It’s definitely the season for indigestion: rich food, dashing from one place to another and lots of alcohol-laden celebrations. I’ve not really blogged about this topic before but I know lots of you suffer from it; me included- and it can be just as debilitating as other gut symptoms- namely because it can seem so sporadic and comes and go as it pleases! Like most areas of gut health, doctors aren’t particularly savvy in treating it either- beyond antacids and PPIs, we’re often told to just put up with it.
But did you know that PPIs and antacids can sometimes do more harm than good when it comes to indigestion and gut health in general? For example, frequent use of PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) like Omezaprole have been shown to both lower protection against bacterial overgrowth (making SIBO more likely) and increase your likelihood of food intolerances (study here). Which is why lots of people report having more problems with food or allergic reactions after being on them for a while as your body can release more histamines. Although I would never tell anyone to come off prescribed medication, this guide aims to tell you a little more about indigestion works and suggest some natural alternatives that might wok better for you to treat indigestion naturally.
What Is Indigestion?
Indigestion is pain in the stomach and/or under the ribs related to the difficulty in digesting food- it can be an extremely uncomfortable burning pain that comes on suddenly with no warning. Indigestion in itself it’s not a disease, so there’s no ‘cure.’ Instead, it’s a symptom that can often occur with other gastro complications such as ulcers or GERD. Indigestion doesn’t automatically mean you have ‘high stomach acid’; it can suggest a range of things- it may even indicate you have low stomach acid (worth looking into) Looking at things to support your digestion can really help.
Natural Ways to Prevent Indigestion
If you’re suffering with indigestion, then it’s likely you’ll want a quick fix- but otherwise there’s plenty you can do to prevent in from rearing it’s ugly head!
This is one thing that you should definitely do to prevent indigestion and just improving your gut health in general. It’s easier said than done but your gut does not have teeth! Spending your time to sit down and eat properly and chewing thoroughly is really important to treat indigestion naturally- it signals saliva to be released which contain those all-important digestive enzymes. If you’re rushing your food, it isn’t broken down properly and those enzymes won’t be working effectively- causing indigestion and other gut issues. Also try to avoid bending or lying down straight after you eat because that can cause stomach acid to reflux up into the oesophagus.
Thinking about Diet and Indigestion Triggers
As always, I think diet is a personal thing to explore but common food links to indigestion are ‘acid-forming’ such as alcohol, tea and coffee, fizzy drinks and red meat- which can be too fatty for the body to digest if there’s a lack of digestive enzymes. Foods that can sometimes help with indigestion are apple cider, fresh fruit and water.
Natural Remedies for Indigestion
Though there is no indigestion cure, there is are definitely ways to support the digestive system with it and there’s lots of natural ways to do this. You might have read about Apple Cider Vinegar for example- which is praised as a natural GERD and indigestion remedy. I personally haven’t found this very effective when I have struggled with indigestion, but I know many others have.
Mastic Gum is another natural remedy
Mastic gum is a natural resin found only on the Greek island of Chios long recognised for its therapeutic, restorative properties especially within digestive health- it’s often seen as a natural alternative to antacids. A Nottingham University review published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that mastic (a food ingredient in the Medditeranian) could be a possibly indigestion solution since it cures peptic ulcers by killing Helicobacter pylori bacteria (a harmful bacteria linked to indigestion). The easiest way to take this is through the supplement Magastic which contains mastic gum and antibacterial, anti fungal and antioxidant properties. There is a Magastic EXTRA version with a higher potency of mastic gum for those looking at symptom relief or an everyday, protective version for those looking to restore general gut health. Both have added Zinc and B6, which people with gut issues can often be deficient in and help to contribute to normal body metabolism. Zinc can also help maintain a normal acid base.
The original supplement costs just £4.99 and the extra at £12.99 so it is definitely worth giving it a try in replace of your usual antacids to see if it makes a difference! If you have any other questions about indigestion or suggestions on natural indigestion remedies, let me know below!
This is a collaborative post.