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.

Supersweet foods, such as those containing refined sugar can lead to spikes in insulin levels which, in turn, can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar.

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.

Dairy products such as milk and cheese top the list of “don’t” foods when it comes to upset stomachs. For one thing, more than half the world’s population is already lactose intolerant, meaning they lack the necessary enzyme to digest dairy products.

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.

Although many people attribute soda’s aggravating qualities to the carbonation, you can really blame citric acid and the preservative sodium benzoate, 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.