Combating Indigestion 

Mealtimes are supposed to be a time of relaxation and pleasure, but the TV is generally on with a soccer game or the news or we are so busy with life that we don’t often sit down and focus our meals.

 As a result, food doesn’t get chewed properly or we eat more than necessary and land up with a bout of indigestion and discomfort after eating meal. The symptoms of indigestion include bloating, belching, gas, nausea and vomiting, an acidic taste in the mouth and throat, growling stomach, abdominal pain and a burning sensation in the stomach or upper abdomen. These symptoms may worsen if one is under stress.

 Indigestion is very common, and people of any age or sex can be affected by it. An individual's risk increases with excess alcohol consumption, use of drugs that may irritate the stomach like aspirin, and other conditions where there is an abnormality in the digestive tract such as an ulcer, and emotional problems such as anxiety or depression.

 Lifestyle factors that may lead to indigestion include eating too much food or eating it too fast, eating foods that are high in fat, or eating whilst under stress. Other factors that may affect digestion of food are drinking alcohol before or during a meal, cigarette smoking and fatigue.  

Swallowing excessive air when eating may increase the symptoms of belching and bloating, which are associated with indigestion. 

During the middle and later parts of pregnancy, many women complain of indigestion. This is believed to be caused by a number of pregnancy-related factors including hormones, which relax the muscles of the digestive tract, and the pressure of the growing uterus on the stomach. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of indigestion, make an appointment to see your doctor to rule out a more serious condition. 

If you suffer from general indigestion as a result of unhealthy lifestyle habits, before you decide to reach for the antacid, you may want to consider making the following changes to your eating regime.

 

·                    Chew your food thoroughly. Proper chewing is important for effective digestion. Chewing stimulates the secretion of acid and digestive enzymes and breaks the food up so that stomach acid and digestive enzymes can penetrate the food and do their job properly.

·                    Avoid big meals. Small frequent meals will ease the burden on the digestive system.

·                    Avoid drinking liquids with meals. The fluids dilute the acids and enzymes that need to do the digestive work. Drink between meals and not at meal times.

·                    Practice mindful eating. Eat in the moment. Savor every bite, enjoying the flavors, textures, and smells of your meal.      

 

For more information please contact Yvonne at yvonne@spiritualworld.co.za or visit www.spiritualworld.co.za










 

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