SHAFAQNA- Indigestion, medically known as dyspepsia, is a condition that includes symptoms like a feeling of fullness while eating, an uncomfortable feeling of fullness after a meal (as if you have overeaten) and a pain or burning sensation in the upper abdomen. You get indigestion from a disorder in the digestive tract, when the stomach acid flows back up the oesophagus. This makes the stomach lining sore and irritated and hence the pain and heartburn. In this condition, the valve or the sphincter at the top of the stomach does not function efficiently. It is called the gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Sometimes you cannot trace the causes of indigestion in people and this is known as functional dyspepsia. Underlying medical conditions like peptic ulcers, abnormalities in the bile ducts or pancreas, and in rare cases stomach cancer can lead to dyspepsia. Decreasing stress levels and making certain lifestyle changes can bring you relief from the condition.
Symptoms of Indigestion
Indigestion is something that almost all of us have experienced at some point, yet it’s never easy to describe or summarize the experience.
· The most characteristic indigestion symptom would be the feeling of uneasiness and a fullness in your chest and stomach soon after your meals, although sometimes there can be a delay between indigestion and eating or drinking. · Heartburn is the next indicator of indigestion and involves a strong pain behind the breastbone (sternum) when digestive acids escape from stomach, travelling up the esophagus or gullet. Heartburn isn’t necessarily accompanied by vomiting, but at times it may be. · The other indicators are bloating and belching, and burping.
Indigestion in the elderly can be accompanied by more serious health problems. You should seek medical advice if you are over 55 years and have recurring indigestion. The following are some of the additional health disorders that should be treated immediately if they occur with chronic indigestion in old age:
· You unintentionally lose a lot of weight, find it difficult to swallow (dysphagia) and have persistent vomiting.
· If you have vomited blood or have passed stools with blood, you have gastrointestinal bleeding (bleeding in the stomach and intestines) that needs immediate medical attention. This condition will make you feel dizzy and tired.
· If you suffer from iron deficiency anemia (where the red blood cell count decreases because the body lacks the iron needed to produce them) and suffer from fatigue, irregular heartbeat and breathlessness, you should get yourself checked.
· Chronic or recurring indigestion should be checked through an endoscopy procedure for any lumps that may have formed inside the stomach.
Chronic and recurring indigestion in elderly people along with the above stated conditions can be a cause of concern because in some cases these are indications of a stomach cancer.
What Causes Indigestion?
There are a variety of causes for basic indigestion. The way food is prepared or eaten if often the main cause. Preparing food is often based on taste rather than the digestive process. This can easily lead to an over exuberance when it comes to spices. Over spicing food will increase the production of bile and can cause a discomforting sensation down the throat. In some cases the best tip to get rid of indigestion is to lay off the spices and go for a more bland diet.
The way you eat your food could be causing you to feel ill after a meal as well. Hurried eating leads to a lack of proper chewing. Not chewing your food well and then filling the stomach generally causes the stomach to bloat. The signal from your stomach to your brain regarding its level of hunger is not instantaneous. This is because that signal is triggered by hormones, not the level of food in your stomach. A small amount of digestion has to occur before the hormones that level off blood sugar are created from the pancreas. If you are eating too quickly you are not giving your body a chance to really respond to the food you’ve already put in and thus you are encouraging an overfilled stomach that has to increase the production of bile.
Home Remedies for Indigestion
Eat a lot of organic food which includes fresh vegetables, fruits and fish. This helps to digest everything very easily.
Water helps to move out all toxins from our body. It helps to improve our digestive system. Consume at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.
Fennel seeds can be really helpful for indigestion caused by very spicy or fatty food. Fennel seeds contain oil that can help reduce nausea and control flatulence.
· You can simply chew a spoonful of fennel seeds to get relief from indigestion symptoms.
· You can also drink fennel tea, made by adding two teaspoons of crushed fennel seeds to a cup of hot water.
· Dry roast, grind, and sieve fennel seeds. Take half a teaspoon of this powder along with water. Follow this remedy twice daily.
To be continued …