Indigestion; also called dyspepsia, is a general term that describes discomfort in your upper abdomen. Indigestion is not a disease, but rather some symptoms you experience, including abdominal pain and a feeling of fullness soon after you start eating. Although indigestion is common, each person may experience indigestion in a slightly different way. Symptoms of indigestion may be felt occasionally or as often as daily. The good news is that indigestion can be both controlled and avoided; by eating the right types of food and quantity.
Some symptoms of indigestion maybe bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, acidic taste in your mouth, fullness during or after a meal, burning in your stomach or upper belly or stomach pain. Some people often have indigestion along with heartburn (a burning feeling deep in the chest), which happens when stomach acids rise into the esophagus.
Causes of Indigestion
Often, indigestion is related to lifestyle and may be triggered by food, drink or medication. Common causes of indigestion includes overeating or eating quickly, fatty, greasy or spicy food, too much caffeine, alcohol, chocolate or carbonated beverages, smoking, anxiety, certain antibiotics, pain relievers and iron supplements. Sometimes indigestion is caused by other digestive conditions, including, inflammation of the stomach (gastritis), peptic ulcers, celiac disease, gallstones, constipation, pancreas inflammation, stomach cancer, intestinal blockage.
What types of food should I eat
• Wholegrain foods
Eating wholegrain foods helps provide relief from indigestion because they are high in fiber thus help regulate bowel movements. Women should have 25grams of fiber per day and 38grams for men.
• Pineapple Juice
A regular intake of pineapple juice helps prevent indigestion symptoms like bloating, belching, flatulence, etc. These problems are controlled with an everyday consumption of pineapple juice after a regular meal.
Cinnamon too has marvelous effects to relive indigestion. If you are feeling nauseated after your meals, you should drink a glass of cold water with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon added to it and mixed well. It also helps in relieving flatulence.
Mint helps slow the muscle contraction also helps in controlling spasms in the gastrointestinal system. You can make a hot cup of tea and add mint leaves to it.
If you are dealing an upset stomach because of indigestion, consuming a handful of grapes in such situations will help you relieve the pain.
• Ginger, Lemon and Honey
This mixture helps with the relief from abdominal cramps and indigestion. Mix some shredded ginger with lemon juice and honey in warm water. Mix it well for a few minutes or boil it and consume.
• Bananas and Apples
Bananas are effective as they absorb the extra acid present in the stomach, thus providing quick relief. Papaya too which is a fruit with high amount of fiber, aids in quick digestion through its natural enzymes and also regularizes bowel movements.
Yogurt made form natural sugar not only helps keep your calories in control but also acts as an effective soother for an upset stomach. Yogurt calms the symptoms of indigestion as well as heartburn.
• Avoiding foods that trigger indigestion. For instance, some people notice that certain foods containing lactose and gluten causes bloating and indigestion. If so try to reduce your intake of such products for a few weeks and notice how you feel after.
• Eating five or six small meals a day instead of three large meals.
• Eat your meals slowly and chew your food properly.
• Reducing or eliminating the amounts of caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes.
• Finding alternatives for medications that trigger indigestion.
• Controlling stress and anxiety.
• Drink beverages after rather than during meals.
• Avoid late-night eating. Always make sure you have dinner 2-3 hours before going to bed.
• Try to relax after meals.
• Avoid greasy and spicy foods.
When should I seek help?
Mild indigestion is usually nothing to worry about. Consult your doctor if discomfort persists for more than two weeks. Contact your doctor right away if pain is severe or accompanied by unintentional weight loss or loss of appetite, repeated vomiting or vomiting with blood, black, tarry stools, trouble swallowing that gets progressively worse and fatigue or weakness, which may indicate anemia.