Lifestyle changes can help reduce indigestion
Who hasn’t suffered from indigestion and heartburn, especially after overdoing it with food or drink, or when rushing meals? These are very common conditions although for some of us, indigestion and heartburn happen for other reasons and can cause considerable discomfort. It’s good to know that help is available from your pharmacist.
With indigestion (or dyspepsia), we can feel sick and experience gas, or a bloated feeling, in the stomach.
‘‘Indigestion causes discomfort and pain in the area between your ribs and belly button, and occurs during eating, or immediately after,’’ say Self Care pharmacists.
A common symptom of indigestion is heartburn, where there is a burning feeling rising upwards from the stomach towards the throat. The acid contents of the stomach return, or ‘reflux’, back into the oesophagus (the space between the throat and the stomach, which is shaped like a tube) and causes irritation there.
Try to identify the cause of your indigestion or heartburn and if possible avoid these things. If the medicines you take give you symptoms, let your pharmacist or doctor know.
According to Self Care pharmacists there are changes you can make to help prevent or reduce symptoms of indigestion and heartburn. They include stopping smoking; avoiding rich, spicy, fatty foods and large meals late in the day, eating smaller meals; having plenty of physical activity – at least 30 minutes most days; losing weight if you are overweight and learning to relax and sleep well. Sometimes focusing on lifestyle changes may be all that is needed to stop indigestion and heartburn.
If you suffer from indigestion your pharmacist can help with advice and medication.