How to treat indigestion
Indigestion is also called dyspepsia or an upset stomach. Indigestion can also be described as a sensation of fullness or uneasiness felt by the individual in the top part of the abdomen and the symptoms can be vague and include heartburn, bloating, belching and nausea.
Symptoms of indigestion
- A feeling of early fullness while eating a meal. The individual has not yet finished a meal, but there is a feeling of fullness and cannot finish eating.
- The stomach feels uncomfortable after eating a meal.
- There is mild to severe pain that can be experienced in the area between the bottom of the breastbone also known as sternum and the navel.
- There is a feeling of discomfort or burning sensation felt between the breastbone and the navel.
- Feeling bloated in the upper abdomen or sensation of tightness.
- Nausea can be experienced
Causes of indigestion
- Taking plenty of caffeine, alcohol, chocolate or carbonated beverages
- Overeating and eating very quickly
- Some antibiotics, pain reliever medications and iron supplements
- Eating fatty, greasy or spicy foods
- It can be caused by some digestive conditions like celiac disease, peptic ulcers, gastritis, stomach cancer, constipation, gallstones, intestinal blockage, and reduced flow of blood in the intestines also known as intestinal ischemia.
Indigestion does not have any serious complication but it can affect the quality of life as it causes uncomfortable feelings and causes the person to eat less. A case of indigestion that is caused by some conditions has its own complications. If you want to learn more about indigestion, read here.
Treatment and home remedies
- Eating frequent small meals and chew food slowly and carefully.
- Avoid eating foods that causes indigestion like fatty and spicy foods, carbonated drinks, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol as well as minimize smoking.
- Maintain a healthy weight since being overweight can put pressure on the abdomen, thus pushing up the stomach and causing the acid to go up into the esophagus.
- Exercising regularly can help in keeping off extra weight and promote a better digestion.
- Minimize stress by doing some relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditations and yoga as well as getting plenty of sleep.
- Minimize pain relievers or other medications since they cause irritation of the stomach lining or take these medications together with food.
Prevention of indigestion
- Do not chew food with the mouth open; avoid talking while chewing food, or eating quickly since they cause swallowing of air which can worsen indigestion.
- Avoid eating late in the evening.
- Drinking plenty of liquids after meals, not while eating meals.
- Quit smoking; avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and caffeine.
- Minimizing eating spicy and greasy foods.
- Chew food completely and eat slowly.
- Wait for at least one hour after eating before doing an exercise.
- Always take medications like aspirin and NSAIDs together with food.
- If a person is intolerant to lactose or has food allergies, the triggers should be avoided.
- Indigestion that is caused by stress or anxiety can be alleviated by medications.