Indigestion is a common complaint for many people today. Thanks to our fast-paced lifestyle and standard diet, nearly 1 in 4 people in the United States alone have digestive problems related to indigestion. Indigestion symptoms can manifest themselves in many ways, from mild heartburn to persistent stomach pain that never goes away.
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Indigestion is a general term used to describe a general feeling of discomfort and pain in the upper abdominal area. It is not a disease, but a collection of symptoms that cause extreme pain and bloating that you experience immediately after eating.
Although this condition is common, the way people experience its symptoms varies greatly from person to person. This condition can be an indicator of a more severe digestive disorder, so the symptoms should not be taken lightly.
People with this condition may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
1. Feeling full during a meal
You can start to feel uncomfortably full, even if you haven’t finished a meal. This feeling of fullness can last for hours after eating.
2. Discomfort that lasts long after a meal
Even if you are not eating a full meal, your feeling of extreme discomfort and being very full can last long after your stomach is empty.
3. Pain in the upper abdomen
Sometimes you feel mild to severe pain in the upper abdominal cavity between the lower part of the breastbone and the belly button.
4. Burning in the upper abdomen
There are times when a burning sensation accompanies other aspects of discomfort. Much of this occurs in the upper abdomen, just below the ribs.
5. Bloating from indigestion
Due to an accumulation of excess gas, you may experience bloating and constipation which can be quite painful.
You may feel a nagging sensation like you want to vomit. This sensation can be present both before and after eating.
Frequent periods of heartburn and ongoing stomach pain accompany this condition, making it difficult to want to eat right. As a result, your nutritional needs are also compromised, which can lead to other complications over time.
Should you see a doctor for indigestion?
Mild, intermittent symptoms are not a cause for concern, and can be addressed with a few simple home remedies that we will mention later in this article. You would need to worry about your symptoms and make an appointment to see a doctor if you experience the following:
- Weight loss, loss of appetite
- Repeated vomiting, vomiting blood
- Black stools
- Swallowing problems that get worse over time
- Fatigue or weakness, indicative of anemia
- Shortness of breath, sore throat
- Chest pain when exercising or under stress
Causes of indigestion
There are many probable causes for any type of stomach upset. Many problems can be attributed to diet and lifestyle choices; By purifying your diet and eliminating stress, you can alleviate many of these discomforts.
Most often, an upset stomach can be attributed to the following:
- Eat excessively; eat too fast
- An excess of fatty foods
- Too much alcohol, caffeine, or sodas
- Certain medications
Sometimes this condition, like indigestion, is an indication that more serious complications are developing, such as:
- Gastritis; inflammation of the stomach
- Peptic ulcers
- Celiac Disease
- Stomach cancers
- Intestinal blockages
- Reduced blood flow to the intestines
Suffering from this type of discomfort can significantly affect your quality of life. While many people turn to prescription drugs and conventional medical treatments to help reduce symptoms and alleviate this condition, others prefer to address the problem using natural remedies.
10 natural remedies to treat indigestion
There are a number of effective natural remedies used to treat an upset stomach and digestive problems from indigestion.
We present the following natural remedies for you to review, as you also seek answers to the widespread problem of heartburn and stomach pain.
Try some of these tips for stomach healing and digestive health:
1. Drink more water for indigestion problems
We are chronically dehydrated, and few of us drink enough water to keep everything in our bodies flowing smoothly.
We need a minimum of three liters a day to keep tissues lubricated, blood circulating efficiently, and all body systems in good working order.
Replace some of your daily drinks with a glass of fresh, clean water, and you’ll be on your way to improving your digestive health.
2. Avoid lying down for long periods of time
When you are lying down or reclining, stomach acid can back up into the esophagus and cause problems with the lining of your mouth, throat, and nose. This return of acid is known as heartburn, a common complaint of indigestion sufferers.
If you must lie down, raise your head, neck, and upper back to a 30-degree angle and drink plenty of water to help neutralize stomach acid.
3. Eat or chew ginger
Ginger is a very effective remedy for those who suffer from an upset stomach. Ginger contains compounds called shogaols and gingerols that help promote stomach contractions necessary for proper digestion. Additionally, the chemical compounds in ginger help reduce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Start small if you’re using fresh ginger, as the spiciness can be overwhelming, eventually adding larger amounts. Adding it to foods and sauces is also great for promoting healthy digestion.
4. Drink apple cider vinegar
Sounds gross, right? The benefits of apple cider vinegar include everything from better skin and hair to digestion and weight loss. With all these health benefits reported by people around the world, you should also incorporate them into your daily diet.
Add apple cider vinegar to your salads, dilute it in a mixture of water and stevia to make a flavorful tangy drink, or take a tablespoon if you are interested in relieving your symptoms. In no time, you’ll feel better.
5. Chew mint
Besides sweetening your breath, peppermint can calm your stomach and help prevent vomiting and diarrhea. It also reduces the incidence of muscle spasms in the intestines and will even relieve pain and cramps. A cup of peppermint tea a day will help calm overactive intestines and provide relief for a bloated belly.
6. Use heat
Using hot baths and heating pads will do wonders for your overactive abdomen. The heat helps to relax tense muscles and to relieve tension in the entire midsection of the body; Spending 20 minutes a day with your heat source will help significantly improve your symptoms.
7. Follow the BRAT diet
It really works: Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are bland foods that contain excess starch and fiber. These compounds work to help bind your stools together, making them less watery. All these foods are very neutral, so they do not irritate the stomach or intestines.
They also contain valuable nutrients that can help calm and restore intestinal health. If you do come across a flare-up of symptoms, do what you can to stick with the BRAT lifestyle for a few days and watch for changes in your health.
8. Avoid tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol
Smoking and drinking irritate the throat, which can lead to stomach complications. If a person has vomited, there is an increased risk of developing irritation and infection as a result of all the additional toxins in the system.
If you are experiencing indigestion symptoms, it is best to refrain from smoking and drinking until you feel better.
9. Drink lime or lemon juice, baking soda, and water
Some studies show that combining citrus juice, water, and a pinch of baking soda works wonders for improving digestive system health. A good recipe for digestive health includes the following ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 240 ml of water
Drink daily for best results.
10. Eat or drink cinnamon
Cinnamon contains powerful antioxidants that help reduce irritation and inflammation in the throat, esophagus, and stomach lining. Other powerful compounds found in cinnamon have been shown to be effective in fighting gas, bloating, cramps, and other characteristic symptoms of an upset stomach.
You can boil cinnamon sticks in water and use them as a relaxing tea. Or, sprinkle at least a teaspoon daily on food for effective, soothing relief from symptoms.