What is Indigestion? how can I prevent it?
Indigestion occurs when the body is having difficulty digesting food. This causes pain or an uncomfortable feeling in the middle part of your stomach as a result. The pain may come and go, but it is there most of the time. Indigestion can be occasional or a recurring problem.
Symptoms of indigestion
- Burning pain in the stomach or upper abdomen
- Excessive belching/burping
- Acidic taste in the mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- These symptoms normally get worse after lying down or bending over
Food-related causes: Overeating or eating too fast, eating spicy foods, eating high-fat or greasy foods, or drinking too much alcohol.
A pre-existing condition: people with diseases like GERD, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pancreatitis, thyroid disease, gastroparesis in diabetics or pregnancy are at risk of indigestion.
Medications: Excessive use of medicines like Aspirin and Ibuprofen could cause indigestion. Also, the use of contraceptives, iron supplements, some antibiotics, or thyroid medications can interfere with digestion.
Emotional problems like anxiety, stress, and fatigue can cause indigestion.
How can I prevent indigestion?
- Eat smaller more frequent meals. This allows your body to digest little amounts of food at a time.
- Avoid trigger foods like coffee, spices , carbonated drinks, and high acidic foods like oranges tomatoes & lemons
- Eliminate fried and fatty foods from your diet. These food take long to digest and lead to excessive acid production. Therefore worsening indigestion symptoms
- Avoid eating foods within 4 hours of going to bed. It averagely takes 4 hours to digest food. Therefore, this means by the time you lie down to sleep, your stomach is empty and therefore little chances of discomfort.
- Do not lie down on bend over immediately after eating since they make the symptoms worse.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking
- If you are overweight or obese, shedding some weight can help reduce chances of indigestion
- Always wear nice fitting to loose clothes. Since tight fitting clothes squeeze your stomach and could cause acid to go up the oesophagus. This causes a burning feeling in the chest and acid taste in the stomach
- Have plenty of rest and other stress management strategies to reduce stress
When should I see the doctor?
Occasional indigestion may not be a problem, it will resolve itself. However consistent indigestion could be an indication of an underlying condition. It is therefore important to see a doctor immediately. If you also vomit frequently or have blood in the stool or you are losing weight and constantly tired, you need to see a doctor.