Ah ha! So you’ve got indigestion again. It’s that terrible pain in your chest that always makes you think you are having a heart attack. Or that horrible feeling of fullness that means you can’t consider tying your shoelaces. Or you have a burning sensation or belching and a bad taste in your mouth. Whatever it is it probably comes from a faulty upper digestive tract.
It’s not surprising that it feels so awful because digestion is a complex system of mixing enzymes that require strong alkaline and then strong acid solutions to work. So you’re dealing with a chemistry set. The acid in your stomach can be as low as 1 or 2 on a ph scale of 1 – 14 with 7 being neutral, that is very acidic.
Your symptoms may range from mild to severe, depending on what is causing your indigestion. They may also go very quickly, come and go, or they may be regular and last for a long time.
So what do you want to do? You can take the antacids from the pharmacy. Antacids are medicines that can relieve symptoms of indigestion by neutralising acid in your stomach. They usually contain magnesium or aluminium. They work quickly but usually only for a short time.
If antacids don’t work, or you need to take them frequently to relieve your symptoms, your pharmacist may recommend H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs). These work by reducing the amount of acid that your stomach produces. They don’t work as quickly as antacids but their effect lasts for longer.
If your symptoms continue, your pharmacist may suggest you try a low dose of another type of medicine called a proton pump inhibitor. Proton pump inhibitors work by reducing your stomach acid. You can take an over-the-counter proton pump inhibitor for up to four weeks.
If you don’t fancy doing any of this and don’t want to take medications or ore medications there is still good news:
Homeopathy could be the answer; try Nux Vomica, Lycopodium, Carbo veg, China or Arsenicum
If you don’t get a good result, go and see your homeopath.
DO NOT even consider treating it yourself if you have any of these as well: unexplained weight loss, difficulty swallowing, blood in your stool, sweating, palpitations, vomiting or difficulty breathing, you’ve got a family history of bad indigestion
Our aromatherapist Michelle says there are traditional blends aromatherapists make up if you’ve got digestive complaints for instance peppermint, ginger, perhaps some chamomile or lavender to aid relaxation and de-stress. If your indigestion is caused by stress massage is fantastic at lowering stress levels and maintaining equilibrium.
Cut down on foods that you think may trigger your symptoms. It may help to keep a food diary to track what you eat and your symptoms.
Stop smoking. That will help acid reflux.
Drink less alcohol. That relaxes the muscles at the top of stomach and lets the acid out and it burns the throat.
Sleep in a more upright position by raising the head of your bed with blocks of wood or bricks.
Don’t eat less than three hours before going to bed.
Try to reduce your stress levels. Avoid eating when stressed – if you have just had an argument with your spouse for example always wait until you are feeling calmer before eating so your energies are focused on digestion and not elsewhere, this is where comfort eaters often become unstuck. Avoid stressors – cutting down on alcohol and quitting smoking should help
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Cut down on saturated fats which make your digestion system work very hard, and try using a smaller plate to cut down your with your digestive juices. stay upright after you have eaten – lounging on the couch is not going to aid digestion and will encourage stomach acids to flow the wrong way. Overly spicy foods should also be avoided. Cutting down on animal protein foods such as meat and conversely milk will make a difference, too much butter can also aggravate the condition – overindulging on buttery biscuits at Christmas always gets me.
Don’t eat too much or too quickly. Eat slowly , savour and enjoy your food, try not to wolf it down.