon of water a day. A gallon. A whole gallon. I bought a huge gallon sized jug on Amazon and I cradle it like a baby and carry it around all day.
It’s not easy, friends, but let me tell you why I’m doing it: most of us with sluggish digestive system, leaky gut, autoimmune issues, chronic pain, etc., are also severely dehydrated and we don’t even know it. I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, so I need even more water than the average person.
If you’re not feeling well, you need more water. Our bodies are up to 60% water, so by putting in more water, we are giving our bodies exactly what they understand. It’s giving like to like, you feel me?
Now, drink at a reasonable pace. Too much too fast can burden your kidneys and your bladder. But, if you plan to drink a cup or two every two hours, you’re in good shape. This will really help cleanse out your whole stomach and digestive system, flushing out anything sitting in there, like washing a car, and help your body establish healthier gut flora.
Also, your skin will glow and it’ll help lubricate your joints, which is a must for those of us with chronic pain and joint pain. Yup, I’m in that club, too.
For the gallon-sized water bottle I’m obsessed with now, click here.
3. Drink anti-inflammatory smoothies:
When my stomach starts hurting, I start drinking smoothies. I have a couple of tried and true recipes I hit up first and start replacing meals with them. The rest of my meals I stick to clean, healthy foods, avoid glutens and say no to dairy like the plague.
Most of our stomach pain issues are related to diet and inflammatory foods like: bread, dairy, salt, sugar, too much caffeine, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, and greasy foods. I know, it’s all the fun stuff.
But, if you’re in pain, it is your body telling you that something is not right. Time to give the body what it needs. Here’s my favorite turmeric smoothie recipe:
- 1 Cup Carrot Juice
- 1 Cup Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened or Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 1 TBSP Raw Honey
- 1/4 TSP Ground Ginger
- 1/4 TSP Ground Turmeric**
- 1 TBSP hemp seeds or steel cut oats
- Scoop of protein powder
- Scoop of collagen (I use this one and I wrote a whole post about the benefits here)
I also take turmeric supplements. I talk all about the supplements I take in this post.
4. Reduce your stomach acid:
You would not believe how many stomach issues are from just having too much acid in your stomach. We need a certain amount to break down food, etc., but thanks to the modern diet, most of us have way too much and this leads to lots of stomach pain, stomach ulcers, sour stomachs, GERD, swelling in the esophagus, inflammation in the gut, inflammation in the esophagus and throat and more.
It’s time to REDUCE YOUR ACID, friends! There are a few ways that I have done this in my own life, particularly after stomach acid pain was so bad, I thought I had stomach cancer and had to have an endoscopy (not fun) to see what the heck was going on in there. I woke up mid-procedure and started choking. I do not recommend this method, friends. Especially when the results said – oops, just way too much acid. And, the doctor told me that this is overwhelmingly true for most of the patients he sees for that procedure. Crazy.
- GET OFF DAIRY. Most of us are intolerant. Nobody needs it even if we aren’t. If you have an autoimmune disease, you REALLY don’t need it. Make easy swaps and you won’t even miss it. Oatmilk is delicious in coffee and smoothies. Almondmilk is great in cereals and baking. Easy, peasy, friends.
- Stop drinking hot beverages. Hot coffee, in particular, is the real culprit here. Start drinking iced coffee. It’s much easier than you think. You can buy pre-made iced coffees at the store and a splash of creamer and you’re good to go. Trust – hot coffee, hot beverages, could be what’s causing your stomach pain by creating too much acid.
- Reduce caffeine. Caffeine is a huge cuprit. I am super attached to my coffee, so this is not something I’ll give up entirely, but I do try to reduce it to just one a day now. This does help.
- Do a food elimination diet. Maybe you notice more stomach pain after eating certain foods. Remove those foods for a couple weeks and see what happens. For me, I was having a reaction to plain chocolate and also tomato sauce – in anything. So, now I know that if I have those things, I need to drink a ton of water to keep the acid from going crazy or I just don’t eat them, because I don’t want to be in pain.
- Reduce or cut gluten. Gluten is not your friend. Gluten creates a lot of inflammation. Reduce gluten as much as you can and your gut/stomach will thank you.
- Use acid blockers. There are actually acid blocker products that can help reduce acid creation. For example, read this post on how to get lower acid coffee. Or, check out these acid reducing products you can add to things like hot coffee. People swear by them.
Bottom line: reduce acid and you will reduce stomach issues. Since removing dairy completely – including whey protein which is a super concentrated form of milk and switching to collagen and pea based proteins – I have seen a major improvement. When I forget and start drinking hot drinks or having more dairy, I feel it all come back.
5. Get some gentle movement:
There are two key reasons to get gentle movement going when you’re in pain. First, moving helps increase your adrenaline, which helps your body deal with pain. Second, gentle movement helps loosen everything up and gets the blood flowing.
Both of these things are going to be great for a body that is in pain, whether that pain is in the stomach, the abdomen, the back, the legs, the arms, etc.
Gentle movement should not hurt or strain your body in any way. My favorite ways to move are pilates, yoga and walking.
6. Drink celery juice:
I started drinking celery juice every morning, a la the Medical Medium’s advice, and thought I’d only do it for a week or so to get a good post out of it.
Well, joke is on me, because I’m still doing it a year later – maybe longer at this point. I’m not 100%, but let me tell you, my stomach lets me know when I skip it.
It really does get everything moving, and if you’re in pain and feel like everything inside of you is just stagnant, then celery juice is your new BFF.
It’s easy, cheap and quick. Not bad for a natural remedy. Here’s how I do it:
- Juice an entire stalk of celery. It’ll make one full 16oz. cup of celery juice.
- Drink 8oz. on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning and wait 30 minutes before drinking or eating anything else.
- Put the other half in the fridge for the next day.
- After 30 minutes, continue with your normal routine.
- You should see your digestion system move in the next hour or so.
No, it does not taste great. Yes, it is worth it. Try it for a week and see how you feel. I’ve had friends tell me it’s cleared up acne, helped with rashes, reduced flares, and all sorts of other things.
7. Up your magnesium:
I’m big, big into magnesium. Magnesium is a powerful regulator and responsible for over 600 reactions in our body. Here is just a short list of ways magnesium helps:
- Every cell in the body needs magnesium to function
- Helps neutralize stomach acid and moves stools through the intestine
- Helps with DNA and RNA
- Helps with muscles – movements, contractions, etc.
- Helps nervous system regulation – which is why magnesium can be used to help fight anxiety, depression, etc.
- Helps with Type 2 Diabetes
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Helps prevent migraines
- Helps with insulin resistance
- Helps with PMS symptoms
Magnesium is EXCELLENT for digestion and getting things moving, too. If you have stomach pain, something is not jiving with your digestive system and it’s time to get that thing out. Magnesium gets the job done.
You can eat a lot of foods with magnesium, or add a powder to water or a drink, use a lotion or take it in pill form. You can even use it in a detox bath.
I take two of these pills every night before bed. They help me sleep, reduce anxiety, decrease muscle spasms and cramps and help with stomach pain.
8. Start dry brushing:
Who knew a little 2-minute ritual right before a shower could be so invigorating, exfoliating and also help get the blood flowing throughout the body?
If you’ve ever been curious about acupuncture (did it, loved it, would do it again), the idea is to release any blockages in your blood flow. You can help your body do this by simply dry brushing your skin every morning.
I have a set of dry brushes I keep on little hooks right by my shower and I don’t do it every day, but I’m always happy when I do.
Dry brushing is so easy. You just move in small circular motions moving up your body towards your heart. Start at the feet and move up. Start at the fingers and hands on the arms and move in. Use a smaller brush on your face. Move everything in towards the heart. Feels great.
There you have it, friends. 8 Super easy, at-home remedies that you can use to help increase circulation, remove blockages in the body, improve digestion and help your body heal from stomach pain, constipation and digestive issues.
Have you tried any of these before? Let me know in the comments below!
To our health,