Indigestion, also known as Dyspepsia is a problem caused due to improper discharge of digestive juices in the stomach. Indigestion is originated from the upper gut that is the stomach, esophagus or duodenum. It is a condition of impaired digestion. It’s a commonly found health issue but it is not a disease and can be cured easily. Indigestion gives an uneasy feeling in the upper abdomen, belching, upper abdominal fullness or upper abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, gas, vomiting, decreased appetite, acidic taste in the mouth and heartburn are the observed symptoms. The symptoms are sometimes vague too.
- Pain in the Belly
- Acidic taste inside your mouth
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Fullness while having a meal or after it
- Growling Stomach
- A burning sensation in your stomach or upper belly
In case you are stressed the symptoms will be worse. Belching and bloating can worsen in case while eating you swallows excessive air.
When stomach acids rise into the esophagus then you may suffer from indigestion along with heartburn (which is a burning feeling deep inside your chest).
There are multiple causes of Indigestion. Indigestion usually occurs due to consumption of spicy food or overeating. It is noted that Indigestion is caused due to dysfunction of gastrointestinal tract that is difficulty in processing food or stomach acids. This functional problem of the gastrointestinal tract is the outcome of various diseases, medication and eating habits.
The diseases which triggers Indigestion are Gastric or Duodenal Ulcer, Gastroesophegeal Reflux Disease, Hiatal Hernia, inflammation of the pancreas, inflammation of the stomach, food poisoning and stomach infection, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Esophagitis, Gastroparesis, food allergies, gallstones, etc. Referring to all the above mentioned medical conditions for indigestion, it is advised to consult a doctor to treat it in the right process. Medical attention is required if conditions worsen.
In the process of being healthy and consuming medicines for various conditions, it is observed that Indigestion can also be triggered due to some medications. Such medications include pain killers such as NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), Steroids, Estrogen and Oral Contraceptives, Antibiotics, Thyroid medication, Blood Pressure medications, Cholesterol medications and other narcotics (sleeping pills). These above mentioned medications cause a dysfunction in the process of digestion of food leading to Dyspepsia.
Consumption of food in an orderly manner is very important. Eating habits hamper the digestion procedure resulting to indigestion. It is very important to strike a balance between what we consume and how much should we consume. Eating too much, not chewing the food properly and eating very fast, eating spicy and greasy foods, caffeine, intense workout right after a heavy meal, consumption of alcohol in an excessive rate, smoking are the factors leading to Indigestion or dyspepsia. Stress and anxiety, depression, obesity are some of the other conditions which triggers the possibilities of Indigestion.
It is very important to go through all the possible reasoning and conditions of indigestion for detecting the cause and applying the appropriate procedure to cure it. The medical conditions do need medical treatment but the other conditions can be taken care of, just by applying some home remedies mentioned below.
One of the most effective remedies is to drink water, at the initial stage of Indigestion, as it increases the gastric pH. The other remedies are as follows: –
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a simple home remedy as all the ingredients are always available at home. Being acidic in nature it has an alkalizing effect that helps in curing Indigestion.
- Take 1 tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
- Add it to a cup of water.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of raw honey.
- Drink this solution 2 to 3 times a day.
Fennel seeds can be very helpful when it comes to indigestion due to consumption of spicy food. It contains volatile oil that works brilliantly for digesting spicy foods and avoid nausea.
- Process the fennel seeds by dry roast, grind and sieve.
- Take half teaspoon of this powder with water.
- Do this for twice or thrice a day.
- Alternatively, steep two teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds in a cup of hot water and fennel tea is ready.
- Or simply chew a spoon of fennel seeds when feeling the symptoms of Indigestion.
Ginger is an effective measure digestives juices are stimulated and the flow of enzyme helps digesting heavy meals.
- Take 2 teaspoon of ginger juice and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, add a pinch of table salt and black salt.
- Consume it with or without water (both are effective).
- Alternatively, add 2 teaspoons of ginger juice along with 1 teaspoon of honey to a cup of warm water and consume it.
- Or adding ginger as a spice to the recipes can also help.
Indigestion is the result of high level of stomach acids. Baking soda acts as an antacid to neutralize the acidic level in the stomach and relieves from bloating. Simple stir one-half teaspoon of baking soda into half a glass of water and drink it.
Cumin is an ayurvedic cure for digestive problems such as indigestion and nausea. It stimulates secretion of pancreatic enzymes. Take 1 teaspoon of roasted cumin powder, mix it in a glass of water and drink it.
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Basil is another ayurvedic remedy for indigestion and acid reflux, it also helps relieve intestinal gas because of its carminative properties. Take 1 teaspoon of basil and add it to a cup of hot water. Steep it for 10 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups a day.
This spice is of great help when it comes to Indigestion. It helps relieve from cramps and bloating.
- Take one-half teaspoon of cinnamon powder, add it to a cup of boiling water and steep it for few minutes.
- Drink it warm for better and fast relief.
Coriander helps increase the digestive enzymes in the stomach and fight Indigestion.
- Add 1 teaspoon of roasted coriander seed powder to a glass of buttermilk and drink it twice a day.
- Alternatively, to reduce acidity, extract the juice of coriander leaf and mix 1 teaspoon in a cup of buttermilk. Consume it for 2 to 3 times a day.
Drinking a cup of herbal tea after a heavy meal reduces indigestion. Peppermint tea and chamomile tea help calm stomach and relieve from Indigestion. Dip an herbal tea bag into a hot cup of water and cover it for 5 minutes. Drink it warm.
Being steer clear of the foods and situations which seemingly cause it is the best way to avoid it from affecting you. To find out which food is causing you this you can make a food diary. Rests of the ways to prevent this problem are as follows:
- Eat in small meals so that work done by your stomach is not as hard or long.
- Slowly eat.
- Food such as citrus fruits and tomatoes which contains lot of acids, try to avoid them.
- Avoid any type of food and drinks which has caffeine in it.
- Manage your stress with the help of relaxation and biofeedback techniques in case stress is what triggering your problem.
- Try to quit smoking. And if not that then at least do not smoke right before or after eating as irritation im your stomach is caused by smoking.
- Cut back your alcohol consumption.
- Do not wear clothes which are tight-fitting as it can put pressure on your stomach causing the consumed food to reach up to your esophagus.
- When you are full stomach do not exercise. Exercise before taking your meal or 1 hour after your meal.
- After your meal do not lie down.
- Go to bed at least 3 hours after the last meal of the day.
Make sure your head and chest are higher than your feet by raising the top of your bed. Under the top bedposts you can place 6-inch blocks to raise the top. Avoid using piles of pillows to reach this goal as it will put your head at an angle which increases the pressure being put on your stomach and thus worsening the heartburn.