Indigestion is given collectively to a number of digestive symptoms, including a feeling of expansion or discomfort in the upper abdomen, heartburn, and nausea. The medical term for indigestion is dyspepsia.
People often experience indigestion after eating large meals. However, several other factors can lead you to develop symptoms of indigestion.
Possible causes of indigestion:
Lifestyle: Lying down too soon after eating can make it harder to digest food. This increases your risk of abdominal discomfort.
Other lifestyle risks:
Medication: Indigestion can be a side effect of taking specific medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
The following medical conditions may be associated with Several medical conditions can also indigestion:
Nutritional Therapy may be beneficial to highlight and exclude, and where necessary replace certain food groups to alleviate symptoms. In our Nutritional Therapy consultations, we include a full medical history and review to understand the underlying issues which may be causing symptoms.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals
Chew thoroughly and don’t eat too quickly
Raise 1 end of your bed 10 to 20cm by putting something under your bed or mattress – your chest and head should be above the level of your waist, so stomach acid does not travel up towards your throat
Keep weight stable
Try to find ways of releasing stress and anxiety
Avoid large, heavy meals in the evening
Wait a few hours after eating, before going to bed
Cut back on alcohol
The trigger-food diet:
The trigger-food diet involves eliminating common trigger foods, such as coffee and chocolate, to alleviate symptoms. These methods have little clinical backing and results vary between individuals.
This supplemental approach addresses the lack of stomach acid which is said to cause acid reflux in many cases. One study in 6 people with low levels of stomach acid showed that taking 1500 mg of betaine HCl increased stomach acidity [i].
B Vitamins, including folate, riboflavin, and vitamin B6, may help acid reflux. B vitamins may be linked to a lower risk of complications caused by acid reflux. They may also relieve heartburn symptoms when paired with other compounds, but more research is needed [ii].
Also eating foods high in calcium and B vitamins to help reduce reflux symptoms. These foods include almonds, whole grains, beans, spinach and kale.
Probiotics play a key role in gut health and immune function. Probiotic use can be beneficial for GERD symptoms, such as regurgitation and heartburn [iii].
Ginger is often used to soothe stomach upset and treat issues like nausea and indigestion[iv]. In studies, ginger was seen to improve several symptoms of indigestion, including stomach pain, burping and feelings of fullness[v].
It may be pertinent to test for an infection known as H. Pylori if symptoms persist, as symptoms of reflux can cross over with those of H. Pylori. It is recommended you speak to your GP if this is a concern for you. Testing for H. Pylori is as follows:
If your indigestion symptoms are serious and constant, or you relate to any other following please contact your doctor immediately:
[i] Yago, M.R. Frymoyer, A.R. Smelick, G.S. et al. (2013) ‘Gastric reacidification with betaine HCl in healthy volunteers with rabeprazole-induced hypochlorhydria’. Mol Pharm. 10(11):4032-7.
[ii] Sharp, L. Carsin, A.E. Cantwell, M.M. et al. (2013) ‘Intakes of dietary folate and other B vitamins are associated with risks of esophageal adenocarcinoma, Barrett's esophagus, and reflux esophagitis’. J Nutr. 143(12):1966-73.
[iii] Cheng, J., & Ouwehand, A. C. (2020). ‘Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Probiotics: A Systematic Review’. Nutrients, 12(1), 132.
[iv] Nikkhah Bodagh, M. Maleki, I. & Hekmatdoost, A. (2018) ‘Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systematic review of clinical trials’. Food Sci Nutr. 7(1):96-108.
[v] Ebrahimzadeh Attari, V., Somi, M. H., Asghari Jafarabadi, M., Ostadrahimi, A., Moaddab, S. Y., & Lotfi, N. (2019). The Gastro-protective Effect of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) in Helicobacter pylori Positive Functional Dyspepsia. Advanced pharmaceutical bulletin, 9(2), 321–324. https://doi.org/10.15171/apb.2...
Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.