Life­style changes can help re­duce in­di­ges­tion

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR BODY -

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.

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