Heartburn and indigestion are commonly used terms. However, heartburn and indigestion are the two things which lead us to confusion always as we actually do not know what we are going through. These are digestive issues but are often confused and make way for people to get medicated incorrectly.
Heartburn is caused due to a lot of reasons such as side effects due to medicines, hiatal hernia, Gastroesophageal reflux disease and also upon consumption of certain food substances such as peppermint, chocolate, spicy and acidic foods, fatty foods etc. When you experience heartburn there will usually be a pain in the neck or throat, feeling or sourness in the mouth and this often reaches the throat or a burning feel in the chest.
Indigestion or dyspepsia is mainly a discomfort or pain that is caused in the stomach area and also under the ribs. It is associated with numerous symptoms. Normally indigestion is caused when you eat quickly, eat a large portion of food, consumption of excess alcohol or excess caffeine and consumption of spicy, greasy, and high-fat food. It could also be caused due to various health disorders such as gastritis, pancreatitis, gallstones or ulcers. Indigestion can also be caused when you feel anxious or stressed or when you smoke tobacco products or through medicine side effects. When indigestion is caused, you can sense it through certain symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, belching, heartburn, discomfort in the belly and feeling of bloating.
These two problems can be caused at the same time. You may feel that they are similar. Normally the symptoms are associated with eating food that is not suitable for you or eating in excess or eating quickly.
Here are some quick tips on how to treat heartburn and indigestion.
- It is better to avoid fatty and spicy foods as these are the main elements that lead to heartburn and indigestion. Apart from this, consumption of excess alcohol will also give rise to this problem and hence, it should be avoided.
- Limit the portion of your food and develop a habit of eating slowly. It is suggested to chew your food so that you end up eating slowly. It is important to avoid talking when you consume food so that you can focus on chewing your food.
- Studies show that relaxing and relieving stress will help in preventing indigestion.
- It is recommended to limit the intake of beverages and certain acid-stimulating foods.
- Once you consume food, it is suggested not to lie down till about two hours. When you lie down, the gravity assists in keeping the stomach juice from backing up into the esophagus. Hence, it is better to avoid resting soon after consumption of food.
- It is suggested to avoid smoking as nicotine leads to relaxation of the esophageal sphincter. Smoking fuels the making of stomach acid.
- It is better to avoid clothes or belts that fit tightly around your waist. As it squeezes your stomach and forces the food against lower esophageal sphincter, also known as LES. This leads to reflux of food into the esophagus.
- It is ideal to elevate your head to a certain height when you sleep. Lying down flat would press the contents of the stomach against the lower esophageal sphincter. When the head is held higher than the stomach, the gravity helps in reducing the pressure. For elevating your head, you can make use of an additional pillow.
- Yoga has been a wonderful way to treat the problem of heartburn and indigestion. There are many yoga poses that help you to treat this problem effectively. Once you start doing these you will never need any medications as well! You may try doing the forward bending position, the reclining butterfly position, the cat position, the thunderbolt position, and the half spinal twist position. These positions are definitely the best to treat this problem in a healthy way.
Apart from this, there are also a lot of medications available that will help in treating the problem of heartburn and indigestion. However, it is suggested to always get in touch with the doctor before taking such medications. People with anemia, diabetes or old age are required to strictly follow doctor’s advice before taking such medications.
It is suggested to follow the simple tips mentioned above for treating these problems as the intake of antacids normally will lead to various other problems such as constipation, nausea, diarrhea, headache etc. Following the lifestyle changes will always help in getting rid of this problem in a healthy manner. It will help in improving overall health as well and help in getting rid of various other health problems. Even after you go ahead with dietary and lifestyle changes and do not experience positive signs, it is suggested to visit a doctor and get medicated for great relief.