Healthy living How to avoid the discomforts of indigestion

The best way to treat indigestion is to prevent it by avoiding the foods and situations that seem to cause indigestion. Keeping a food diary is helpful in identifying foods that cause indigestion.

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File photo: Woman with indigestion play

File photo: Woman with indigestion

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Indigestion is considered more of a symptom than a disease. Research says treatment is usually dependent on the underlying condition causing the indigestion.

Indigestion which is also known as upset stomach or dyspepsia is a painful or burning feeling in the upper abdomen.

You may be suffering from indigestion if you experience a burning sensation in the stomach or upper abdomen, heartburn, abdominal pain, bloating, belching and gas, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. These symptoms usually increase in times of stress, there relaxation can help decrease these uncomfortable situations.

Research shows that indigestion occurs as a result of ulcer in the digestive tract. However, for most people, it is the result of eating too much, eating too fast, eating high-fat foods, or eating during stressful situations. Indigestion is not caused by excess stomach acid.

Swallowing excessive air when eating may increase the symptoms of belching and bloating which are often associated with indigestion. Some medications can also irritate the stomach lining and cause indigestion.

Sometimes people have persistent indigestion that is not related to any of these factors. This type of indigestion is called functional, or nonulcer, and is caused by a problem associated with how food moves through the digestive tract.


So the next time you suffer an indigestion this is how you can go about it, you should consult a physician. Avoiding foods and situations that cause indigestion are the best ways to treat it. Changing the following eating habits that cause you to swallow too much air can help relieve indigestion: chewing with your mouth open, talking while chewing and eating food too fast.

Also, drink fluids after rather than during meals, and avoid late-night eating. Try to relax after meals. Avoid spicy foods, smoking, and alcoholic beverages. Sometimes aspirin can irritate the stomach lining. If this occurs, switch to acetaminophen.

The best way to treat indigestion is to prevent it by avoiding the foods and situations that seem to cause indigestion. Keeping a food diary is helpful in identifying foods that cause indigestion.

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Eat small meals so the stomach does not have to work as hard or as long.

  • Eat slowly.

  • Avoid foods that contain high amounts of acids, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes.

  • Caffeine causes the stomach to produce more acid, so reduce or avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine.

  • If stress is a trigger for your indigestion, re-evaluating your lifestyle may help to reduce stress. Learn new methods for managing stress, such as relaxation and biofeedback techniques.

  • Smokers should consider quitting smoking, or at least not smoking right before eating, as smoking can irritate the stomach lining.

  • Cut back on alcohol consumption because alcohol can irritate the stomach lining.

  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting garments because they tend to compress the stomach, which can cause its contents to enter the oesophagus.

Finally, if indigestion is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or pain radiating to the jaw, neck or arm, seek medical attention immediately because it just may be signs of heart attack.

Source: By Eyram Kuwornu

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