How To Treat Indigestion

Everyday Illnesses Common Remedies
Treating Digestive Problems

Indigestion covers a lot of different symptoms, from burping, wind and bloating to heartburn, nausea and pain in the bowels. Also called dyspepsia, it comes on soon after eating or drinking. It is usually a sign that your digestive system is having problems coping with what you eat or drink. This is sometimes due to acid reflux where acid from your stomach escapes and is forced back into the esophagus. It may also be due to a food allergy, the most common being an allergy to dairy (lactose intolerance). If you suspect you have an allergy, it is worth going for an allergy test. Alternatively, if you suffer indigestion regularly it could be caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, your doctor can perform a test to check this.

8 Home Treatments For Indigestion

1. Indigestion Medications
Antacid medicines provide instant relief from indigestion. Antacids work by making your stomach juices less acidic so it does not irritate the lining of your digestive system. Antacids come in liquid and tablet form and are available in drugstores without prescription. Some antacids contain another medicine called alginate. This ingredient helps with acid reflux. Alginate forms a foam barrier that floats on top of your stomach contents, keeping them in the stomach and away from the esophagus. Popular brands include Rennies, Tums, Bismed, Pepcid and Tagamet.

2. Chew Licorice Root
Chew on some licorice root before a meal. Although it looks like a wooden stick, it can be chewed on. Licorice root eases symptoms of indigestion and heartburn. Alternatively take 1 or 2 deglycyrrhized licorice capsules before each meal.

3. Drink Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera is an excellent healer for the digestive system. Drink some Aloe vera juice, twice a day between meals.

4. Peppermint Tea
Sip on peppermint tea after eating to aid digestion. It has a calming effect and may also kill viruses and bacteria. One study found that 75 percent of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients experienced fewer symptoms after drinking peppermint tea for 4 weeks. However, people with acid reflux should avoid peppermint tea because it causes the stomach sphincter muscles to 'relax' allowing acid to escape. It should also be avoided by pregnant women.

5. HCL Supplements
Some people suffer from indigestion because they don't have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach. In such cases, betaine hydrochloride (HCI) supplements can help improve the levels of acid in your tummy, thus relieving symptoms of indigestion. Take one capsule before each meal. If you notice no improvements, increase to 2 capsules per meal.

6. Papaya And Pineapple
Eat some pineapple or papaya before a meal. Both fruits contain natural enzymes that aid digestion.

7. Avoid Drinking Too Much With Meals
Try not to drink too much liquid with meals. It tends to dilute stomach acid making digestion less efficient.

8. Healthy Gut Bacteria
Eat more live, low-fat yogurts. Alternatively take 1 to 2 acidophilus and bifidus capsules at the end of every meal. Acidophilus and bifidus, found in live yogurts, are healthy bacteria that encourage good digestion.

Additional Tips

1. Have a walk after mealtimes, it really smoothes digestion.
2. If you mainly suffer from indigestion at night, avoid eating 3 to 4 hours before going to bed. Lying down soon after a meal increases the risk of stomach acid flowing back up the esophagus. When you sleep, prop your head and shoulders up on several pillows. This will help prevent acid reflux while sleeping.
3. Lose weight if you are obese. It is one of the main causes of acid reflux.

Heal Your Life
According to Louise Hay's best selling book Heal Your Body, indigestion may be a sign you are having problem digesting life, or a problem in your life. She writes, indigestion is a sign of "gut-level fear, dread, anxiety". She recommends saying a daily affirmation "I digest and assimilate all new experiences peacefully and joyously".

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