Help for Indigestion

April 23 2016No Commented

Categorized Under: Health product reviews, Natural health information, Natural health supplements

Most of us have experienced some form of indigestion before.  Personally I find the older I get, the more easily I can experience some kind of gastric problem after eating food.  Whether this be actual acid reflux, pain in my abdomen,  a heavy tight, bloated feeling, gall bladder twinges (usually felt on the right side, below the breast, under the rib cage), excessive gas or an urgency to rush to the toilet after eating.  digestive pain

There are many reasons why we can experience symptoms of indigestion.
Some of the most common include:

  • You could have eaten your meal too quickly and not chewed your food adequately (there are only teeth in our mouth.  They are no where else in our digestive system so we need to chew things up well before swallowing).  You may notice when you have a bowel motion, food is still recognisable & either partially or undigested.
  • You could have eaten when you are stressed.  This could affect the amount of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes that are released by the digestive organs, preventing foods from being broken down adequately.  This could result in a heavy feeling after eating, like the food is remaining in your stomach and not moving through your digestive system.
  • Drinking too much liquid at the same time as eating your meal or food.  This can dilute hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, preventing food from being broken down properly.
  • You may not release adequate digestive enzymes from your digestive organs, so may not break your food down adequately.  A common symptoms of this is gas (a fermentation of the food eaten)
  • Dehydration can cause a “pooling” of the hydrochloric acid and when there is an excess amount of this, you can experience a “spill over” and hence the feeling of acid in your throat and mouth.  If this happens, drinking a large amount of water (say 1 litre) can dilute it and temporarily relieve the symptom.
  • You may have been on a course of antibiotics or some other medication that has affected the balance of good bacteria in your gastro intestinal tract.  This can cause your intestinal tract to feel inflammed or irritated.  Due to this lack of good bacteria you may experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and an irritated burning sensation around your anus (some people think they have worms)
  • Your diet may be too high in fatty foods, sugar, alcohol and processed foods.  Your digestive organs may have trouble releasing adequate enzymes, bile and hydrochloric acid to break these down adequately, before they start to ferment and putrefy in the gastro-intestinal tract.  The result can include most of the symptoms I have mentioned above.

Having good digestion is really important

Your intestine is where you absorb the nutrients from the food you have eaten.  Anything you can do to help this process, you will benefit from and hence reduce the possibility of symptoms of indigestion.

To improve digestion, I suggest:enzymes

Taking a digestive enzyme at each main meal.  This will “top up” vital enzymes your digestive organs may not make in adequate amounts or efficiently enough.   We love the Enzyme Specialist range of enzymes by Enzymedica. Enzymedica products are vegan and kosher and cover all aspects of digestion.  They contain some of the most comprehensive combinations of enzymes we have.

We also have chewable enzymes tablets, that offer a similar action to over the counter antacids.  These include Papaya Mint, and DigestEzyme.  These are chewed after a meal, if you start to experience any symptoms of indigestion.  Digestive Ease tea can be made up and drunk hot or cold and can also help to relieve gastric distress.

Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE! Most of us need to drink more water.  Being adequately hydrated is vital to a healthy, properly working digestive system.  Most people need no less than 2 litres of water a day, sipped on consistently throughout the day, rather than all at once.  If you do not drink much water now, start increasing this amount today.  Start by filling a 750ml sipper bottle and OWN this.  What I mean by this is Be responsible for picking this up and taking it everywhere with you and sipping on it throughout the day.  Make a goal to finish this 1 bottle by the end of your working day.  When you can comfortably do this, increase this goal to finishing 1 by mid day and another by 5pm.  Once you can do this, the last bit will be easy.  Remember, you will benefit from ANY increase in water consumption, so just drink it, dont worry too much initially about How much you are having.  You can read this extra information Leanne has written about the importance of adequate Water

Take a probiotic to replenish the amount of beneficial or friendly bacteria in your gastro intestinal tract.  I love the Inner Health range of probiotic supplements.  These highly researched probiotic supplements cover many different “needs” including probiotic strains for helping with better Immunity, Medically diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Eczema, Allergies, Candida albicans, Diarrhoea and the daily combination found in Inner Health Plus.

Eat more fresh raw vegetables and eat these at the beginning of your meal.  If you do not have candiadiasis (a candida overgrowth) mix 1 tablespoon of Organic apple cider vinegar with your favourite oil, herbs and seasoning and mix to emulsify, to make into a dressing.  Pour this on your salad vegetables.  By having your salad at the start of the meal, the naturally occurring enzymes in these fresh vegetables will help to top up what your body didn’t produce, to help you do digest your food better.

If you are stressed, consider putting your meal off for a little while, until you can relax and hence digest your food better.  Try removing yourself from the stressful situation, go outside and get some fresh air and focus of taking some deep breaths in and when you breath out, breath all of that tension out of your body.  Maybe have a walk and a change of scenery. You can get some relaxing essential oils such as lavender, clary sage, aniseed and ylang ylang and add a few drops of this to a tissue.  Breath in the vapour to help you to feel more relaxed.

If you continue to have digestive problems, yet you are taking a probiotic and a digestive enzyme, consider that your digestive system may be reacting to some of the foods you are consuming.  There are a number of ways to help identify what these may be.  These include to keep a food and symptom diary and start writing down everything that you eat and drink (EVER tiny bite or sip!) and what your symptoms are like.  As well as the specific digestive symptoms you may experience, other symptoms that could point to a “reaction” to something you have just consumed could also include fatigue after eating, a heavy head or a frontal headache, yawning, sneezing or coughing after food, especially excessively (like sneezing 4 or 5 times in a row) or a skin reaction like a patch of eczema flaring up afterwards (there are many more, these are the few that come to mind while writing this).  You can also have a Food Sensitivity test, where spots of your blood are tested for a “remembered immune response” or IgG in your body.   This test checks the immune response to 93 common or 96 vegetarian foods in the diet.  If your immune system has responded or over reacted to any of the foods tested, this will show up and will be listed as a reaction.

If you have tried these things and continue to have a digestive problem, call one of our Naturopathic team for further advice.  We would be happy to help you.

Leanne James Naturopath
Founder Ideal Health


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