Dyspepsia is the scientific name for Indigestion, a common stomach discomfort caused by many factors. Some of the causes may be the type of food ingested, gastrointestinal problems and diseases, bacterial infection such as H.pylori, stomach ulcers or stress. The real cause of indigestion is the imbalance of digestive juices in the stomach.
Some of the condition’s symptoms include nausea, pain in the lower abdomen, bloating that often feels like satiety and heartburn. There are several ways to treat indigestion but most remedies work if the cause is established before treatment. The following are ten ways of reducing indigestion categorized into;
- Food adjustment
- Lifestyle adjustment
- Alternative medicine
They are over the counter medication used in the majority of cases. They contain sodium bicarbonate that neutralizes acids in the gut that may be causing indigestion. They should not be taken with other medication to avoid drug interactions. Dairy products are common causes of indigestion. Antacids should not treat indigestion while consuming dairy products. Antacids are not permanent remedies for indigestion. If the condition prolongs for more than a week, seek proper medication.
Baking soda is a home equivalent of antacids. It is alkaline and reduces the amount of acidity in the body. Mix a spoon of baking powder with water and drink. The solution is an instance bloating relief.
2. H-2 Receptor Locker
H-2 receptor blockers reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach for several hours to relieve indigestion. There are different grades of the drug that can be recommended by doctors for a higher dosage. Some of the medicines that contain the receptor blocker include:
3. Proton Pump Inhibitor
Proton inhibitors such as Lansoprazole and omeprazole block the production of stomach acids that damage the stomach lining to cause indigestion. The inhibitor gives the stomach time to heal after a period of sickness. Most pharmacies sell the treatment over the counter.
Antibiotic indigestion treatments are for cases where a bacterium such as H. pylori causes indigestion. The bacterium produces toxins that cause the discomfort. The antibiotics clear the bacteria as a more permanent remedy. Always remember to complete dosage to avoid developing drug resistance.
5. Avoid Non –steroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Some NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and acid affect the levels of acid in the stomach causing indigestion. They are in most cases recommended to treat pain. It is advisable to observe which ones cause indigestion and avoid them. Doctors can always prescribe different pain killers.
6. Avoiding Specific Foods And Drinks
Certain foods are known to cause indigestion. Some of these are foods rich in artificial spices and fats. Depending on age the body may not be able to digest fats well which may result in the discomfort. To treat such cases of indigestion go through the foods, you consume and avoid those that you suspect may be causing indigestion.
- Fennel seeds help to neutralize any acidity from spicy foods. To make an Indigestion treatment from the fennel seeds, start by roasting then grinding them to mix in water.
7. Meal Plans
Eating small food portions spread through the day ensures digestive juices find food in the stomach. Some people skip meals and eat later which ends up causing indigestion. For such cases, the only way to relieve the indigestion is to review your meal plan. Avoid eating late into the night before going to bed. Take about three hours after meals before lying down.
Taking sips of water helps with indigestion problems. It reduces the nausea discomfort caused by indigestion. Avoid drinking cold water immediately after a meal. It lowers the temperature suitable for digestion.
Digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing food properly begins the process. It ensures food is better digested in the stomach. It may cause indigestion when the digestive juices cannot digest all the food in the stomach. Proper chewing is a good way of avoiding indigestion.
If recovering from long periods of sickness where eating was limited, do not begin with hard foods immediately. The stomach is not yet ready to handle such and may cause indigestion. Start by eating soft foods to get the enzymes working.
8. Stress And Weight Management
At times stress causes indigestion. It is in most cases characterized by indigestion chest pain. Stress interferes with the hormones that stimulate the production of digestive juices. Managing stress is a way of treating it. Exercise, yoga or meditation can assist in stress management.
Too much weight puts pressure on the abdomen which may cause the acids in the stomach to move to the esophagus. Most people experience a burning sensation which is mostly heartburn. Losing weight through exercise helps to become healthier and reduce stress at the same time. This in turn reduces indigestion.
Alcohol and cigarettes cause indigestion in some cases. For people already experiencing it, they need to stop these vices to treat it.
9. Herbal Tea
Caffeine stimulates the body’s metabolism which may interfere with the digestive system. Avoid coffee and switch to herbal tea to relieve indigestion. Peppermint, jasmine and sage help the stomach to settle and reduce stomach discomforts.
• Ginger products aid in moving food from the stomach to the intestines at a faster rate. Indigestion caused by overeating can be relieved through this method. As food moves away from the stomach, the discomfort reduces. You can add ginger in tea or take it with lemon and honey.
10. Artichoke Leaf Extract/ Apple Cider
It is an alternative herbal indigestion treatment. It works by stimulating bile in the stomach to move away from the liver relieving indigestion. It is in form of supplements sold in designated pharmacies and centers.
Apple cider contains acids that balance PH in the stomach. Increased alkalinity may cause indigestion. Apple cider vinegar will relieve the discomfort.
Indigestion can be very uncomfortable for everyone. The remedies are useful, but they should be used according to the cause of indigestion. Severe cases of indigestion such as those caused by diseases need proper care. Always visit a doctor to prescribe medication for treatment. Ulcers are particularly sensitive when it comes to treating indigestion. Some of the medications may cause an ulcer flare up. In these cases, indigestion treatments need to be less acidic.
If you have been experiencing indigestion or chest pains associated with stomach discomforts, you now have solutions at your disposal. Learn the cause, know what to avoid, understand what you can do to prevent the discomforts and this will improve the quality of your life.