indigestion and possible treatments

June 17, 2011

Symptoms of Indigestion and Possible Treatments

The symptoms of indigestion can be a mild nausea, heartburn, pain in the upper abdomen, gas, a boated feeling, an acid taste in the mouth and a general, vague feeling of discomfort in the abdomen or chest. Indigestion happens during eating, drinking or chewing gum, or soon after. Things that worsen the symptoms of indigestion are obesity, smoking, constipation, eating food that hasn?t been properly cooked, eating fatty foods, an intolerance to gas forming foods like beans, members of the cabbage family or members of the onion family, too much red meat and too little fiber, too much alcohol, intolerance of certain foods and food allergies. Stress and fatigue can also worsen indigestion, as can overwork, as the body uses energy to deal with the stress and not digestion.

Taking drugs like antacids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers, cardiac drugs and drugs to stabilize blood pressure can alter the pH of the stomach, which is normally from 1.5 to 2.5. A pH of 3.5 will interfere with the action of pepsin and hydrochloric acid, both necessary for proper digestion. An abnormal pH can also suppress helpful bacteria in the gut, and lead to the overgrowth of helicobacter pylori, which can lead to peptic ulcer. Eating in stressful conditions also badly affects enzyme production, as each food needs a certain enzyme to be properly digested.

Indigestion famously might mimic the symptoms of a heart attack, with the pain radiating up the left arm and into the jaw, but it also might mask a more serious disease of the digestive track. Symptoms shouldn’t be ignored if they persist or worsen. Diseases that have similar symptoms to indigestion and to which indigestion might be a precursor include heartburn caused by ulcers in the esophagus, gallbladder disease, ulcers, gastritis, which is an inflammation or even erosion of the stomach lining, hiatal hernia, where part of the stomach protrudes into the chest, acid reflux, where stomach acid bubbles up into the esophagus, stomach cancer, and heart attack.

The best way to avoid the symptoms of indigestion is to lower stress levels, avoid foods that cause allergies or don’t digest well, cut down on alcohol consumption, relax after meals, don?t bolt meals and eat in a calm and restful environment. Situations where air is swallowed, such as chewing gum, should also be avoided.

Herbs rich in minerals and trace minerals can help with proper digestion of food. The minerals in herbs work with enzymes in the gut to help food digest properly. Among the herbs that might work for nutrient absorption are sources of fiber like aloe vera, burdock root, slippery elm and kelp, bile stimulants like dandelion root, alkalizing agents like chlorella and peppermint, sources of chlorophyll like alfalfa, nettles and watercress, and sources of beneficial bacteria like garlic, lemon peel and miso. These herbs can be taken in the form of drinks or capsules. If ulcers have developed along with indigestion, licorice root and aloe vera are among the herbs that are good for soothing them, and ginger is well known for easing nausea.

For more information on indigestion symptoms please feel free to download the Reflux Remedy Report at today!

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