Indigestion or dyspepsia is a symptom rather than a particular disease caused by different diseases or disorders in the body. The most common causative factor is dietetics error especially due to modern lifestyle changes.
The digestive system and process of digestion starts from the mouth. The stomach is the most abused organ in our digestive system. An overloaded stomach can prevent the diaphragm to function properly and may also cause pressure on the heart.
The most common symptoms include in association with indigestion are feeling of heaviness or undue fullness after eating, abdominal especially epigastric pain, heartburn, loss of hunger, nausea, vomiting, water brash in mouth, excessive wind or gas. There may also be a bad taste in the mouth, fall breath, and coated tongue.
In a previous article, I described complete information about causes and investigation for a case of indigestion. Today we will discuss treatment with effective home remedies and what care should be taken for indigestion.
As a home remedy, the best effective treatment for indigestion should be aimed towards thorough cleansing of the alimentary canal, adoption of a well-balanced diet, and a change in lifestyle.
Treatment should be started with an all-fruit diet for about 5 days. After that limited diet plan should be started with easily digestible foods, consisting of lightly cooked vegetables, juicy fruits, and buttermilk for about 10 days. Well-balanced foods should be started regularly then after.
Fruits are highly beneficial in dyspepsia. They restore the health to perfect order by flushing out the undigested food residue and accumulated feces as it contains high water amount along with vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients which helps to clean body mechanism and restore all functions.
Lemon is one of the best among all fruits in cases of indigestion. Its juice attacks the bacteria inhabiting the formation of acids. Lemon juice is helpful to remove acid and other harmful substances from the stomach. Likewise, it strengthens and increases a healthy appetite. You can squeeze a lemon in a glass of warm water and drink it.
In chronic indigestion, orange is an effective fruit remedy. It gives proper rest to the digestive tract by providing the best nutrients to the body in the most easily absorbable form.
It improves digestion and appetite by stimulating the flow of digestive juices.
It also provides a suitable condition for the development of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
But we should also keep in mind that orange and lemon should not be consumed in large quantity at a time or in a day as it is acidic food and may cause digestive disturbances if taken in excessive quantity.
Another effective fruit is Grapes which is light food. It helps to remove the irritation of the stomach in a short time and relieves heat.
It acts as a tonic in the cases of dyspepsia. After a meal half a glass of pineapple juice should be taken to relieve digestive disorders.
Peppermint and ginger tea is very beneficial. Peppermint has an antispasmodic property and helpful in reducing indigestion, nausea, stomach cramps, and also bad breath of mouth.
Ginger is an age-old home remedy for many disorders. It can be ingested in many ways. Take four cups of water and boil one or two pieces of ginger. You can add lemon and honey for better taste before drinking it.
Both ginger and peppermint should be taken in limit because excessive use can disturb your digestive tract and can cause heartburn, gaseous disturbances, etc.
It is available in every kitchen and helpful in reducing indigestion, bloating, and gaseous discomfort quickly. Mix a small quantity say for about half a teaspoon of baking soda into a small glass of about 150 to 200 ml of warm water and drink it.
It is usually safe. But if you take in large quantities and frequently, it may have undesirable side effects. Please read this article about the side effects in detail.
Yoga Asanas and exercises:
Yoga and Asanas like ardha-matsyendrasana, sarvangasana, pawanmuktasana, uttanpadasana, yogamudra, bhujangasana, shavasana and shalabhsana is very helpful.
Pranayama such as kapalbhati, anulom-vilom, and Ujjai and Kriyas like Jalneti and Kunjal are highly beneficial.
Light exercises such as walking, swimming, golf, etc. should be done rather than very heavy exercise.
Enema should be done daily to cleanse toxic bowel waste.
Hydrotherapy such as applying ice bags on the stomach half an hour after a meal, wet girdle pack at night, daily cold friction bath, and hot and cold hip baths alternatively at night is also beneficial.
Massaging of the abdomen is also helpful but should be done carefully under the care of a professional healthcare person or doctor.
Lifestyle change and Suggestions
Dietetic error is the most common cause of indigestion. So following are the important suggestions and precautions that must be followed to remain healthy.
- Never eat in a hurry and worry. Eat very slowly and chew every bolus thoroughly. Ayurveda suggest to chew food bolus for 32 times.
- Eating and drinking together should be avoided. Milk, buttermilk, and vegetable soups can be taken with food. But water and other liquids can be taken half an hour before or after a meal.
- Avoid eating heavily till the stomach gets completely full. Try to develop a habit of leaving the table with the feeling that you could eat still more.
- Boiling vegetables should be avoided. Rather than boiling steam them.
- Don’t eat if you don’t have an appetite. Until the real appetite returns miss a meal or two.
- Emotions affect the body. So never eat with emotions like worry, tired, excited, or irritability. Because it affects the secretion of digestive juices including hydrochloric acid.
- Too many food items should not be mixed at the same time. Protein and many starchy or oily foods should be taken separately as much as possible.
Indigestion during pregnancy
Aversion to the smell of food and loss of appetite is common during pregnancy. The following care should be taken during pregnancy including the tips suggested above.
- Avoid alcohol and stop smoking.
- Change bad habits of eating and drinking. It provides much relaxation from indigestion. Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Eat frequent and small quantities of food instead of 2 or 3 heavy meals. Avoid fatty, spicy foods, and caffeinated drinks. Chew properly.
- Sit up straight in an upright position while having a meal.
- Consult your doctor if you have problematic symptoms like weight loss, difficulty in swallowing, epigastric or stomach pain, and any other unusual symptoms.
This article is for educational and information purposes only. Please consult your doctor before taking any action.