Hi! You came here after Googling, “Why does my stomach hurt?” To the rescue I come….
While finalizing the details and material for the 30-Day Gut Reset, the editor brought up an awesome point:
I wonder if we are being too presumptuous that everyone taking this course is going to make an appointment to see an alternative functional doc or western doc, or both?
Should we include some information that says when a doc is recommended and what scenarios are probably OK to skip this step? (Like for me for example, no gut issues but I might be interested in a gut reset especially after an indulgent holiday, just for general health).
So good, and so true.
In fact, it brought me back to the very beginning of my journey. It brought me to the time when I was thinking, “Why does my stomach hurt?” (Okay, okay, I’m dating myself here, but when that was there was no Googling of it. But I sure as heck was thinking it, daily.)
Anyways, at that time, I would have never taken a course like this because I would think, “Nope. Not me. I don’t have IBS and/or IBD.”
And yet, if you want the truth, a course like the 30-Day Gut Reset will likely most benefit those of you wondering, “Why does my stomach hurt?”
Had I taken a course like this while exploring my own gut and what might be the problem while also learning more about how to cook appropriately, I might have saved myself years of misery.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt?
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If you’re simply googling, “Why does my stomach hurt,” there is a good chance you don’t need to do all the things yet.
If this stomach grumpiness has been going on for a couple weeks, though, you’re ready to start investigating.
Listen, you might find that it’s the beginning of progression towards something more serious like Crohn’s or Colitis.
However, you might also find that it’s nothing serious and instead just a grumpy stomach because you’ve been living life in some sort of fast lane.
To that end, let me share some general reasons your stomach might hurt that would only require an initial “gut reset.”
8 Reasons Your Stomach Might Hurt
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- The holiday indulgence; Western diet in general when it’s not the holiday season. In other words, foods that are highly inflammatory.
- Overeating. Simply eating too much. Stuffing yourself daily until you can hardly breathe or stay awake after meals.
- Too much holiday stress.
- You had the stomach flu.
- Daily alcohol consumption.
- Too much exercise; too little food.
- A round of antibiotics and/or any length of time using NSAID’s.
Those top 7 reasons are great reasons for resetting your gut.
Where to Start if My Stomach Hurts?
Okay, so you have determined that you fall into one of the above 8 categories (likely more than one). But where do you go from there?
How would you start a reset?
Here are the exact 10 things I would do.
10 Places to Start if Your Stomach Hurts
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Give it a full three days
Three days, or 72 hours, allows most things to filter through the body. Your microbiome has the ability to quickly recover from anything and everything thrown at it. This resilience means changes within months, weeks, or even days. In fact, the average lifespan of a bacterium in your microbiome is 20 minutes.
Remove processed foods
“Processed” is a loaded term these days. What I mean by it is if it comes in a package and contains more than 3-5 ingredients and/or ingredients you cannot pronounce, don’t eat it. I’m not going to say anything about things to remove from your diet beyond this. Remember, these are my thoughts for the first three days. If this is just a matter of your stomach being “off,” then please do not start taking away every single food category and item. That will only hurt you in the long run.
Include a small amount of certain foods
These foods would be probiotics, prebiotics, and fibrous foods. Notice I said, “small amount.” After dealing with an upset stomach for any random reason, you don’t want to overload the digestive system either. Go slow and go. Choose a few, add them in, record how you feel, and continue on.
Keep a journal
It’s just 3 days, and you might have several “ah-ha” moments that have you excited to either keep going, see a doctor, and/or discover something you never knew. I have a free resource for how to make your own gut healing journal or you can grab the one I already have done and ready for you today via e-journal. The best one, of course, is my hard-cover printed journal.
Cut the alcohol
Sorry, but if that’s what’s making you miserable, cut it for 3 days to see how you feel. While you’re at it, if you smoke, try massively cutting down during the 3 days (believe me, I know you most likely can’t cut that on a dime). Listen, I’m definitely not over here judging; just being very real.
Wean off coffee
If you’re used to drinking a ton of coffee, I would not recommend cutting cold turkey. I have a Weaning Off Coffee Challenge HERE that you can join. It’s free, and it will give you many ideas for how to go about it on your own.
Make sure you’re drinking enough water. The very best way to keep things moving through your system is by staying properly hydrated. Water is much more essential to the body than food; up to 60% of the human adult body is water. According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry, “the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.” Your pee should be the color of pale-ish straw; definitely not bright yellow.
Working out too much or too little? For 3 days meet in the perfect middle; walk. Just walk. If it’s winter where your’e at or so humid out you can’t breathe, then get on a treadmill and walk. Or walk around your house. Make it nice and easy, not easy jogging.
Burning the candle at both ends? When you do this and live off of coffee for survival, you’re bound to get sick. During these 3 days, prioritize sleep, no matter what. I understand that the house needs to be clean and laundry done. But again, this is for 3 days. When your kids go to sleep, follow them. This is one of my keys to success. Sleep, sleep, and then sleep some more.
Commit to stress reduction
Again, this is just three days. During these 3 days, you must commit to reducing the stress load as much as possible. Everything from above (#1 – #9) are going to greatly reduce your stress load. But you’ll need to be cognizant of your stress and reactions to it daily. The journal will really help.
How to Prepare for a 3-Day Gut Reset
Well, if we know what the 3 days might look like (above), then we can drill down even further.
Clear off your calendar for 3 days
I don’t mean “call in sick” to work and life because that’s not realistic. But do not take on anything extra. If possible, maybe even do this over the weekend. A Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Saturday, Sunday, Monday would be great days for the challenge.
If there is any way to get any extra help while focusing on this for yourself, do it. Ask! As women, this is the toughest thing for us to do. Do it anyway.
Do a pantry sweep
Gosh, I want to do an entire course around how to do this. But for now, and for some basics, see THIS post. Do this for your pantry and your fridge + freezer.
Plan your meals
Then, plan what you’ll eat during those three days. Do not under eat during this time. Your goal is not to lose weight. It is to feel better. I teach this all the time to those with diagnosed IBS and IBD, but by reducing inflammation, you’re naturally going to drop weight (if needed).
The shocking truth is that many want to gain weight because too much inflammation has lead to unwanted weight loss. So plan your meals around healing and health not weight loss (or gain).
Choose meals vs snacks
Part of resetting your gut allows the digestive system to rest, too. Therefore, I said to plan meals not snacks. Plan to feel full and satisfied from 2-3 larger meals and add in another if absolutely necessary.
Make the grocery list
Now that you know what you’ll be eating, cross check with items you already have at home. For anything you don’t have, place on your grocery list and head to the store for said items. Live in a small town like I do without a grocery store? No problem. Get that Thrive Market Membership and order the groceries to be delivered straight to your house.
Best Foods for a 3-Day Gut Reset?
If you’ve never gone on a journey like this, I believe that one of the very best templated diets is the Mediterranean Diet. You can start there for ideas. Alternatively, the Paleo Diet is sound as well.
My 30-Day Gut Reset (below) is a combination of both templated plans, with the guidance and encouragement to go at your own pace, creating for your own needs.
If you’re still stuck, try my 8 simple steps to real food meal planning.
30-Day Gut Reset with Clean Eating Magazine
In my 30-Day Gut Reset with Clean Eating Magazine, I’m giving you all of the above and then some + then some more 🙂
If you came here because you were Googling, “Why does my stomach hurt,” then the 30-day reset is absolutely for you!
Here is a week-by-week general breakdown.
What if These 3 Days Don’t Work?
That’s a fair question.
If, after a basic 3-day gut reset and doing my 30-day gut reset program you’re still feeling miserable….then what?
Well then, you must get serious about seeing a medical professional.
If you’ve been keeping meticulous track via my gut-healing journal, you’re well on your way.
See: The Beginner’s Guide to Digestive Health Testing and plan your next move.
And of course, never be afraid. YOU are the reason I built this community and exist to give. We are here for you…..after a stomach ache from too much booze and pizza or during the depths of an IBD diagnosis.
Questions? I’m here to help answer them.
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You will heal. I will help.