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    Anxiety, Stress, and Stomachaches

    Excitement and stress can cause nausea and vomiting.

    Home Care for Vomiting, Stomachaches, and Nausea

    • Stay hydrated. If stress or over-excitement has caused you or the kids to vomit, it’s important to stay hydrated, but do wait 30 to 60 minutes after vomiting before putting anything in your stomach, says Scott Cohen, MD, FAAP, an attending physician at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and a pediatrician. Then take it very slowly, sipping one teaspoon of fluids at a time. Steer clear of solid foods until it’s been six hours since the last time you vomited.
    • Food and drinks. Many swear that peppermint tea or ginger soothe a nervous stomach or foil nausea. Ginger can be a hard sell for kids though, and the more popular remedy, ginger-ale, usually “isn’t made with real ginger, it’s really liquid candy, and we don’t recommend it,” Tolcher tells WebMD. Chances are good you already know what helps calm stomachache in you or your kids. It could be soup, seltzer, crackers, toast, or some other comfort food.
    • Medications: Some help. Others don’t. Many over-the-counter medications can help you deal with vomiting or one or more of the side effects of a nervous stomach, like nausea, diarrhea, or acidity, including Alka-Seltzer, Emetrol, Mylanta, Pepto-Bismal, Similac, or Tums. To know which medication is most appropriate for your symptom, talk to your doctor. If you’re trying to mellow a stomachache by popping medicines with ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), don’t. Ibuprofen generally won’t help, and can sometimes make a stomachache worse.
    • Avoid strong odors. If your tummy is queasy or you feel like you’re going to vomit, steer clear of strong odors like cooking smells, smoke, and perfumes, they can help tip you from “almost” to “definitely.”
    • Lifestyle changes. Constipation can also be a symptom of stress in kids or adults, “and for that we use things like dietary changes, fiber supplements or laxatives,” says Tolcher. If diarrhea is the problem fiber supplements and probiotics (like those found in yogurt, or in some supplements) might help relieve stress-triggered bowel pain.

    These are just a few ways to get your body and mind back in balance. If anxiety and stress become overwhelming and you’re dealing with the physical pain of that pressure daily, be sure to reach out and get help.

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    Reviewed on August 27, 2009

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