Indigestion is also known as dyspepsia. It refers to recurrent or persistent discomfort and pain in the region of the upper abdomen. Indigestion being an extremely common problem affects people of all ages and both sexes. It can adversely affect the life of an individual.
What are the various causes of indigestion?
Various causes that manifest as indigestion are:-
- Cancer of the stomach
- Gastroparesis is often seen in people with diabetes.
- Infections of the stomach
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Diseases related to the thyroid gland
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Oral contraceptives and estrogen
- Steroid medications
- Thyroid medications
- Certain antibiotics
- Aspirin and other painkillers, such as NSAIDs.
- Eating too much quantity of food at a time or eating hurriedly may lead to swallowing excessive air. This increases belching and bloating leading to indigestion.
- Eating during a stressful situation.
- Eating food rich in fats
- Drinking excessive alcohol
- Smoking cigarette
- Fatigue and stress-prone routine
What are the signs and symptoms of indigestion?
- Burning sensation in the region of the stomach and upper abdomen
- Pain in the abdomen
- Full feeling or bloating
- Gas and belching
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Acidic taste
- Growling in the stomach
These signs and symptoms of indigestion tend to increase during a stressful period.
How can indigestion be diagnosed?
Indigestion can be diagnosed with the help of the following procedures:-
- Blood tests
- X-ray of the stomach
- X-ray of the small intestine
- Endoscopy of the upper abdomen.
What lifestyle changes can help to manage the problem of indigestion?
- Eat slowly.
- Eat small meals so that the stomach is not burdened.
- Avoid food items that have high levels of acids such as citric fruits and tomatoes.
- Avoid or at least reduce food and drinks that contain caffeine.
- Quit smoking which can irritate the stomach lining.
- Manage stress by methods such as relaxation and biofeedback techniques, yoga, meditation, or pursuing favorite hobbies.
- Avoid or at least reduce intake of alcohol as alcohol can irritate the stomach lining.
- Avoid wearing garments that are tight-fitting as they compress the stomach and cause the content to enter the esophagus.
- Never exercise when the stomach is full. Always exercise either before a meal or at least one hour after a meal.
- Avoid lying down for at least three hours after eating.
- Sleep with your head elevated to at least six inches above the feet with the help of pillows.
What is the best treatment for indigestion?
Homeopathy provides the best and safe treatment for indigestion. Well-selected homeopathic medicine helps to provide relief from the discomfort caused by indigestion and helps to eliminate the chances of future recurrence of indigestion.
Top 7 Homeopathic Medicines for Indigestion and Gas?
1. CARBO VEGETABILIS– It is indicated for indigestion from a drunken debauch, late supper, or consuming salt meats, spoiled fish, meats, or fats as well as medications such as quinine. There is excessive accumulation of gas which is temporarily relieved by eructation. There may be frequent, cadaverous-smelling, involuntary stools. The patient may feel very exhausted and seek constant fanning.
2. LYCOPODIUM CLAVATUM– It helps to treat bloating of the abdomen from eating even very little food. This distension is worse from 4- 8 pm. The patient has a person has craving for sweet and hot drinks. He is greedy, and miserly and cannot endure contradiction or opposition.
3. NUX VOMICA– It is the best medicine for indigestion that arises after taking spicy food, alcoholic beverages, and caffeinated drinks. Indigestion arising from the consumption of painkillers and antibiotics is well treated with this medicine. The symptoms of nausea or constipation are accompanied by constant but ineffectual urging. It is best suited to people who are ardent, irritable, impatient, and disposed to anger, spite, or deception.
4. PULSATILLA– It is indicated when indigestion arises due to eating fatty food such as ice creams, ghee, butter, etc. it is most suited to patients who are mild, indecisive, weepy, and who are better by consolation. They are mostly thirstless. The symptoms of indigestion are of changeable nature and often accompanied by chilliness.
5. ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM– It is best suited to people who are disposed to get fat and who cannot bear to be touched or looked at due to depression. They have great sadness with weeping and loathing of life. They may have indigestion after stress due to disappointment in love or from overeating especially acids, fats, and fruits. They have a thickly white-coated tongue and headaches associated with deranged digestion.
6. ARSENICUM ALBUM– It is best for indigestion that arises due to eating cold fruits, ice cream, ice water, sour beer, bad sausage, alcoholic drink, and strong cheese. The patient as a person is very restless and keeps changing positions. During diarrhoea, the stools are scanty, offensive, and followed by marked prostration. The thirst is frequent but for little quantity of water at a time.
7. CINCHONA OFFICINALIS– It is best suited to treat indigestion from eating fruits. The whole abdomen seems to be bloated and may cause severe pain. There may be diarrhoea with extreme prostration.
Thus we can see that indigestion is a very common problem these days. It can be mild or adversely affect the life of an individual. It is attributed to many causes such as various medical conditions like ulcers, GERD, infections, and even cancer of the stomach. Various medications such as OCPs, antibiotics, and steroids also cause indigestion.
Apart from this, faulty lifestyle practices such as eating hurriedly or too much, smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, and a sedentary routine can lead to indigestion sooner or later. Indigestion is often found to worsen during a stressful period.
Along with removing the causative factors in each case, appropriate homeopathic treatment helps treat indigestion safely and effectively.
The top 7 medicines to deal with indigestion include Arsenicum Album, Cinchona Officinalis, Lycopodium, Nux Vomica, Pulsatilla, Carbo Vegetabilis, and Antimonium Crudum.