Indigestion: Causes, symptoms and home-based treatment
Have you ever experienced the unpleasant feeling of a bloated, overfilled stomach that stops you from eating food? Many times such conditions can be caused without any specific reason like overeating. It is actually a health condition termed as Indigestion. Other symptoms of indigestion include bloating, heartburn, nausea, and other similar instances. In this article, we are going to mention the possible causes, preventive measures, and related factors that may help you to decide if you need to see the physician/specialist, adopt traditional domestic treatment or change your lifestyle and meal routine.
What is indigestion?
Indigestion occurs when you get the overfilled feeling during eating your meal or a few minutes after you finish eating it. It is generally accompanied by a burning sensation in the upper stomach. Indigestion is variably known as dyspepsia as well.
Sometimes indigestion indicates a related problem like ulcers, gallbladder disease, or GERD. If you find yourself frequently struggling with the issue of indigestion, then it is advisable to get it properly diagnosed by a specialist instead of just opting for some over the counter medicines.
How does indigestion affect a person?
Indigestion is a condition that can have an adverse effect on the overall well-being of a person. It keeps an individual irritated and thus disturbs the attention. As a result, he is not able to concentrate properly on the personal/professional tasks. The disturbing symptoms like heartburn, belly pain, bloating and nausea make a person restless.
What are common symptoms of of digestion?
Here are a few symptoms of indigestion:
· Bloating and gas
· A lingering acidic taste in the mouth
· Feeling overfilled while eating or just after finishing a meal
· Rumbling stomach
· Feeling Burning sensation either in the stomach or upper part of the belly
· Pain in the belly
· Indigestion may also result in the rising of stomach acids into the esophagus which causes heartburn.
What are the causes of indigestion?
Indigestions is no an uncommon issue but some diseases can make this condition more severe.
· Gastroparesis, a condition more common with diabetic patients.
· Infections in Stomach
· Irritable bowel syndrome
· Thyroid related disease
What are some effective Medications for indigestion?
Here is a list of mediciation for indigestion:
· Pain relievers
· Steroid medications
· Thyroid medicines
How can lifestyle habits cause indigestion?
There are various lifestyle habits that disturb the digestive process and cause indigestion. These factors include:
· Eating at a very fast pace
· High intake of alcoholic drinks
· High-fat foods
· Eating when you are very stressed
Important: Indigestions that last for longer than the ordinary period may be caused by functional non-ulcer dyspepsia.
What is the ideal diagnosis for indigestion?
As you might have understood, indigestion is a condition caused by, and indicating multiple issues. In many cases, it is not something to be worried about, especially if you can identify a cause behind it like eating heavy food or larger portions the previous day. However, if the condition repeats frequently then you would need to consult a physician.
The physicians generally start with general tests- X-Rays of stomach/small intestine, blood test or endoscopy a camera-assisted test to closely study the inside of your stomach.
How can indigestion be treated?
Generally the condition is caused due to imbalanced meals and gets healed without any treatment after several hours. If it persists longer then consider checking with a specialist.
Before going to a specialist you can also try some home remedies to heal the condition by regulating your digestive process or getting rid of factors that cause indigestion:
· Avoid chewing with open mouth
· Avoid talking while you chew the food
· Slow down the pace of eating and chew your food properly
· Avoid eating during the late hours of the night
· Relax (but not lie down) after meals
· Lower down the number of spicy foods
· Quit smoking
· Lower down or quit alcoholic drinks
What are some preventive measures that keep indigesyion issues at a bay?
As indigestion is caused due to imbalanced meals and other lifestyle habits, you can avoid it by abandoning the foods and habits that cause indigestion. Consider preparing a diary for keeping a log of your foods and lifestyle routine. Here are a few factors that you can use as parameters of this diary:
· Divide your meals into multiple smaller portions to relieve your stomach from overexertion
· Eat at a slower pace
· Avoid eating high-acid foods like tomatoes or citrus fruits
· Reduce spicy, fried, and greasy foods
· Reduce caffeine-rich foods/beverages like coffee
· Get relief from stress by practicing meditation and other methods to relax the mind
· Quit smoking by strategically lowering down the quantity
· Lower down alcohol consumption
· Wear reasonably loose-fitting clothes that provide you sufficient breathing space
· Avoid exercising just after eating food. Keep a sufficient gap between eating and exercising
· Avoid lying down after eating the food
· Take some walk after eating the food- post relaxation period of 5 minutes
· To avoid the condition of heartburn make sure that your head and chest are above your feet when you sleep
Does one need to see doctor if feeling indigestion?
If the condition is accompanied by any or multiple conditions mentioned below, then you need to immediately seek medical help:
· Sharp pain in the upper-right belly
· Losing your weight without any tangible reason
· Lack of appetite
· Vomiting especially with blood
· Feeling pain in the right parts of your belly
· Bloody or black stools
· Uncomfortable filled up feeling without eating
What are some home-based treatments for indigestion?
There are some easy ways to heal the condition through home-based treatments. Here are a few options that you can try:
Drink plenty of water
One of the major causes of indigestion is dehydration that disturbs the digestive process. So, reasonably increase the intake of water when you feel indigestion.
Make sure to have at least 3.7 liters of water a day if you are a man. For women, the ideal recommended quantity is 2.7 liters.
Replace dry foods with moist foods
Being rich in digestion-friendly chemicals – shogaols and gingerols, ginger increases stomach contractions and accelerates the speed of food movement through the stomach. Along with regulating digestion it also relieves conditions like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Especially if you suffer from an upset stomach then homemade ginger ales and ginger tea to get rid of the same.
Indigestion can also be caused by tense muscles. Try relaxing them by enjoying a warm bath for at least 10 minutes. If you are not able to take bath then consider applying heat pads on the stomach.
Peppermint has a good reputation for healing conditions like indigestion and nausea. So, consider eating some peppermint candy. It will freshen up your breath and will also relieve you from nauseating feeling. Alternatively, you can consume a cup of peppermint tea after you have eaten the meals but remember to keep a sufficient gap between the two. This is the remedy for general causes of indigestion but not suitable for conditions of acid reflux, ulcers, or GERD.
As stress eating is one cause behind indigestion, taking stress relievers like chamomile tea is another way to get rid of the condition. In fact, chamomile helps in two ways- it saves you from stressful eating by relieving stress and also lowers down the stomach acid levels in your gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, it also relieves inflammation that relieves the pain.
You can either purchase chamomile tea from the market or make a chamomile infusion at home.
· Avoid drinking it without a doctor’s prescription if you are taking blood thinners.
Apple cider vinegar mixed with water
Lack of sufficient acid production in the stomach causes f indigestion. Drinking apple cider vinegar can relieve you from this condition by regulating acid production. Mix around two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to one cup of water. Drinking this blend offers prompt relief in genera conditions o indigestion. Along with curing abilities, it is equally effective in presenting indigestion if you drink it around half an hour before consuming food.
For this purpose use raw apple cider that is unpasteurized.
Lemon water is alkaline and is known to regulate digestion and stomach acid levels. It can be found easily in any vegetable market. Just take a cup of water and add a tablespoon of lemon juice to it. For better results take properly heated water.
While not an uncommon condition, indigestion is a medical instance that disturbs the entire routine of an individual. In this blog, we presented a list of different factors that result in indigestion and also mentioned the domestic health tips to get rid of indigestion. The readers can follow the options that seem most convenient to them. It will help them overcome indigestion and related symptoms.