How to Get Rid of Indigestion: 6 Remedies
Wondering how to cure or relieve your symptoms of indigestion? Continue reading to learn more about improving your gut health.
What is indigestion?
Indigestion is discomfort felt in your abdomen. It is incredibly common, and describes a collection of symptoms rather than a specific disease. However, persistent indigestion could indicate one of many conditions that could worsen if left untreated. Indigestion symptoms can include:
- Stomach pain
- Uncomfortable fullness after eating a meal
- Gurgling stomach
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Need an abdominal X-ray?
Your doctor can use an X-ray to help find the cause of abdominal pain and discomfort.
How do I prevent indigestion?
The most efficient way to prevent indigestion is to avoiding the foods or other factors that instigate it. Pay attention to your body, especially what you eat. You may even want to keep a food journal to help you narrow down the types of foods that may trigger symptoms. If you can tell what foods or activities relieve or exacerbate the symptoms, write those down, too. This information can help your doctor develop an effective treatment plan.
Some ways of getting rid of indigestion on your own include:
- Avoid acidic foods, like tomatoes or citrus fruits
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid spicy foods
- Avoid greasy or overly processed foods
- Eat slowly
- Eat small meals
- Manage stress
What’s the difference between indigestion and heartburn?
Indigestion refers to a wide range of digestive symptoms, one of which is heartburn. Heartburn describes the feeling that happens when stomach acid moves into your esophagus. Sometimes the terms "indigestion" and "heartburn" are used interchangeably. However, they are two separate conditions. If the pain you experience is felt in your chest more than in your stomach, let the doctor know. It may be diagnosed as heartburn.
6 remedies for indigestion
Wondering how to relieve or treat indigestion? Often, simple home remedies can ease the pain or fix the problem completely. Since indigestion can sometimes be treated at home, it isn’t necessary to visit a doctor unless your symptoms are severe, or have lasted for multiple weeks.
Some home remedies for indigestion include:
- Drinking tea — specifically peppermint or chamomile, which can provide relief by reducing stomach acids
- Drinking lemon water, which improves digestion
- Consuming ginger — ginger tea, ginger candy, ginger ale, or adding ginger to your water
- Baking soda mixed with warm water — ½ teaspoon of baking soda to 4 oz of water can help with indigestion and heartburn
- Oral medication — antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and histamine 2 blockers may ease symptoms
- Therapy — occasionally, indigestion is motivated by stress
When to talk with a doctor
When your symptoms persist for longer than two weeks or have increased in severity, you should call a gastroenterologist. Some signs that indicate that you should contact a medical professional include:
- Heartburn that requires consistent usage of over-the-counter painkillers
- Symptoms that keep you up at night
- Sudden weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Persistent acid reflux
- Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
While indigestion can be caused by poor eating habits or stress, it can also indicate more serious conditions, including:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Stomach infections
- Stomach cancer
- Lactose intolerance
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