Indigestion also known as dyspepsia, is a condition of impaired digestion. Symptoms may include upper abdominal fullness, heartburn, nausea, belching, or upper abdominal pain.People may also experience feeling full earlier than expected when eating.Dyspepsia is a common problem and is frequently caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or gastritis. In a small minority of cases it may be the first symptom of peptic ulcer disease (an ulcer of the stomach or duodenum) and, occasionally, cancer. Hence, unexplained newly onset dyspepsia in people over 55 or the presence of other alarming symptoms may require further investigations
Causes of Indigestion
Medications that may cause indigestion include:
- Aspirin and many other painkillers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Steroids (such as prednisone, methylprednisolone and Decadron)
- Estrogen and oral contraceptives
- Antibiotics (such as erythromycin and tetracycline)
- Thyroid medication
- Blood pressure medication
- Cholesterol medications (statins)
- Pain medications (codeine and other narcotics)
- GORD, where acids from the stomach reflux back up the oesophagus
- Stomach cancer (rare)
- Gastroparesis (a condition where the stomach doesn’t empty properly; this often occurs in diabetics)
- Stomach infections
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Thyroid disease
- Eating too much, eating too fast, eating foods high in fat or eating during stressful situations
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Stress and fatigue.
Symptoms of Indigestion
- Abdominal pain
- Heartburn or acid indigestion (acid reflux)
- Bloating (full feeling)
- Excessive gas (belching, burping or flatulence)
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Acidic taste in the mouth
- Gurgling, rumbling, or growling stomach discomfort
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Decreased appetite
- Burning sensation in the chest or upper abdomen, often called heartburn
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating (full feeling)
- Burping and passing wind
- Nausea and vomiting
- Acidic taste
Diagnosis of Indigestion
In addition to a physical exam and questions about your symptoms, a doctor may perform the following tests:
- Blood tests
- compete blood count (CBC)
- liver panel, amylase and lipase (for pancreatitis)
- kidney function test
- guaiac test (a test for blood in the stool)
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) testing, either by stool test or breath test
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD, or endoscopy)
- Upper GI and small bowel X-ray series
- CT Scan or MRI of the abdomen
- Gastric emptying study
Treatment of Indigestion
In severe or frequent cases of indigestion, a doctor may prescribe medication.
- Antacids –These counter the effects of stomach acid. Examples include Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Rolaids, Riopan, and Mylanta. These are over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that do not need a prescription. A doctor will usually recommend an antacid medication as one of the first treatments for dyspepsia.
- H-2-receptor antagonists–These reduce stomach acid levels and last longer than antacids. However, antacids act more quickly. Some of these are OTC, while others are only available on prescription.
Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, constipation, dand headaches after taking these. Other side effects may include bruising or bleeding.
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – Examples include Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, and Zegerid. PPIs are highly effective for people who also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). They reduce stomach acid and are stronger than H-2-receptor antagonists.
- Prokinetics – This medication is helpful for stomachs that empty slowly. One example of a prokinetic drug is Reglan. Side effects may include tiredness, depression, sleepiness, anxiety, and muscle spasms.
- Antibiotics – If H. pylori is causing peptic ulcers that result in indigestion, an antibiotic will be prescribed. Side effects may include an upset stomach, diarrhea, and fungal infections.
- Antidepressants – If the doctor finds no causes for indigestion after a thorough evaluation, and the person with dyspepsia has not responded to treatments, the doctor may prescribe low-dose antidepressants.
- Antidepressants sometimes ease discomfort by reducing the sensation of pain. Side effects may include nausea, headaches, agitation, constipation, and night sweats.
- Psychological therapy – For people with functional dyspepsia, psychological therapy can help manage the cognitive aspects of indigestion. Cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, and relaxation therapy may be recommended.
The doctor may also recommend making changes to a person’s current medication schedule if they suspect that it could be causing indigestion. A course of aspirin or ibuprofen may sometimes be stopped and alternative medications advised.
Prevention of Indigestion
The best way to prevent indigestion is to avoid the foods and situations that seem to cause it. Keeping a food diary is helpful in identifying foods that cause indigestion. Here are some other suggestions:
- Eat small meals so the stomach does not have to work as hard or as long.
- Eat slowly.
- Avoid foods that contain high amounts of acids, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes.
- Reduce or avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine.
- If stress is a trigger for your indigestion, re-evaluating your lifestyle may help to reduce stress. Learn new methods for managing stress, such as relaxation andbiofeedback techniques.
- Smokers should consider stopping smoking, or at least not smoking right before or after eating, as smoking can irritate the stomach lining.
- Cut back on alcohol consumption because alcohol can irritate the stomach lining.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting garments because they tend to compress the stomach, which can cause its contents to enter the oesophagus.
- Do not exercise on a full stomach. Rather, exercise before a meal or at least one hour after eating a meal.
- Do not lie down right after eating.
- Eat your last meal of the day at least three hours before going to bed.
- Sleep with your head elevated (at least 6 inches) above your feet using thick books or bricks under the bed to achieve this. This will help enable digestive juices to flow into the intestines rather than into the oesophagus.
Natural Home Remedies For Indigestion
The first remedy in the list of top 21 home remedies for indigestion is fennel seeds. In fact, fennel seeds are really beneficial in treating indigestion which is caused by consuming fatty or spicy foods.
“Fennel seeds have volatile oils helping you decrease nausea as well as control flatulence.”
- ½ teaspoon of fennel seed powder
- A little water
- You simply mix the fennel seed powder well with enough water and drink this remedy two times per day.
- On another way, you may drink the fennel tea which is made by steeping 2 teaspoons of grinded fennel seeds in 1 cup of hot water.
- Or you just chew 1 spoonful of fennel seeds to relieve this problem.
Indigestion often occurs when the levels of stomach acids are high. Baking soda will be an effective and simple treatment for this condition because it works as an antacid, which, in turn, aids you in neutralizing your digestive tract acids. In addition, baking soda has the ability to break down foods you consumed and thus making digestion easier. Plus, the baking soda addition is able to balance the pH level of your body as well as reduce bloating and excess gas.
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ glass of water
- You firstly mix the baking soda with the water and stir well.
- Then you drink this mixture to balance the acid in the stomach as well as give you complete relief from bloating.
- You should apply this process whenever you have the indigestion symptoms.
Peppermint Herbal Tea
Consuming herbal tea, especially peppermint tea, after you have a heavy meal may greatly decrease indigestion. Peppermint tea is one of the effective herbal home remedies for indigestion pain. This herb is capable of calming your stomach muscles and also improving bile flow, which, will allow foods to more easily move through your stomach into your small intestine. Here is one of the home remedies for indigestion with peppermint herbal tea that you may follow.
- You simply dip a peppermint herbal tea bag into 1 cup of hot water.
- You allow it to steep for about 5 minutes.
- Then you drink this tea when it is still warm.
Coriander And Buttermilk
Coriander is considered as an effective spicy to heal indigestion because it can promote the digestive enzymes production as well as help you to calm your stomach. Apart from coriander, buttermilk is also used for many years as a natural effective treatment for indigestion. It can help you to neutralize acids causing indigestion and coat your stomach.
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seed powder (roasted)
- 1 glass of buttermilk
- First of all, you add the roasted coriander seed powder in the buttermilk
- Then you stir them well to make a fine mixture
- You drink this mixture one or two times per day.
- Besides, to decrease acidity in your stomach, you extract a teaspoon of the fresh coriander leaves juice and then mix it in a cup of buttermilk. You should drink this 2 or 3 times a day.
This available herb may be useful for people who are suffering from indigestion. In fact, cinnamon can help you in your digestive process as well as provide relief from bloating and cramps. The extract of cinnamon has been used for ages to aid in treating gastrointestinal conditions and calming your stomach. Besides, cinnamon is known as a carminative that is an agent breaking up intestinal gas. In traditional, this agent has been used to fight against morning sickness and diarrhea.
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1 cup of boiling water
- Now, you add the cinnamon powder into the boiling water
- You allow it to steep for at least 5 minutes.
- Then you drink this cinnamon tea when it is still warm to get the best results.
- This home remedy will help you to alleviate the symptoms of indigestion. But once you have excessive vomiting or intense abdominal pain, you have to see a doctor immediately.
Basil Leaves, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Hot Water, & Plain Yogurt
Basil is one of the excellent home remedies for indigestion along with acid reflux. Basil leaves also help you to relieve intestinal gas because of its carminative properties. You can chew some basil leaves after your meals to soothe your stomach and esophageal lining as well as relieve the soreness and irritation of your digestive tract. Besides, you can apply one of two home remedies for indigestion, using basil leaves as the main ingredient below:
Basil and hot water
- 1 teaspoon of basil
- 1 cup of hot water
- You firstly mix the basil with the hot water
- Then you stir well and let it steep for about 10 minutes.
- You should drink about 3 cups of this tea per day.
Basil leaves, sea salt, black pepper, and plain yogurt for indigestion
Yogurt is known as a smooth, cool, and alkaline food which owns a soothing effect on your esophagus. It is also comprised of probiotics that are beneficial bacteria found in your digestive tract. In addition, yogurt has the ability to boost your immune system and thus ensuring good overall health. Yogurt is used to aid your body in absorbing proteins and nutrients properly while black pepper is capable of stimulating your digestion process as well as extremely effective for getting rid of acid reflux.
- 4 to 6 ground basil leaves
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper powder
- ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
- You simply mix all 4 ingredients above together to make a mixture.
- Then you consume this mixture 2 or 3 times per day to get rid of indigestion.
Cumin Seed, Black Pepper, & Buttermilk
Cumin is beneficial in healing many digestive problems such as indigestion, nausea, flatulence, and diarrhea. In fact, cumin may stimulate the pancreatic enzymes secretion that helps to aid digestion. Here are two home remedies for indigestion with using cumin seed as the main ingredient that you can follow.
Cumin seed powder and water
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seed powder (roasted)
- 1 glass of water
- Firstly, you mix the cumin seed powder which is roasted in the water.
- Then you stir them well and drink it.
- You should drink this cumin water whenever you have any indigestion problem.
Cumin seed, black pepper, & buttermilk for indigestion
- ¼ teaspoon of cumin seed powder (roasted)
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 glass of buttermilk
- For heaviness in your stomach, you add the roasted cumin seed powder, black pepper in the buttermilk.
- You stir them well to make a fine mixture and then drink this mixture 2 or 3 times per day for several days.
Carom Seeds, Ginger, & Black Pepper
In fact, carom seeds (known as a Bishop’s weed) contain carminative and digestive properties which may help you a lot in treating indigestion, diarrhea, and flatulence, while ginger has a tendency to aid in neutralizing the toxin and acid balance found in your stomach and thus being used to treat indigestion. Besides, ginger is also proven to have the ability to control movement through your intestines as well as produce much more saliva and also various digestive fluids secreted in your body.
- A few carom seeds
- Some dried ginger slices
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 cup of lukewarm water
- At first, you grind the carom seeds with the dried ginger to make a fine powder.
- Then you add 1 teaspoon of this mixture powder with the black pepper in the warm water.
- You stir well and drink it once or twice per day.
- Or you can simply eat ½ teaspoon of carom seeds to help you relieve the indigestion symptoms.
Ginger, Lemon Juice, Table Salt, Black Salt, & Honey
Ginger has the ability to stimulate the digestive juices along with the enzymes flow which will help you to digest your food. Hence, ginger is considered as an effective remedy for healing indigestion, particularly when you eat too much.
In fact, you may sprinkle a little salt on the fresh ginger slices and then chew it thoroughly after you eat a heavy meal as a preventive measure.
Ginger juice, lemon juice, table salt, and black salt for indigestion
In fact, lemon juice is packed with a high source of vitamin C known as a potent antioxidant having the ability to remove harmful toxins from your body. You can try applying the combination of ginger and lemon juice along with a bit of table salt and black salt as one among home remedies for indigestion.
- 2 teaspoons of ginger juice
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- A pinch of black salt and table salt
- At first, you mix all these ingredients thoroughly to make a mixture.
- Then you consume this mixture (or with water) whenever you have any problem in your digest.
Remedy 2: ginger juice and manuka honey
This special kind of honey is very high in natural enzymes which will assist you a lot in digesting foods properly.
- To do it, you cut a ginger root into slices.
- Then you grind the slices and squeeze to get the ginger juice.
- Now, you mix 2 teaspoons of ginger juice and 1 teaspoon of honey together.
- You consume this mixture several times per day.
Besides, you may also drink the homemade ginger tea to help you get an instant relief from cramps, bloating, and gas along with stomach aches. To make the ginger tea, you simply add
Apple Cider Vinegar And Honey
Thanks to its natural acidic, apple cider vinegar will provide you with an alkalizing effect which helps you to get rid of indigestion while active manuka honey is loaded with antibiotics in nature, which, in turn, coats, protects, and soothes your esophagus outer lining.
- 1 tablespoon of unfiltered and raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- Firstly, you add the apple cider vinegar in the water.
- Then you mix them well and add the raw honey in this mixture.
- You stir thoroughly and drink this solution 2 to 3 times per day for a quick relief.
Generally, turmeric is beneficial in healing stomach bloating, diarrhea, stomach pain, intestinal gas, and heartburn. In addition, turmeric contains a superpower compound called curcumin which has many beneficial properties. Besides, it also promotes gallbladder contractions. Hence, you should include turmeric every day in any form to help you in healing indigestion.
Pomegranate Juice And Honey
If you are suffering from indigestion along with giddiness, this is one of the simple and natural home remedies that you must try. Pomegranate juice, in fact, is able to aid in balancing the acid in your stomach while honey is both free radical scavenging and antioxidant. When combining pomegranate juice with honey, you will have an effective solution which will help you to get rid of indigestion faster.
- A tablespoon of pomegranate juice
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- To do it, at first, you mix the pomegranate juice well with the honey.
- Next, you to stir them well until they transfer a consistent mixture.
- Now, you drink this mixture twice per day to keep indigestion at bay.
Black Pepper, & Cumin Seeds
In fact, you can run away from the garlic smell which might linger in the mouth. However, this little ingredient contains phenomenal properties which may stimulate the gastric system to assist you in getting relief from many ingestion problems. Besides, garlic has the pungent heating quality that can make it work so effectively. You may use garlic mixed with black pepper and cumin seeds as one of the home remedies for indigestion.
- Some ground garlic cloves
- A teaspoon of black pepper powder
- A teaspoon of cumin seeds powder
- You firstly put the ground garlic cloves in the water and then boil this mixture.
- After the mixture boils, you add the black pepper powder and cumin seeds powder in it. You continue to let it boil for a few minutes and strain this mixture.
- You allow the mixture to cool down and drink this 2 or 3 times per day to get the fruitful results.
- Or you may include the garlic in your hot soup which is hot to help it get absorbed by the digestive system faster.
Gentian is a common bitter herb and it has hundreds of varieties available in all over the world. All varieties of gentian have a bitter component and this will help a lot in stimulating digestion. This herb can reduce many symptoms including indigestion and bloat. In addition, it also has the ability to promote the bile flow from your liver. Hence, it is recommended that consuming about 2 grams of the dried gentian root per day in the tea form is very useful for your digestion.
Another remedy in the list of top 21 home remedies for indigestion is artichoke leaf. A study in 2003 evaluated proved that using artichoke leaf extract is much more beneficial than placebo in healing the symptoms of indigestion. Therefore, 6 grams of dried artichoke leaf (or its equivalent) every day is the ideal dosage for people who are suffering from indigestion. Remember that the artichoke leaf extract must be consumed based on the instruction on the label.
Asafoetida is also known as Hing. It is a digestive spicy that is cultivated commonly in India, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Asafoetida is an effective herb which can help you to treat many digestive problems such as flatulence, constipation, and stomach ache.
- To apply it, you simply take 1 pinch of asafoetida
- Then you add it to a glass of lukewarm water
- You stir well and consume this mixture 2 to 3 times per day to get an amazing result.
Amla (known as Gooseberry) is one of the perfect and home remedies for indigestion and acidity. If you take it when you have an empty stomach, it will aid you in fighting against indigestion problems and also curing constipation. In addition, it is also beneficial in increasing the level of insulin in your body, which, in turn, protects against cancer. Here is a homemade remedy with using dried amla that you can follow to treat indigestion.
- You simply boil a few amla pieces in the water.
- Then you mix them with salt and let them dry with the helping of sunshine.
- Now, after they become dries, you put them in an airtight jar and chew 1 to 2 dried amla pieces whenever you suffer from indigestion.
A common kitchen spice that may be very beneficial in treating indigestion is cardamom. In fact, cardamom contains the volatile oil that can help you to heal a number of digestive problems including indigestion and gas. You simply consume the cardamom seeds alone or add the roasted cardamom powder into the vegetables while you cook your meal. Additionally, cardamom tea is a very effective way to heal indigestion. You may drink the cardamom tea several times per day to assist you in speeding up your digestive process.
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