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INDIGESTION

Indigestion is often an indication of more serious health problems like ulcer, GERD or gastro esophageal reflux, and gall bladder disease. Also called dyspepsia, indigestion is often used to describe the feeling of discomfort and fullness after a meal. The symptoms of indigestion includes abdominal pain, burning the upper abdomen or stomach area, growling stomach, acid taste in the mouth, vomiting and nausea, excessive gas and belching, and bloating. Indigestion may also cause heartburn due to digestive acids rising to the esophagus.

Anyone can be at risk of having indigestion. People who drink too much alcohol and take drugs that can cause irritation to the stomach have higher risk. Abnormalities in the digestive system like ulcer and other emotional factors like depression and stress can also lead to indigestion. It is commonly caused by health conditions like thyroid disease, chronic pancreatitis, irritable bowel movement, stomach infections, gastro paresis GERD, ulcer and even stomach cancer, although rare. People with indigestion are usually prescribed of steroids, thyroid medications, antibiotics, estrogen, aspirin and other painkillers in order to treat and relieve the condition. But what is often and highly recommended is a change in lifestyle.

Certain habits can lead to the development of indigestion. Although the digestive system has natural ways to overcome heavy meals, frequently eating too much and too fast can give the stomach a very hard time to completely digest the food. Foods that are high in fat are also harder to digest, especially with the lack of other nutrients like fiber. Overindulging on food during stressful days can also make it harder for the digestive system to process the food properly. When you are feeling bad and your mind is not working properly due to stress, so is the rest of your body. Eating sweets and other foods rich in carbohydrates may make you feel happier. But try to limit your intake to just a few servings more than what you would have in your better days.

Cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health and it makes you closer to getting the risk of indigestion. Smoking is a high risk factor for GERD. If you smoke and you frequently experience acid reflux shortly after a meal or at any point of the day, this explains why you are always experiencing indigestion. Too much alcohol is also bad for the digestive system. Here are a few more tips to prevent and treat indigestion.

1.      Eat small, frequent meals

There are some days when we crave for food and we often end up eating more than we can take. Indigestion is frequently caused by too much food intake at one time. Eating small and frequent meals can help the digestive system process food better and faster. You can stick with three main meals in a day and leave some space for little snacks.

2.      Chew foods properly

The process of digesting food starts in the mouth. So make sure to chew your food a few times before swallowing.  Try to chew foods that are hard to digest, such as meat, as many times as you can. Although the digestion of protein really starts in the stomach, it would be easier for it to digest if chewed properly. It also better to avoid talking and keep the mouth closed while eating in order to prevent too much air from being swallowed.

3.      Avoid strenuous activities after a meal

The body has the natural ways to funnel energy where it is needed the most. After every meal, energy is directed to the digestive system in order to properly process the food. This is the reason why people often feel tired and listless after a meal. Participating in strenuous activities will leave the digestive system with very little energy to work with. It can also shake-up the stomach and lead to vomiting and acid reflux. Rest for a while and give the food time to be digested properly.

4.      Increase water intake

Water helps in digesting food faster and better. Drinking a few glasses of water after each meal will also make you feel fuller. Water dilutes the acids in the stomach and prevents indigestion. It also helps food slide down faster and easier.

5.      Drink green tea after a meal

Green tea can have great benefits in relieving the effects of indigestion like stomach cramps and gas. Make it habit to enjoy a cup of green tea after every meal to help prevent and treat , but avoid too much tea since it can also increase the acids in the stomach especially for people with stomach ulcer and those who are prone to experiencing heartburn.

6.      Avoid caffeinated beverages

Certain drinks are can stimulate the release of more acids in the stomach. Beverages like tea, soda and coffee and other caffeinated beverages can increase your likelihood of getting heart burn and acid reflux that may result to indigestion. Drinking coffee and tea can be healthy, but try to keep it moderated and limit your intake to one to two servings in a day. But if you’re very prone to getting heartburn and GERD, it may be advisable to totally avoid these drinks.

7.      Avoid fatty and spicy foods

Foods that are rich in fat are very hard to digest. Spicy foods can also cause indigestion and heartburn. If you like eating spicy foods, make sure to limit your intake and drink plenty of water after every meal.

8.      Avoid wearing tight clothing

Tight-fitted clothes can constrict the stomach and prevent it from properly digesting food. It can also drive stomach acids to the esophagus and cause irritation. Make sure to button off your jeans or wear well-fitted clothes during a meal.

9.      Increase stress tolerance

Stress can lead to indigestion. Try to avoid things that make you feel stressed or find ways to relieve it like doing sports or other physical activities. It's also recommended not to resort to eating as your way of relieving stress.

10.  Exercise Regularly

Among the many benefits of exercising regularly is preventing indigestion. Because exercise promotes muscular contraction and better blood flow, the digestive organs are able to function efficiently. But avoid doing it after a meal and give the food a few hours to process before doing your exercise

 

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