Hyperacidity, Indigestion and Homeopathy
Homoeopathy is a remarkable resource for those dealing with digestive disorders. Homeopathic remedies can help deal with anxiety, depression, and stress along with digestive problems. It will attend to nutritional problems and help the patient develop a healthier body image.
Hyperacidity is also called Acid Dyspepsia, which is one of the most common problems. Hyperacidity is a medical condition in which the stomach secretes a lot of acids. Dyspepsia, also known as indigestion or upset stomach, is a term that describes discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen. It is not a disease. Various conditions cause dyspepsia. It can be caused due to various medications, stressed lifestyle and spicy foods. The main symptom is usually pain or discomfort in the upper tummy (abdomen). In addition, other symptoms that may develop include Bloating, Belching, and quickly feeling full after eating, Feeling sick (nausea) and Being sick (vomiting).
Causes of Dyspepsia
Indigestion is usually related to lifestyle and what we eat and drink. It may also be caused by infection or some other digestive conditions. Some common causes include:
- Life Style factors - Eating too much, eating too rapidly, consuming fatty or greasy foods, spicy foods, too much caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, fizzy drinks, Emotional trauma, moderate to intense exercise immediately after eating.
- Functional dyspepsia - a type of indigestion that may undermine the stomach’s ability to accept and digest food and then pass that food on to the small intestine.
- Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach).
- Hiatus hernia.
- Infection, especially with bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori.
- Obesity - caused by more pressure inside the abdomen.
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
- Peptic ulcers.
- Some medications like Anti-inflammatory medicines are the most common culprits. These are medicines that many people take for arthritis, muscular pains, sprains, period pains, etc. For example: aspirin, ibuprofen, and diclofenac but there are others. Anti-inflammatory medicines sometimes affect the lining of the stomach and allow acid to cause inflammation and ulcers.
- Various other medicines sometimes cause dyspepsia, or make dyspepsia worse. They include: digoxin, antibiotics, steroids, iron, calcium antagonists, nitrates, the ophyllines and bisphosphonates. Such as antibiotics and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
- Stomach cancer.
Clinical Manifestations of Dyspepsia
Most people with indigestion feel pain and discomfort in the stomach or chest area. The sensation generally appears soon after consuming food or drink. In some cases symptoms may appear sometime after a meal. Some people feel full during a meal, even if they have not eaten much.
Heartburn and indigestion are two separate conditions. Heartburn is a burning feeling behind the breastbone, usually after eating. The common symptoms are Nausea, Belching, Feeling bloated (very full); in very rare cases indigestion may be a symptom of stomach cancer. Mild indigestion is rarely anything to worry about. Unless if symptoms continue for more than two weeks.
Consult a physician immediately if pain is severe, and symptoms like Loss of appetite or weight loss, Vomiting, Black stools, Jaundice (yellow colouring of eyes and skin), Chest pain, Shortness of breath, Sweating, Chest pain radiation to the jaw, arm or neck.
Majority of patient’s indigestion is mild and does not occur very often. In such cases no treatment from a doctor is required. People who experience indigestion regularly consult a good physician.
- Blood test - if the patient has any symptoms of anaemia then blood test is needed.
- Endoscopy - Patients, who have not responded to treatment, or those with certain signs and symptoms, may be advised to have their abdomen examined in more detail like endoscopy is advised.
- Tests to diagnose Helicobacter pylori infection - this may include a urea breath test, a stool antigen test, and a blood test. Peptic ulcers are often cause by this bacterium.
- Liver function test – if the patient may have a biliary condition, which affects the bile ducts in the liver. This involves a blood test that determines how the liver is working.
- X-rays - usually an upper gastrointestinal and small bowel series. X-rays are taken of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine.
- Abdominal ultrasound – high frequency sound waves make images that show movement, structure and blood flow.
- Abdominal CT (computed tomography) scan.
Management for Hyperacidity and Indigestion
Lifestyle changes. For all types of dyspepsia, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends the following lifestyle changes: Make sure you eat regular meals; lose weight if you are obese; If you are a smoker, consider giving up; Don’t drink too much alcohol.
Changing the way you eat may help your symptoms. Steps you can take include:
- Allow enough time for meals, chew food carefully and completely, avoid arguments during meals, avoid excitement or exercise right after a meal, relax and get rest if indigestion is caused by stress.
- Posture - Lying down or bending forward a lot during the day encourages reflux. Sitting hunched or wearing tight belts may put extra pressure on the stomach, which may make any reflux worse.
Bedtime - If symptoms recur most nights, the following may help:
- Go to bed with an empty, dry stomach. To do this, don’t eat in the last three hours before bedtime and don’t drink in the last two hours before bedtime. If you are able, try raising the head of the bed by 10 – 20 cms (for example, with books or bricks under the bed’s legs). This helps gravity to keep acid from refluxing into the oesophagus. If you do this, do not use additional pillows, because this may increase abdominal pressure.
- Spices and condiments such as pepper, mustard must be avoided.
- Vinegar or pickles, which make food more palatable and lead to overeating, must be avoided.
- Alcohol, tobacco, strong tea and coffee must be avoided. Highly seasoned meats, pulses, potato, rice, cheese, refined, processed, stale and tinned foods should all be avoided.
- For instance, drinking a glass of water at the first sign of indigestion can give you much relief. Water helps dilute stomach acids thus giving you relief from bloating and burning.
- Apple cider vinegar is often used to kick start a slow stomach and settle indigestion due to its antibiotic properties. Add one tablespoon apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. Mix in one teaspoon honey. Drink this solution two to three times a day for quick relief.
- Fennel seeds can be really helpful for indigestion caused by very spicy or fatty food. Fennel seeds contain oil that can help reduce nausea and control flatulence.
- Ginger stimulates digestive juices and the flow of enzymes that help you digest your food. This makes ginger an effective remedy for indigestion from overeating.
- Baking soda - Indigestion often happens due to high levels of stomach acids. Baking soda is one of the most simple and effective treatments for indigestion because it acts like an antacid. Stir one half teaspoon of baking soda into half a glass of water. Drinking this solution will neutralize the acid in your stomach and give your relief from bloating.
- Coriander is an effective spice to treat indigestion. Add some roasted coriander seeds to half a glass of buttermilk and drink it twice a day.
- Drinking herbal tea after eating a heavy meal can greatly reduce indigestion. Dip your favourite herbal tea bag into a hot cup of water and cover it for five minutes. Drink it while it is still warm. You can try herbal tea containing mint, raspberry and blackberry for instant relief. Peppermint or chamomile tea canalso calm your stomach, especially after overeating.
Homeopathic Management for Digestive Disorders*
Homoeopathy is a remarkable resource for those dealing with digestive disorders. Homeopathic constitutional treatment based on the individual case is the most suitable and would aim to heal the underlying physical or emotional crisis causing digestive disorders. The unique physical, emotional and mental expression of illness is characteristic and is used to channel the course of Homoeopathic treatment. The remedies work by stimulating body’s natural ability to heal itself, acting as a catalyst for healing. Homoeopathy can be of assistance in retrieving normal motility and treating any psychological issues related to IBS. Homeopathic remedies can help rebuild mind, body and spirit as well as personal relationships for a balanced lifestyle. Homeopathy will reinforce and tone the body’s systems. Homeopathic remedies can help deal with anxiety, depression, and stress along with digestive problems. It will attend to nutritional problems and help the patient develop a healthier body image.
Consult a qualified homeopath for your treatment. Self-medication is not advisable.