It is typically characterized by an overly full or bloated feeling after eating but there are actually a number of symptoms one can experience.
These symptoms include:
- Feeling full during a meal, often soon after starting with an inability to finish the meal
- Feeling overly full after a meal, as though the food is in the stomach for too long
- Pain in the upper stomach area
- A burning sensation in the stomach
- Growling stomach
- An acidic taste in one’s mouth
In most cases, indigestion will clear up after a few hours with minimal intervention. However, for those who experience indigestion often or are looking for remedies to relieve the symptoms, there are a number of treatment options that will reduce or eliminate indigestion.
For those wishing to avoid medication or to simply prevent indigestion from occurring, there are a number of natural home remedies that can help.
To use this method, mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and drink it for almost instant relief from indigestion. This works because the baking soda is a natural antacid and neutralizes stomach acid.
Be careful not to overuse it though or it can cause negative side effects such as swelling and nausea.
Aloe Vera Juice
Drinking a ½ cup of Aloe Vera juice before meals can prevent indigestion from occurring. This is believed to be because it reduced inflammation as well as other symptoms of indigestion.
Be aware some Aloe Vera products contain laxative properties due to the component aloin. When purchasing, buy only the highest quality product that is specifically marked safe for ingestion.
Chewing Gum is another easy and all natural way to cure indigestion, especially if one’s indigestion is caused by acid reflux. One should chew a piece of sugar free gum for 30 minutes after eating. This will increase the saliva production, which will neutralize the stomach acid as well as help to push fluid and food fully down the esophagus.
Quite possibly the easiest indigestion cure, water can be used as an effective treatment option. Many people have found that sipping a glass of warm water after eating can bring instant relief from indigestion symptoms.
Besides the alternative remedies listed above, there are a number of lifestyle factors that should always be considered when suffering from indigestion.
Adhering to these recommendations can prevent indigestion from occurring in the first place, therefore eliminating the need for further treatment.
These lifestyle factors include:
Eat smaller meals, slower. The faster one eats and the large the meal, the harder one’s body has to work to digest the food. By slowing down and eating smaller portions, one give the body proper time to digest without having to produce excess stomach acid.
Chew Properly. Incorrect chewing habits, such as chewing with one’s mouth open or talking while chewing, can increase the amount of gas ingested. The more air that is swallowed, the greater the chance of indigestion since it will increase bloating and gas in one’s body.
Sleep on one side. Another remedy for those whose indigestion is caused by acid reflux is to sleep on one’s left side. Studies have shown that sleeping on one’s left side can decrease the symptoms experienced. However, the same studies showed that sleeping on one’s back or right side of the body can actually increase the severity of the symptoms one is experiencing.
Other lifestyle factors to consider include:
- Drink beverages before or after a meal; do not drink them during the meal.
- Do not eat for 3 hours before going to bed, giving the body proper time to digest.
- Practice relaxation technique since stress and fatigue can worsen indigestion.
- Lose weight if one is overweight or obese.
- Do not exercise of a full stomach
- Quit smoking
- Raise the head of the bed 6 inches
Besides the lifestyle recommendations, one should also avoid dietary elements that trigger indigestion. The specific foods and beverages that trigger indigestion will vary by person, but the most common triggers include:
- Fruit juices that contain fructose, which causes abdominal pain and gas
- Dairy products, which can make one feel extra gassy and bloated, usually due to a lactose intolerance
- Spicy foods
- Overly fatty foods
- Avoid alcohol
- Minimize caffeinated beverages
Even though indigestion can seem more like an inconvenient upset stomach, it can be a serious digestive issue. The information provided here is meant to be information and does not constitute medical advice. If one is experiencing symptoms or believe they have indigestion, one should seek the advice of a medical profession for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. One should never start a treatment without first discussing it with one’s physician, especially if pregnant or breastfeeding.