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What are the Best Treatments for Gastrointestinal Pain?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are a number of reasons why pain in the gastrointestinal tract develops. Some of these causes are relatively benign, and can be effectively treated with over the counter medications and dietary changes. Others are more complex and require professional attention. Many of the best treatments for gastrointestinal pain are based on practicing good dietary habits and removing the cause for the initial distress.

Making changes in the diet is one of the best treatments for gastrointestinal pain, regardless of the origin. Many people find that excessive amounts of fatty foods, especially foods that are fried, can cause a great deal of distress in the digestive system. Choosing to exclude fried foods and limit fat intake can often cause issues such as indigestion and acid reflex to fade away completely.

Too much fiber can also cause digestive problems. When this is the case, one of the best treatments for gastrointestinal pain is to cut back on breads and other forms of grains. Keep in mind that the body does need some fiber, so focus on consuming foods that contain soluble fiber, especially if the problem appears to be due to an ongoing situation, such as some type of colitis. The difference should be noticeable in a day or two.

Another of the best treatments for gastrointestinal pain is to cut back on dairy products. In some people, milk and cheese can trigger severe bloating as well as an increased rate of flatulence. Try substituting soy products for milk and other dairy items. Often, this one simple change will make a huge difference in the degree of pain.

Portion size may also be the root cause of the digestive pain. Try consuming smaller meals and avoid the temptation to snack, especially on foods that contain little to no nutrition. Eat slowly, allowing your body time to inform the brain know that enough food has been consumed. Never eat in a hurry, or while anxious or harried, as this simply makes it easier to overeat and develop gas and pain later in the day.

For smokers, one of the best treatments for gastrointestinal pain is to quit smoking. Just as smoking is bad for the lungs and can lead to the development of several disease, the habit can also have an adverse effect on the digestive system. Smoking causes the individual to suck in more air that makes its way into the gastrointestinal tract and causes bloating and discomfort.

Often, there is a need to try different foods and see what seems to trigger episodes of gastrointestinal pain. Some people find they have pain and cramps after consuming raw vegetables, while others report that raw food helps to ease digestive pains. With colon issues and similar problems, there is no ideal diet plan that is guaranteed to be right for every person. Doctors will tell patients to try different foods, and if they cause no distress, enjoy them in moderation. Any food that triggers pain should be excluded from the daily diet.

For ongoing health issues, it is important to seek treatment from a healthcare professional. While diet is always part of the best treatments for gastrointestinal pain, the use of over the counter or prescription medication may be necessary when a permanent condition is the root cause for the discomfort. The dual effort of avoiding some foods while also addressing the health problem with the aid of medication can often bring about a degree of relief that seems almost miraculous.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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