Digestion is the process of breaking down food that we eat into smaller molecules, so that they are absorbed as nutrients by our body. These small molecules is what helps the body to be energetic all through the day. However, sometimes the large molecules of food are not chemically broken down by the digestive system, which is when we suffer from indigestion after eating. In medical terms, this condition is termed as dyspepsia, which can affect any and everybody. But, incorrect diet and unhealthy lifestyle are the two main reasons that can trigger this condition.
For proper digestion to occur, the stomach secretes an acid known as hydrochloric acid. The organs of the digestive system, namely, the stomach, esophagus, and intestines have a mucous lining, which protects any seepage of the strong acid. When the mucous lining gets damaged, the digestive acid irritates the tissues lying underneath which can lead to irritation and indigestion. However, most of the time, indigestion is related to unhealthy eating habits. Other causes include:
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Substance abuse
- Stress and anxiety
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Irregular meal patterns
- Unhealthy diet
- Sleep deprivation
- Excessive consumption of caffeine
- Stomach ulcers
- Spicy food
- Hiatus hernia
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- Acid reflux disease
- Peptic ulcers
- Stomach cancer
Pain and discomfort are the obvious symptoms of indigestion. You are also likely to suffer from discomfort in your upper abdomen or chest. Other commonly observed symptom of digestion problems is heartburn. The heartburn and discomfort will begin immediately after you've finished eating. The other symptoms include:
- Feeling of being full or stuffed
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
If you are experiencing the above mentioned symptoms, you must consult your doctor immediately. To diagnose the severity of indigestion, he will palpate different areas of your abdomen to feel it's rigidity. If your case is severe, he may carry out some tests, including blood tests, to check whether you are anemic. To examine your abdomen in more detail, your doctor may suggest you to have an endoscopy, as this will bring out the underlying cause of the problem. He may also conduct tests like, urea breath test, stool antigen test or blood test, to check whether you are suffering from Helicobacter pylori infection.
Ginger Root Tea: Forget the apple, one cup of ginger root tea will keep the doctor away! Ginger is the remedy for most of the things, and is one of the cures your indigestion too. To make ginger root tea, take 2-3 pieces of shredded ginger and boil it in one cup water, strain it, and drink it hot.
Peppermint Tea: Peppermint works really well for treating this condition. To make peppermint tea you will need, handful of peppermint leaves. Boil these leaves in a cup of water or add it your regular tea, without milk and sugar, then strain the concoction, and drink it hot.
Basil Mixture: Take about 5-6 chopped basil leaves, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ground black pepper and ½ a cup of yogurt. Mix all these ingredients well and have it 4 times a day for a week.
Chicory Root Tea: Chicory root is slightly bitter to taste. Take a few shredded pieces of chicory root, add them to a cup of boiling water, then allow the mixture to cool down, strain, and drink it hot.
Indigestion can be treated with a few simple lifestyle changes. Adopting healthy living ways is the best way to ensure a hale and hearty life. Hope these remedies provide you relief from your problem of indigestion, but if the problems continues, do consult a doctor.