November 24, 2021
10 Ways to Get Rid of Indigestion Fast
Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, causes discomfort in the upper portion of your abdomen, and just about everyone experiences it at some point.
“Indigestion is commonly caused by an imbalance of stomach acid, either overproduction or underproduction,” Dr. Jolson Tharakan, a family medicine physician with Healthcare Associates of Texas says. “Also dietary factors such as caffeinated beverages, spicy foods, and acidic foods can irritate the stomach. Lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking alcohol can cause indigestion. Anatomic and physiologic issues such as hiatal hernias, lower esophageal sphincter incompetency, achalasia, gastric and bowel motility problems, pancreatic insufficiency, liver and gallbladder disease can also cause indigestion. Stomach infections such as Helicobacter pylori infections can lead to indigestion.”
Luckily, getting indigestion relief fast is fairly simple, as long as the condition isn’t the result of a chronic, underlying health problem. What helps indigestion fast? Read on for our top at-home remedies on how to get rid of indigestion fast.
What Can I Take for Indigestion?
Many people may not know they are dealing with indigestion.
“Some signs that may go unnoticed include hoarseness, feelings of throat pressure, nasal congestion, sour taste in the mouth and a chronic cough,” Dr. Tharakan explains.
Some commercially available medications and supplements can help cure indigestion fast. For soothing relief from stomach upset, bloating, diarrhea, and heartburn, try one of the following treatments.
1. Over-the-Counter Antacids
Commercially available antacids are probably the most widely used treatment to get rid of indigestion pain fast. Because they help increase the pH of your stomach, you can use antacids to ease indigestion discomfort caused by excess stomach acid. Acid reflux, upper GI pain, gas, bloating, and heartburn typically respond well to antacid medications.
“Over-the-counter antacids such as TUMS, Maalox, and Milk of Magnesia should help relieve indigestion qucikly,” Dr. Tharakan says.
2. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
“Baking soda has been known to improve indigestion,” says Dr. Tharakan.
Because sodium bicarbonate has a high pH, it neutralizes acid in the stomach and can help alleviate bloating, gas, and upper GI discomfort. To use this treatment, mix one-half teaspoon of baking soda in about four ounces of water and drink it.
Too much sodium bicarbonate can cause uncomfortable side effects, including stomach cramps, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. If you choose to use this treatment, you must wait at least two hours between doses.
Consuming too much baking soda to treat indigestion can also have adverse effects on your health, especially if you’re older. According to experts, adults under the age of 60 should not consume more than seven half teaspoons of baking soda in a 24-hour period. Those over 60 should not have more than three half teaspoons in 24 hours.
What to Eat When You Have Indigestion
Eating too quickly, consuming fatty or spicy foods, or overeating are some of the most common indigestion triggers. And just as you can provoke indigestion by eating, you can also treat indigestion by consuming certain stomach-soothing foods or beverages.
Here are the best foods and drinks for getting rid of indigestion pain fast.
3. Peppermint or Chamomile
Researchers have found that peppermint is an effective natural remedy for reducing abdominal pain associated with indigestion. You can sip peppermint tea as the warm water will help soothe your stomach, or if you have mint essential oil, that can work too.
Chamomile can also help ease indigestion as it naturally reduces inflammation and spasms, so it can help lessen stomach pain. If you take a blood thinner, be sure to consult your doctor before using chamomile to help fix your indigestion.
4. Licorice Root
“Licorice can help relieve your indigestion quickly because it contains compounds that help reduce inflammation in your digestive tract,” Dr. Tharakan explains.
While scientists don’t yet fully understand how the herb helps soothe stomach upset, research suggests it improves the movement of food through the digestive tract.
To relieve indigestion, you can chew on licorice root or add it to hot water to make tea. But be careful not to consume too much. Licorice can cause electrolyte imbalances when taken in higher doses, so stick with 2.5 grams or less per day.
“Fennel seed is another common food that has been known to improve indigestion quickly,” Dr. Tharakan adds.
Chewing fennel seeds or sipping fennel tea can help soothe stomach cramps, bloating, and nausea associated with indigestion. The herb can naturally reduce stomach spasms and researchers have also found it helps improve delayed gastric emptying that affects many people with dyspepsia.
Ginger has a centuries-long history of medicinal use for a wide variety of health conditions, including indigestion. The herb contains compounds that researchers have found can help speed up stomach contractions. When consumed, it can help move indigestion-causing foods through your digestive tract more quickly, giving you soothing relief.
Compounds present in ginger can also help alleviate nausea and diarrhea that may accompany indigestion and reduce vomiting. For fast relief, you can drink ginger tea or, if you can stomach anything, you can add ginger to bland food like white rice. Be sure to eat slowly to avoid worsening your symptoms.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Some people get indigestion because their stomach doesn’t produce enough acid to properly digest their food. If you’re one of those people, taking one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in water can help get rid of indigestion fast.
Because apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic, it can help stimulate your body’s production and secretion of stomach acid. With more acid in your stomach, your body can digest your food faster, which can help alleviate the discomfort, bloating, and heartburn associated with indigestion.
8. Aloe Vera
Researchers have found that aloe vera is an effective natural treatment for several symptoms of indigestion, including:
- Acid regurgitation
- Food regurgitation
- Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
In one study, people who experienced gastroesophageal reflux disease consumed 10 milliliters of aloe juice daily over a period of four weeks. At the end of the study, scientists concluded that aloe was well-tolerated by all participants and reduced the frequency and severity of their indigestion symptoms.
How to Get Rid of Indigestion at Night
If you eat dinner too fast or choose foods that are too greasy, fatty, or spicy, you may suffer from indigestion in the evening. Consuming a lot of alcohol at night can also cause stomach inflammation, which may lead to symptoms of indigestion like heartburn, upper abdominal pain, or nausea.
“To get rid of indigestion at night, you should keep the head of your bed elevated, avoid late night meals or eating within two hours of bedtime, avoid exercise before bedtime, avoid a night cap (alcoholic beverage), and no smoking before bedtime,” Dr. Tharakan advises.
Other ways to fix indigestion at night include:
9. Elevate Your Upper Body
You might feel like laying down and going to sleep, but unfortunately, lying horizontal will only make your indigestion symptoms worse. When you lie down, stomach acid is more likely to travel backward and into your throat, where it can cause serious heartburn pain. To avoid that discomfort, use a few pillows to prop up your upper chest, neck, and head.
If possible, it’s best to avoid laying down at all if your stomach is still full. Sitting or standing can help your food digest faster and minimize your indigestion symptoms.
10. Take a Warm Bath or Apply a Warm Compress
Heat can help ease indigestion by relaxing tension and cramping and alleviating bloating. When you’re ready for bed and indigestion strikes, a warm bath will not only help you unwind and get ready for sleep, but it can also provide indigestion relief fast. That’s especially true when you combine it with one of the indigestion treatments mentioned above.
If you’re not a fan of baths and it’s the middle of the night, you can also try applying a warm compress or heating pad to your abdominal area to help soothe cramping and pain.
When to See a Doctor for Indigestion
Mild and infrequent indigestion isn’t usually a cause for concern.
“If your indigestion is causing severe pain, lasts for longer than two weeks, or causes unintentional weight loss, you should see your medical provider,” Dr. Tharakan says.
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