What is Indigestion?
A frequent digestive issue with several potential causes is indigestion, commonly called dyspepsia. It is characterized by an achy, painful feeling in the upper abdomen that is frequently accompanied by nausea, gas, and bloating. In addition to eating too rapidly and in excess, indigestion can result from consuming particular meals or beverages, such as fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine. Indigestion may occasionally be a sign of a more severe illness, such as gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or peptic ulcer disease.
Symptoms of Indigestion
The most typical signs of indigestion are an upper abdominal burning sensation, bloating, gas, belching, nausea, and feeling full after eating. Vomiting, lack of appetite, and weight loss are possible additional symptoms. When indigestion occurs, other digestive issues, such as diarrhea or constipation, may also occur. If it is not treated, chronic indigestion can result in more significant side effects, such as ulcers, bleeding, or even cancer.
Remedies for Indigestion
Getting mental health care may help you feel better because emotional stress can induce indigestion. Talk therapy is psychological therapy that could be advantageous. In talk therapy, a therapist can assist you in identifying coping mechanisms for everyday stressors. You can schedule in-person meetings or use online services to try this path. Meditation and other stress-relieving techniques can also be worthwhile to try if you discover that stress is the root of your indigestion.
Most people undoubtedly utilize commercially available antacids to relieve indigestion pain quickly. You can use antacids to ease the discomfort of indigestion brought on by too much stomach acid because they help raise the pH of your stomach. Acid reflux drugs often effectively treat heartburn, acid reflux, upper GI pain, gas, and bloating. Your symptoms can be effectively treated with several OTC drugs.
Antacids, such as Tums, Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, and Alka-Seltzer, neutralize indigestion and provide your stomach with quick relief. Also helpful in providing prompt indigestion relief are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec (omeprazole) and Prevacid (lansoprazole)—these drugs function by preventing the stomach’s ability to produce acid. Avoid taking NSAIDs like Motrin, Advil (ibuprofen), aspirin, and Aleve (naproxen) to manage your symptoms. These drugs are ineffective and could exacerbate symptoms.
Adding Ginger to Your Diet
Ginger has a long history of therapeutic applications, including treating indigestion-related conditions. Numerous studies have demonstrated ginger’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-ulcer properties. Ginger aids in digestion and saliva production in addition to helping to relieve nausea with few side effects. Additionally, it might assist in eliminating gas that may be the source of stomach aches. Most supermarkets and health food stores have fresh ginger root and supplements.
Baking Soda with Water
Baking soda, commonly known as sodium bicarbonate, can help if the leading cause of your indigestion is acid. Just before drinking, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Baking soda can reduce your body’s absorption of some medications, so you should avoid drinking it two hours after taking another medicine. Take this natural cure one to two hours after eating. When taking baking soda, make sure your stomach isn’t too full, and don’t take it for longer than two weeks unless your doctor has prescribed it.
Peppermint is most used as a breath freshener. It is an excellent option for treating stomach issues like nausea and indigestion due to its antispasmodic effect on the body. Sip a cup of peppermint tea to immediately soothe your stomach, or put some peppermint sweets in your pocket to suck and eat after meals. Even though peppermint helps relieve indigestion, you shouldn’t use it if you have acid reflux. Consuming peppermint may worsen acid reflux by enabling stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus because it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle divides the stomach from the esophagus. Peppermint tea shouldn’t be consumed by those who have GERD or ulcers.
A warm cup of chamomile tea may relieve indigestion, though more research is required to confirm its efficacy. According to a review of studies, chamomile can reduce GI (gastrointestinal) irritation, gas, and upset stomach. Additionally, it can ease the tension in the muscles that assist food passing through the intestines, which can keep the digestive process flowing and lessen bloating. The blood-thinning substance coumarin can be found in chamomile. Consult your doctor if you are on a blood thinner like warfarin before drinking chamomile tea.
Apple Cider Vinegar
According to some sources, apple cider vinegar has several health benefits, including the capacity to enhance skin quality and encourage weight loss. It also helps reduce indigestion. You can increase your body’s production of stomach acid to prevent indigestion brought on by insufficient stomach acid by consuming apple cider vinegar. Mix one to two tablespoons of raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with a cup of water for rapid relief. The alternative is to take the combination 30 minutes before dining to avoid indigestion. Apple cider vinegar is safe; however, using it too much or undiluted can have side effects, including low blood sugar, nausea, throat burn, and tooth erosion. Apple cider vinegar is safe; however, using it too much or undiluted can have side effects, including low blood sugar, nausea, throat burn, and tooth erosion.
Researchers have discovered that aloe vera is a powerful all-natural remedy for many gastrointestinal symptoms, including heartburn, flatulence, regurgitation of acid, regurgitation of food, belching, nausea, dysphagia, and problem in swallowing. One trial involved giving patients with gastroesophageal reflux illness 10 milliliters of aloe juice daily for four weeks. Scientists concluded that aloe was well tolerated by all subjects and decreased the frequency and intensity of their gastrointestinal symptoms at the end of the study.
This herb’s antispasmodic properties also help to treat post-meal indigestion and other digestive problems like nausea, bloating, and stomach cramps. Water should be brought to a boil for 10 minutes before being consumed with 1/2 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds. If you ever get indigestion, sip fennel tea. If certain foods cause indigestion, chewing fennel seeds after meals is an additional option. Fennel can cause nausea, vomiting, and sun sensitivity, among other undesirable consequences.
Because it includes substances that help reduce inflammation in your digestive tract, licorice can help alleviate indigestion rapidly. Even though researchers are still working to understand how the herb calms troubled stomachs fully, evidence suggests that it facilitates better meal absorption and digestion. You can chew on licorice root or make tea with it and hot water to soothe indigestion. But be careful not to overeat. Stick to 2.5 grams or less of licorice per day since larger dosages can lead to electrolyte abnormalities.
The alkaline qualities of lemon water aid digestion by neutralizing stomach acid. Before eating, add a spoonful of lemon juice to some boiling or tepid water. Lemon water is an excellent source of vitamin C and helps with indigestion. On the other hand, drinking too much lemon water might erode tooth enamel and increase urine. After drinking lemon water, rinse your mouth to protect your teeth.
The above-given reasons and the severity of the symptoms will determine how to treat indigestion. Smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding triggers like hot or greasy foods, using the abovementioned treatments, and reducing stress are all lifestyle changes that usually ease brief episodes of dyspepsia. Proton pump inhibitors and other over-the-counter drugs like antacids may also relieve symptoms. In more extreme situations, the underlying illness causing indigestion might need to be treated with prescription drugs or surgery. If you frequently or severely have indigestion symptoms, you should speak with a healthcare provider to establish the best course of action.
What actions can I take to stop indigestion?
You may prevent indigestion in addition to altering what you eat and drink by adopting a lifestyle that includes avoiding exercise shortly after eating, chewing meals thoroughly, not consuming late-night snacks, reducing weight, limiting the number of NSAIDs you consume, quitting smoking, trying to minimize your stress levels by waiting two to three hours after eating before going to bed.
When to Visit a Doctor?
Although dyspepsia is a common issue, you should not disregard all cases. Chronic digestive conditions like acid reflux, gastritis, or stomach cancer may manifest as frequent indigestion. See a doctor if your indigestion persists for longer than two weeks or if you have significant discomfort or any other symptoms like weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, dark stools, difficulty in swallowing, and exhaustion.
Finally, indigestion is a frequent digestive condition that can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Fortunately, numerous treatments might help indigestion sufferers feel better. Apple cider vinegar, fennel seed, baking soda, and over-the-counter antacids can all assist in neutralizing stomach acid and lessen digestive tract inflammation. Smaller meals, avoiding lying down after eating, and avoiding trigger foods are just a few examples of lifestyle adjustments that can prevent indigestion.
Others may get comfort from natural treatments like peppermint, chamomile, and ginger. It’s crucial to remember that gastrointestinal symptoms could indicate a more serious underlying issue and that medical assistance should be sought if they continue or worsen. Individuals can improve their quality of life and avoid subsequent problems by actively treating their indigestion problem.