Are you frequently experiencing indigestion or heartburn after meals? Do you feel like your digestion isn’t up to par, causing uncomfortable symptoms and overall negative health outcomes? If so, this blog post is perfect for you! Here at Bulksupplements.com, we understand the effects of indigestion—we believe in providing holistic remedies that will not only help control symptoms but offer lasting relief and improved digestive health. Read on to find out which supplements can work best for making sure your body works as it should.
What is Indigestion?
Indigestion or dyspepsia is an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach that impairs digestive function. Although people often mistake the two, there is a difference between indigestion and heartburn. Heartburn may cause abdominal pain and feeling uncomfortably full after a patient starts eating and these symptoms are similar to dyspepsia. However, heartburn may also accompany indigestion. Dyspepsia is not a disease, but the condition includes a group of symptoms related to digestion. In most cases, indigestion is linked to another cause or condition, such as certain food or drinks. Medication or an infection in the body can also cause dyspepsia.
What are Indigestion Symptoms?
Indigestion can cause several different symptoms. The condition may affect patients differently and not everyone will have all of the same symptoms. However, most commonly it causes:
The most common symptom of indigestion is a burning sensation or pain in the upper abdomen. This burning sensation can range from mild to severe, and it often occurs after eating a meal rich in fats or spicy dishes. The pain can sometimes radiate to the chest, throat, or even to the back.
Bloating and Gas
Indigestion can cause bloating and gas that make you feel uncomfortable and full. These symptoms happen because the food stays in the stomach and intestines longer than normal, causing fermentation and gas production. The bloating can sometimes cause distention of the abdomen, leading to pain.
Diarrhea or Constipation
In some cases, indigestion can cause changes in your bowel movements, such as diarrhea or constipation. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including changes in your diet or stress levels.
Nausea and Vomiting
Indigestion can also present with nausea, and sometimes vomiting. The nausea usually occurs after eating meals, and sometimes it’s accompanied by a feeling of lightheadedness.
Belching and Regurgitation
Indigestion can cause belching and regurgitation of the food eaten. This happens when the stomach fails to properly grind the food during digestion, and it causes the food to come back to the throat again and again.
Indigestion can cause discomfort and pain in the abdomen, which can sometimes be mistaken for other gastrointestinal problems. This pain can range from mild to severe and can be located in different parts of the abdomen.
Heartburn is a sensation of burning or discomfort in your chest that is often accompanied by a sour or acidic taste in your mouth. This can be caused by stomach acid backing up into your esophagus, and can be worsened by certain foods or drinks such as coffee, alcohol, or spicy foods.
Unusual Weight Gain or Loss
Unusual weight gain or loss can be an indication of a more serious digestive problem, such as an ulcer or cancer. If you notice sudden weight fluctuations for no apparent reason, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Loss of Appetite
Indigestion can also cause a loss of appetite or a feeling of fullness after eating just a small amount of food. This can be caused by a slowdown in your digestive system, or by an excessive buildup of gas within your stomach.
Indigestion vs Heartburn
Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a more severe form of indigestion that is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest or behind the breastbone. It occurs when the stomach acid flows back into the esophagus and irritates the lining, causing inflammation and discomfort. Heartburn can occur due to various factors such as obesity, pregnancy, hiatal hernia (a condition in which some parts of the stomach move up into the chest), and certain medications. The symptoms of heartburn include a burning sensation in the chest, difficulty swallowing, coughing, and wheezing.
One common misconception about indigestion and heartburn is that they are always caused by excessive stomach acid. In fact, in some cases, these conditions can be caused due to low levels of stomach acid, which can lead to bacterial overgrowth and incomplete digestion of food. If you suspect that your indigestion or heartburn is caused by low stomach acid, you can try taking digestive enzymes, betaine hydrochloride, or apple cider vinegar to improve digestion and relieve symptoms.
While indigestion and heartburn are not life-threatening conditions, they can be quite uncomfortable and affect the quality of your life. If you experience frequent or severe episodes of indigestion or heartburn, it is best to consult your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, or gallstones. Your doctor may recommend further tests such as endoscopy or ultrasound to diagnose your condition and prescribe appropriate medications and lifestyle changes to manage your symptoms.
Indigestion for Pregnancy
Digestion is a complex process that involves various bodily systems working together. When you’re pregnant, this process can be disrupted due to hormonal changes and the physical pressure of the developing fetus on your stomach and digestive tract. This can cause indigestion, which is characterized by an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest and throat and a feeling of fullness and bloating in the upper abdomen.
The symptoms of indigestion during pregnancy can vary from person to person. Some women may experience mild discomfort, while others may encounter severe pain and discomfort. In some cases, indigestion can lead to heartburn, acid reflux, and nausea. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to speak with your doctor to find out the underlying cause and get the appropriate treatment.
Indigestion with Heart Attack
Indigestion or heartburn is a common problem that most of us have experienced. It’s a condition where one feels a burning sensation or discomfort in the upper part of the abdomen, often accompanied by bloating or burping. But if indigestion is coupled with sweating, shortness of breath, or a tight chest, these could be warning signs of a heart attack. These heart attack symptoms, when mistaken for indigestion or acid reflux, could prove life-threatening if ignored.
The feeling of pressure or a tight band around the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, intermittent chest pain, or discomfort in one or both arms, or jaw that is unexplained by any other condition are all crucial indications that should not go overlooked. Some other symptoms could include sudden fatigue, light-headedness, or dizziness. It’s essential to recognize them, be brave, and call an ambulance as soon as possible.
The link between acid reflux and heart attacks could also be a result of a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where the stomach acid irritates the esophageal lining, which could result in inflammation or bleeding. The inflammation, in turn, irritates the vagus nerve, a nerve in the brain that regulates the heart’s activity. When the vagus nerve is irritated, it might cause an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia, which could be dangerous if it persists for an extended period.
Causes of Indigestion
There are many different factors that can cause indigestion. For example, patients may develop it if they eat large amounts of food at a fast pace, especially spicy, fatty or greasy food. Medications, stress or drinking too much alcohol or caffeine may also cause it.
It may also be a result of specific health conditions or illnesses that affect the digestive tract, such as:
- Acid reflux
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Stomach cancer
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Anxiety and depression
Functional dyspepsia is indigestion unrelated to a stomach ulcer. It is common and it can last for long periods of time. Patients with recurring indigestion experience repeated signs and symptoms without any definite causes. However, it may be related to inflammation in the small intestine, psychological conditions, sensitivity to stomach acid or gastroparesis. In some cases, it may be a result of H. pylori infection, Salmonella, E. coli or norovirus.
When to See a Doctor
Although it is uncomfortable, most of the time indigestion is not a serious condition, especially if it is functional. However, sometimes indigestion can indicate a more serious digestive issue that may require medical attention. Patients should see a doctor if they have black stools, frequent and bloody vomiting, difficulty swallowing or shortness of breath. The patient may also lose weight unintentionally and notice yellowing in the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice) that may indicate something serious. If the pain is very severe and does not go away, seek medical attention.
Can Indigestion Cause Chest Pain?
Indigestion is often characterized by discomfort in the stomach or upper abdomen, bloating, and heartburn. However, when acid from the stomach flows back up into the esophagus, it can cause a burning sensation behind the breastbone that can mimic chest pain. If this is the case, it’s important to know that this type of chest pain is not caused by a heart condition, but it can still be uncomfortable and concerning.
If you suspect that your chest pain is related to indigestion, there are steps you can take to alleviate the discomfort. Simple lifestyle changes like eating smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding trigger foods like caffeine and alcohol, and not lying down after eating can all help. Additionally, over-the-counter antacids can help neutralize stomach acid, easing your symptoms. In more severe cases, prescription medication may be needed to manage your acid reflux.
Can Indigestion Cause High Blood Pressure?
Firstly, when we eat, our digestive system begins to work, and the stomach produces acid to break down the food. When this acid flows back up the esophagus, it can cause irritation and inflammation, which can lead to high blood pressure. The body reacts to this inflammation by sending white blood cells, which can enter the bloodstream, causing an increase in blood pressure.
Secondly, high levels of stress, anxiety, and worry can contribute to both indigestion and high blood pressure. When we’re stressed, the body produces cortisol, which increases heart rate and blood pressure. This can cause discomfort in the stomach, leading to indigestion. If this stress and anxiety continue, the body remains in a prolonged state of high blood pressure, which can affect our overall health.
Thirdly, certain foods and drinks are known to trigger indigestion and affect your blood pressure levels. Foods high in salt and caffeine, for example, can cause blood pressure to spike, and frequent consumption can lead to chronic high blood pressure. This can also cause discomfort in the stomach leading to indigestion, and a continuous cycle of discomfort, pain, and heightened blood pressure.
Indigestion may not be a serious condition, but it can be very uncomfortable. Luckily, there are several different treatment options that patients can try, depending on the cause. Treatment includes medications, dietary changes and therapy if the condition is from psychological symptoms.
Usually, doctors recommend antacids first to block or reduce acid in the stomach. These are over-the-counter medications, including calcium carbonate or amoxicillin. Patients may also take H2 blockers such as ranitidine or nizatidine. Proton pump inhibitors may help treat indigestion if the patient also has heartburn. If the indigestion is a result of a bacterial infection, the doctor may recommend antibiotics.
Be Mindful of Your Diet
Since indigestion is often related to food, patients may benefit from making changes to their diets, specifically avoiding foods that cause discomfort. For example, alcohol, carbonated drinks or caffeine may trigger the symptoms or make them worse. Some foods also contain a lot of acid and this may irritate the digestive system, along with spicy, fatty and greasy food. It may be wise to avoid foods like oranges or tomato products. The types of food and drink you consume can trigger or prevent acid reflux. Some common culprits include spicy and fried foods, tomatoes, onions, garlic, citrus fruits, and chocolate. On the other hand, foods like bananas, oatmeal, yogurt, and green vegetables can help reduce acid reflux symptoms.
Rebalance Your Gut Flora
If you frequently experience indigestion, you may have animbalance of gut bacteria. To rebalance your gut flora, try incorporating probiotics into your diet. Probiotics increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut, promoting digestion and reducing inflammation. You can find probiotics in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. Alternatively, you can take probiotic supplements.
Drink Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera juice has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe the lining of the esophagus and stomach. The juice also contains helpful enzymes that aid digestion and reduce inflammation within the gut. Drink a glass of Aloe Vera juice daily, and within a few days, your acid reflux symptoms will be significantly alleviated.
If the patient has an underlying psychological condition like anxiety or depression, it may cause recurring indigestion. Managing stress may be an effective way to control indigestion. For example, meditation, relaxation techniques or counseling may help.
Stress is a major contributor to indigestion. When you’re feeling stress, your body produces more cortisol, a hormone that affects digestion and can lead to inflammation. To manage stress, try practices such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing. Avoid overworking or overexerting yourself, and make time for hobbies and leisure activities that help you unwind.
There are also ways that may reduce the risk of suffering from indigestion or prevent it all together. Try not to eat large amounts of food too quickly. Instead, chew slowly and thoroughly. Avoid late-night snacks so that food can digest fully and try not to lie down too soon after a meal. Wait about two to three hours. Also, limit behaviors and activities that may cause indigestion, such as smoking and exercising right after meals.
Supplements for Indigestion and Digestive Support
There are also some supplements that may help reduce indigestion symptoms or address its underlying causes. Supplements may also provide digestive support for other conditions, but they will not treat indigestion or any other condition. Consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
Ginger is a common cooking spice, but people may also use it as a medicine. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect the body from disease. It also has the potential to soothe an upset stomach and treat heartburn and acid reflux. The recommended daily dose for ginger root extract powder is 1,000 mg, unless a doctor advises against it. To avoid heartburn, take the supplement with at least 8 oz. of water.
Slippery Elm Bark
Slippery elm bark comes from a tree native to moist upland North American climates. It has a long history as a medicinal property. Native cultures use its inner bark to relieve upset stomachs and acid reflux. It may also soothe gastritis, ulcerative colitis, chronic pancreatitis, stomach ulcers and diarrhea. The recommended dose for slippery elm bark extract powder is 700 mg per day after consulting a physician.
In traditional Chinese herbal medicine, people believe that schisandra has several different potential health benefits. For example, it may help reduce menopause symptoms, boost mental and physical performance and manage stress. The dried fruit or seeds may also help indigestion and diarrhea. As a dietary supplement, the recommended serving size for schisandra extract powder is 910 mg once or twice a day with meals.
Calcium is necessary for several different bodily processes, such as bone and nervous system health. Research also states that calcium carbonate may help treat indigestion and symptoms related to it, such as heartburn or acid reflux. The best source of calcium is food, but some patients do not get enough of it from their diets. In these cases, there are supplements available to help. The suggested serving size for calcium carbonate powder is 1,250 mg once or twice a day or following a doctor’s instructions.
Chamomile is a widely used herb that is known for its calming effects on the body. It can also help soothe the digestive tract and relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as gas and bloating. Chamomile supplements can be taken in capsule form or as a tea.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support our digestive system. They can help reduce inflammation, relieve bloating, and improve overall gut health. Probiotics are in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut, or in supplement form.
Digestive enzymes break down food, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. They can help alleviate symptoms like gas, bloating, and constipation. Digestive enzyme supplements contain enzymes like lactase, lipase, and amylase, which help in breaking down different types of food.
Licorice root is a common food additive for sweetening but it also has medicinal properties, including ones that may improve digestion. It has antibacterial properties that can aid with acid reflux and heartburn. Studies also reported its effects on functional dyspepsia. The recommended dosage for licorice root extract powder is 600 mg daily after consulting a physician for approval.
Bitter melon is a lush fruit-like gourd that may offer a variety of health benefits. It may help treat conditions like diabetes and cancer, combined with other medications and treatment methods. It also stimulates digestion and may soothe indigestion, heartburn and low stomach acidity. The recommended dosage for bitter melon extract powder as a supplement is 750 mg per day with meals. Make sure to consult a physician for approval first.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in many bodily functions, including digestion. It can help relax the muscles in your digestive tract and improve bowel movements. If you suffer from constipation, taking magnesium supplements can help. You can also find magnesium in foods like leafy green vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
Turmeric is a spice that has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce inflammation in the gut. It can also improve digestion by increasing the production of bile, which helps break down fats. Turmeric supplements can be found in capsule form, or you can add turmeric powder to your food.
The Bottom Line
Indigestion is a common symptom that often accompanies different conditions or illnesses. In most cases it is not serious, although it can cause discomfort. Symptoms include heartburn, stomach pain and feeling uncomfortably full after meals. Patients may experience indigestion as a result of eating too much too quickly or consuming caffeine, carbonated drinks, alcohol and spicy or fatty foods. Treatment often includes antacid medications, H2 blockers or antibiotics if it stems from an infection. Patients can also try natural supplements that may provide digestive support. However, supplements do not treat indigestion or any other condition. Instead, they aim to improve overall health.
Don’t let indigestion control your life. There are plenty of supplements out there that can help improve your digestive health. Probiotics, digestive enzymes, ginger, magnesium, and turmeric are all popular options are effective. However, it’s important to remember that supplements are not a cure for poor eating habits. If you want to achieve better digestive health, focus on eating a balanced diet with plenty of fiber, fruits, and vegetables. Combine that with healthy lifestyle habits like exercise and stress management, and you’ll be well on your way to feeling better.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease