How can I treat indigestion?
Three experts share holistic fixes and prevention tips.
An Ayurvedic practitioner says:
In Ayurveda, there are three varieties of indigestion: irregular digestion (when even a small amount of food turns into the gas), hyper digestion (when too much hydrochloric acid in the stomach causes heartburn) and hypo digestion (when too much mucus in the stomach creates a “heavy” feeling after eating).
Treatment: Explain your eating and sleeping patterns to a practitioner to identify your type. For irregular digestion, stick to a regular eating and sleeping routine. Adding bitter foods
to your diet will ease hyper digestion, and for hypo digestion, eating hot foods will help dissipate mucus.
Self-help: Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner around the same time every day—and going to bed at the same time each night—optimizes digestion and can ease symptoms.
— Helen Thomas, D.C., Thomas Ayurveda Chiropractic in Santa Rosa, Calif.
A gastroenterologist says:
Indigestion may be described as heartburn, acid reflux or a generalized feeling of discomfort in the stomach or chest after eating.
Treatment: Tell your doc which medications you are taking and whether you use tobacco or drink alcohol; also explain when you experience symptoms. Your doctor will look for recent weight gain and check for food allergies. You might be prescribed medication for heartburn,
and your doctor may test for acidity or muscle function of the esophagus.
Self-help: If you have symptoms at night, avoid eating three hours before bedtime (particularly high-fat foods). Keep a food diary to discover foods that trigger your symptoms
and start working out. Exercise stimulates digestive function.
— Lauren B. Gerson, M.D., M.Sc.; associate professor of medicine, Stanford University
School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif.
A herbalist says: Indigestion happens when the body does not properly process food, and can cause cramping, nausea, gas, bloating, reflux, constipation and diarrhea.
Treatment: Take a formula containing bitter herbs such as artichoke leaf, orange peel, dandelion and angelica, which help break down foods in the stomach by increasing
bile flow. To prevent food stagnation in the stomach, take Chinese hawthorn or Bao He Wan pills.
Self-help: Drink water with a slice of lemon or lime and bite the peel before each meal. Ensure you’re getting enough fiber (you need about 30 grams a day) and take probiotics,
which help the “good” bacteria in your gut properly colonize. Also, eat yogurt or take a supplement with FOS (fructooligosaccharide).
— Karen Vaughan, L.Ac., A.H.G., licensed acupuncturist and registered herbalist in
All Fitness ____ How can I treat indigestion