Home Remedies for Indigestion and Gas – Once in a while, we feel our like our stomachs are full of gas, and frequently, this feeling results in belching. Annoyingly, it is usually a rotten egg taste that travels through our throats to our mouths.
This particular experience is a sign that we are having indigestion and or gassiness.
Usually, when bloating (a symptom of indigestion) occurs in a cow, trochar and cannula are punched through its rumen to relieve the gassy bloat. I doubt if the same operation works for humans. Or, would you let someone prick your tummy with a needle to relieve you of gas? I guess not.
Even if you would, you will end up hurting yourself. Besides, it does not work that way for humans irrespective of how quick and easy it appears.
There are other methods of gas relief that work for humans. They include natural home remedies for indigestion and gas that you can employ to gain your relief. We shall be discussing such solutions in this article.
What Is Indigestion?
Let us try to understand what indigestion is by breaking the word into prefix and root word: indigestion meaning no digestion or poor digestion if you prefer.
Whenever we eat, our food is transported through different organs in the gastrointestinal tract until the process of digestion is completed. But then, things do not always go as planned. Do they?
Something may go wrong at one point or the other and the food we have eaten do not get to complete the digestion process. At such times, we are most likely to be faced with the problem of indigestion.
What Is Gas In The Stomach?
The presence of gas in the stomach and intestines is not strange. It is a normal part of human digestion.
This gas, which is waste gas, is produced during digestion. It is usually released from the anus with a sound and or odor. Unlike how most people feel, it is nothing to be embarrassed about.
However, when gas in the intestinal tract is excess, it can cause pain and discomfort. Excess gas could result from swallowed air, breakdown of undigested food, lactose intolerance and poor absorption of some foods.
High consumption of carbonated drinks and bubble gum can also increase the amount of gas in the stomach.
Most of the gas in the intestinal tract is produced due to the normal breakdown of food by bacteria. Odorless gases like Hydrogen, Methane, and Carbon dioxide are generated. The natural odor in the gas comes from waste, sulfur, and skatole.
The following signs prove that you have excess gas and should do something about it:
- jabbing pain in the abdomen
- abdominal discomfort
- production of foul-smelling gas
- frequent instances of passing gas
Indigestion and gassiness are both problems of the digestive system and share common symptoms. Those periods that you complain of stomach upset, you are probably having indigestion. And our bodies have a way of telling us that we are having indigestion.
How Do You Feel When You Are Having Indigestion?
The effects of indigestion are majorly felt in the upper abdomen. When you are having indigestion, it is not rare for you to experience the following:
1. Pain and Discomfort In Your Upper Abdomen: When you find yourself in this situation, you can barely sit at a place. You are just not comfortable.
2. Fullness and Bloating: You tend to be full faster than usual when you are eating, even if you have not eaten enough. You feel like your stomach is full of gas. It feels so strong, and it is as if it will burst.
Sometimes, it can be so bad that you will wish your stomach be separated from the rest of your body and kept aside until it is healthy again.
3. Belching: This, I believe, is the worst experience because it comes with the taste of a rotten egg. When you feel this way, you can hardly talk to anyone.
You will find yourself using your hands to make signs when asked a question simply because you do not want the next person to smell the rotten egg in your breath.
4. Nausea: Though you may feel nauseous, you may or may not vomit. When you vomit, you expect to feel better, but that is not always the outcome. You may also not vomit, but the urge to vomit will remain.
5. Growling in the stomach or Guttural noises: When you are having indigestion, it is common to hear sounds from your belly.
6. Heartburns: Although heartburns do not occur in all cases of indigestion, it is also a possibility.
These are the signs that tell you that you have an indigestion problem. And if you are wondering what could go wrong with your feeding or body system that you end up having indigestion, let us quickly get into that.
What Causes Indigestion?
Indigestion is not a dangerous disease but an abnormal condition of your digestive system. However, it could be an outcome of an underlying illness like GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).
There are more common factors that can lead to indigestion. These are lifestyles that we can identify with. They include:
1. Eating too much or too fast
When you eat too much or too fast, you are giving your stomach plenty of work at the time, and it cannot help but respond with feelings of pain and discomfort.
2. Eating when you are stressed
Whenever you are under stress, your entire body system tends to function ineffectively, and the digestive system is not left out. Stress limits the production of prostaglandins needed for proper digestion.
3. Eating high-fat foods
If you did not know it before, learn it today that fatty foods make your esophagus lazy. They sit around your stomach for long, thereby leading to the production of more stomach acids. This will make your digestive system uneasy.
High-fat foods that you should limit their intake to prevent the risk of indigestion include processed meats, animal fats, whipped cream, fried foods, fatty salad, etc.
4. Drinking too much alcohol
Even a little alcohol can irritate your digestive system, let alone when you drink too much of it. Alcohol in the stomach leads to the inflammation of the stomach linings.
This eventually results in abdominal pains and the urge to vomit. It is therefore not a wonder that people who drink too much alcohol vomit a lot.
Smoking can lead to indigestion by irritating the mucous membranes of the digestive system. It can limit the production of spit in the mouth (and spit aids in chewing food). There is also the tendency of developing esophageal cancer from smoking.
When the digestive system is under so much pressure from smoking, it will be quite impossible for digestion to take place usually hence the case of indigestion.
6. Using some medicines
It is sad, but I have to tell you the truth. There are certain medicines you take, and they worsen your indigestion problems. They can cause a burning sensation and discomfort in your upper abdomen.
Examples of such medicines are tetracycline, Fosamax, Actonel, quinidine, birth control pills, and iron supplements.
I hope you are not surprised that the majority of these causes are linked to our eating habits. Well, indigestion is a feeding problem to start with, so it is no news that it occurs as a result of poor feeding habits.
Diseases/Illnesses That Cause Indigestion
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that indigestion could occur as a result of an underlying illness or disease. Such diseases include:
1. Ulcers: If you are already suffering from stomach ulcers, indigestion is one of the symptoms you will have in addition to other symptoms like heartburns.
2.GERD: GERD is characterized by the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter at the wrong time. This makes stomach contents return to the esophagus, and it results in heartburn. When you have GERD, you may suffer indigestion.
3. Stomach Cancer: Indigestion is one of the symptoms associated with stomach cancer. If you are a stomach cancer patient, you are likely to feel full on your upper abdomen after taking small meals.
4. Gastroparesis: This is an abnormal condition of the stomach where it fails to empty its contents properly. This condition has similar symptoms with indigestion. It is common in diabetic patients.
5. Stomach Infections: When a bacterium has infected your stomach, it is most likely to be weakened in performing its digestive roles.
Several stomach infections can cause indigestion. They include Bacteria gastroenteritis and Helicobacter pylori infection, among others.
6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an abnormal condition of the large intestine. Bloating, gassiness and abdominal pain are common symptoms of IBS, which are also symptoms case of indigestion.
7. Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that produces enzymes that aid digestion.
When this inflammation happens, the digestive enzymes are activated before they are released, and this action can cause problems, indigestion being one of them. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to pancreatitis.
8. Thyroid Disease: Since your thyroid is in the same physical location as your gut, an adverse condition of your thyroid can facilitate digestion problems.
People with thyroid disease tend to suffer the same symptoms of bloating and sometimes heartburns, which is a similar case with indigestion.
Note: If you are pregnant and you are having indigestion, it could be a result of hormones. It could also be that your growing baby is exerting a lot of pressure on your stomach.
11 Natural Home Remedies for Indigestion and Gas Relief
As mentioned earlier, there are natural home remedies for indigestion and gas relief at home. While there are several of them, in this article, we shall be treating only eleven.
1. Drink Fennel Tea
Fennel seeds have antispasmodic properties that can solve your indigestion problem.
By mixing ½ teaspoon of crushed fennel seed in water and boiling it for ten minutes, you have prepared this remedy. If you prefer, you can also chew fennel seeds after taking a meal that you suspect will cause indigestion.
2. Drink Lemon Water
3. Chew Licorice Root
Chewing one gram of dried licorice root in a day can calm your stomach muscle spasms and gastrointestinal tract inflammation. Alternatively, you can add licorice root to boiling water and drink the mixture one hour after eating.
4. Drink Sodium Bicarbonate Solution
Sodium Bicarbonate or Baking Soda neutralizes stomach acid and relieves you of indigestion, gas, and bloating. To prepare this remedy, add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of warm water and drink it after eating.
5. Take Ginger
Ginger can relieve you of indigestion by reducing the acid in your stomach. The fun part of this remedy is that you can consume ginger through different means.
You can drink a cup of ginger tea, suck on ginger candy or drink ginger ale. You can even make your ginger water and drink. Boil one piece of ginger root in four cups of water and drink. Add honey to the mixture to improve the flavor.
6. Drink Chamomile Tea
This tea can ease any discomfort and pain you are feeling in your upper abdomen and relieve you of indigestion and any inflammation in your gut. Chamomile tea is also famous for inducing sleep and calming anxiety.
You prepare this remedy by adding one tea bag of chamomile tea in boiling water. Feel free to add honey to the tea before drinking.
7. Drink Peppermint Tea
Just like the fennel seeds, peppermint has an antispasmodic effect on the body. You can drink a cup of peppermint tea or suck on peppermint candy after eating. It will soothe your stomach and relieve you of nausea and indigestion.
However, if you are sure that your indigestion is caused by acid reflux, do not take peppermint because it will relax your sphincter. So if you have GERD or ulcer, peppermint is not for you.
8. Take Artichoke Leaves
Next on our list of home remedies for indigestion and gas is artichoke leaves. The high nutrient content and antioxidant properties of artichokes can help relieve you of your indigestion and gas problems.
When you take artichoke leaves, you activate more friendly gut bacteria, thereby reducing the risk of indigestion, constipation, bloating, and even diarrhea.
Using different methods, you can include artichokes in your diet, namely: steaming, boiling, grilling, sautéing, or stuffing/breading with spices.
9. Add Caraway Oil To Your Diet
The galactagogue, antispasmodic, and digestive properties of Caraway oil can help relieve you of indigestion and its symptoms.
You prepare this remedy by adding a spoon of caraway oil in warm water. You can also add a pinch of black/plain salt or little honey to the mixture. Caraway oil also protects the stomach from infections, cures ulcers, and facilitates digestion.
10. Add Cinnamon To Your Meals
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve you of indigestion. The next time you have oatmeal, hot tonics, soups, or stews, you will do well to add some cinnamon. You can add cinnamon in any of its forms: sticks, powder, or tea.
11. Drink Coconut Water
Potassium and magnesium contained in coconut water can help relieve you of indigestion by reducing abdominal pains, muscle spasms, and cramps.
An added benefit is that coconut water is a better rehydration choice for you than sports drinks as it is low in calories, sugars, and acidity. Sipping two glasses a day will relieve you of stomach upset.
Lifestyle Changes To Alleviate Indigestion And Gas
Apart from these 11 home remedies for indigestion and gas, some lifestyles can help.
As we have already seen, indigestion occurs mainly because of poor eating habits. Therefore, the good habits we must imbibe to cut down the risk of heartburn or reduce its symptoms are linkable to our eating habits.
You will do well to take note of the following relevant lifestyles:
- Eat slowly
- Eat small meals
- Do not eat with your mouth open as it will make you swallow too much air and increase the gas in your stomach.
- Avoid talking while eating
- Do not eat late at night. This will exert unneeded pressure on your stomach. I advise you to eat your dinner, a minimum of two hours before bedtime.
- Sleep with your head elevated to help stomach juices move correctly.
- Form the habit of resting (not lying down) a while after eating before resuming other activities.
- Limit your intake of spicy foods and carbonated drinks. Spicy foods trigger indigestion, while carbonated drinks increase gassiness.
- Reduce the high-fat foods in your diet because they take a longer time to digest.
- Do not exercise with a full stomach.
- Quit smoking.
- Reduce your alcohol intake.
When To See A Doctor
I mentioned earlier that indigestion might occur due to an underlying health problem. This problem may be known or unknown to you. It is therefore paramount that you seek your doctor’s help if you observe the following:
- Blood in vomit
- Black stools or visible blood in stools
- Severe pain in the upper or lower right abdomen
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
Even when you do not experience any of the above complications, but none of the natural home remedies seem to grant you relief, please also find your doctor.
Now that you know better, I hope your worries over your indigestion problem have been taken care of. Try these best home remedies for indigestion and gas and get quick relief.
Do you have any questions or comments? Drop them in the comment section below!