Indigestion is also called dyspepsia or an upset stomach which causes discomfort in the upper abdomen. Indigestion is a symptom that can be experienced along with abdominal pain and feeling of fullness after eating. Indigestion can be felt occasionally or can be felt every day. Indigestion can also be caused by certain underlying diseases.
Symptoms of indigestion
- Uncomfortable fullness of the stomach after a meal
- Early fullness during a meal such as eating only a small amount but already full and cannot finish a meal.
- Mild to severe pain in the area in the bottom of the breastbone or sternum and the navel.
- Feeling an uncomfortable heat or burning sensation in the bottom of the breastbone and navel.
- An uncomfortable sensation of tightness or bloating
Severe symptoms such as frequent vomiting or vomiting with blood, weight loss, black stools, difficulty swallowing that become worse as well as weakness and fatigue that results to anemia requires immediate medical care.
- Consumption of fatty, greasy or spicy foods
- Overeating or eating too hastily
- Consumption of excessive caffeine, chocolate, alcohol or carbonated beverages
- Certain medications such as antibiotic, pain medications and iron supplements.
- Conditions that can cause indigestion include peptic ulcers, celiac disease, gallstones, gastritis, intestinal blockage, inflammation of the pancreas and intestinal ischemia
Treatment of indigestion
- Eat smaller meals and chew food slowly and thoroughly.
- Maintain a healthy weight and avoid being overweight to prevent placing excessive pressure on the abdomen or pushing the stomach up which triggers the reflux of the stomach acids.
- Avoid consumption of fatty and spicy foods, processed foods, carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine and smoking to prevent indigestion.
- Perform exercises regularly to cut down weight and promote better digestion.
- Perform relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga and meditation. Getting enough sleep is also beneficial for the condition.
- Minimize the use of certain medications including pain medications to prevent irritation of the lining of the stomach.
- Apple cider vinegar helps settle indigestion. In a cup of water, add a tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and add one teaspoon of honey. The individual should drink this solution at least 2-3 times every day to achieve the best results.
- Ginger helps in stimulating the digestive juices and the flow of enzymes that helps in digesting the food. Sprinkle some salt on freshly sliced ginger and chew it thoroughly after a heavy meal to help with indigestion especially due to overeating.
- Baking soda functions as an antacid. In a glass filled with water, mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda and mix well. The individual should drink this mixture to neutralize the acid in the stomach as well as minimize bloating.