Ways to Relieve Your Irritating Indigestion (Symptoms and Treatment)

Almost one in four people suffer from indigestion – it is one of the most common ailments around, however, it can be unbearably uncomfortable. It is caused by stomach acid moving up through the lower oesophageal sphincter towards the throat. Symptoms can present themselves in several ways, the most common being is heartburn – an irritating burning feeling in the chest. Others include an increase in gas, painful bloating, feeling sick, and regurgitating acidic bile. These are all indicators of indigestion and can be treated to alleviate your pain and irritation.

Indigestion

Read on for our top tips in relieving your discomfort.

Take Medication.

There are some great over-the-counter meds that can help with symptoms of indigestion. Look for ones with Antacids that neutralize the acid in the stomach. This will calm down the burning sensation. If you can, buy a medication that combines antacids with sodium alginate – this will form a layer between your stomach and your lower oesophageal sphincter, which means the acid is unable to travel up to your throat. Taking a combined medicine like this should combat your indigestion and its symptoms in no time.

Learn Your Triggers.

Indigestion can be caused by many things. Some foods and medications can be a big cause. If you’re frequently being triggered after certain meals start a food diary to narrow down what in particular is causing your pain. Some foods are big no-no’s if you suffer from indigestion, keep reading on to the next step to finding out what. Other triggers can be smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, and being overweight so work on cutting back on these irritants and try and lose a little weight to see if that helps. Stress can also be a huge factor in causing indigestion so focus on stress management. Your wellbeing can play a huge role in physical problems in your body so bear that in mind.

While it may not be relevant for everyone, another trigger is pregnancy. Around half of the women who are expecting suffer from indigestion which can be caused by several reasons. If you’re pregnant it is best to speak to your pharmacist or doctor about which medication and treatments are safe for you.

Cut Down on Irritable Foods.

Food is the main culprit when it comes to indigestion. If you suffer from indigestion then try and avoid any acidic foods – that includes fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes and oranges. They will only exacerbate the issue as it increases the acid content in the stomach. Be sure to steer clear of spicy foods as they contain capsaicin which slows down the rate of digestion. Also, stay away from anything that is heavily fried or fatty. Greasy food may be delicious but they relax the lower oesophageal sphincter, meaning there is a larger opening for the stomach acid to get through – the cause of that burning pain.

Instead, opt for foods that are nice and healthy such as green vegetables. They may be boring but they are low in acid, meaning they can help neutralize your stomach and keep the painful acid reflux at bay. Ginger is a great natural remedy so steep a small chunk in hot water to make some ginger tea. Make sure your diet is rich in fiber as it is proven to lower the risk of acid reflux. Oatmeal, brown rice, and wholemeal bread are all fiber-heavy foods and great staples for your diet.

Change Your Eating Habits.

It’s not just what you eat, it’s also how you eat. If you love to eat and consume large portions, you’re more likely to have indigestion. Try eating from a smaller plate to make it feel as though you’re still eating a big meal. Make sure you chew and swallow slowly as rushed eating and gulping can also trigger symptoms. Lastly, ensure you do not lie down for 3-4 hours after a meal. This will stop the acid from traveling up the lower oesophageal sphincter towards your throat. Unfortunately, if you’re a fan of midnight snacks you’ll have to cut them out – trust us, your stomach will thank you!

If you suffer from severe indigestion regularly it is best to speak to your doctor. You may be suffering from a more intense type of reflux such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (or GERD). This can be a more serious issue but can be treated by prescription medication or even minor surgery. Also visit the doctor if you are continually sick, losing a lot of weight quickly, and if there is blood when you go to the toilet as it could be something more significant.