Treating Acid Indigestion Naturally

By Patricia | May 29, 2009

Sour Stomach is also known acid indigestion and includes other symptoms such as pain, gas, bloating and acid reflux that affect the digestive system. For most people, acid indigestion is only a temporary condition with symptoms lasting for a few days or for a week. For others however, indigestion can become a chronic problem which will lead to more serious ailments such as stomach ulcers and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Conventional medical treatments are readily available to treat digestion problems such as sour stomach but a combination of simple lifestyle changes and natural cures is regarded as most helpful. This is because of natural cures cut down on the side effects conventional medications could cause.

Symptoms:

  • Pain in the stomach especially around and above the bellybutton
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Flatulence
  • Sour or foul smelling burps
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Acid reflux or heartburn (burning sensation that begins in the upper abdomen and radiates through to the chest and throat)
  • Uneasiness and heaviness around the stomach
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constant feeling of fullness

Causes:

  • Overeating
  • Irregular eating schedules
  • Sleeping or lying down immediately after eating
  • Eating overly spicy or greasy food
  • Eating a diet heavy on junk food and over processed meals
  • Eating a heavy meal at night
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Over consumption of caffeine
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Certain medications such as aspirins, NSAIDs and antibiotics
  • Certain narcotics
  • Radiation therapy and chemotherapy

More serious medical conditions that may be causing a sour stomach include:

  • Gallstones
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Functional dyspepsia or indigestion
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Esophageal spasms or contractions
  • Impaired gastric emptying

Natural Cures:

If symptoms of acid indigestion are chronic are severe, traditional medical treatment usually involves antacids or H2 (histamine blockers). Antacids are an effective way to neutralize the acids in the stomach causing the unpleasant symptoms. Antacids can provide fast relief from symptoms. H2 blockers are prescribed when symptoms of acid indigestion are persistent and recurring. Blockers prevent stomach acids from forming and thereby give the digestive system time to heal. However, long-term use of antacids and H2 blockers may cause other complications and side effects. Alternatively you can try some simple home remedies or natural cures to alleviate the symptoms of a sour stomach such as:

  • Herbal teas like chamomile tea, green tea, or peppermint tea can help calm down an upset stomach and reduce bloating. However, if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, avoid peppermint tea as the menthol can cause the esophageal valve to relax and further aggravate the symptoms.
  • Angelica root is a well-known herbal remedy to help improve digestion. If you suffer from recurring bouts of indigestion, drink a cup of angelica root tea at least once a day to relieve symptoms and stimulate proper digestion. Avoid this remedy if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Ginger has long since been used to treat digestive problems such as acidity, stomach pain and gas. Ginger works as an anti-spasmodic and helps reduce cramps as well. You can either sip on ginger tea or chew on a piece of fresh ginger for instant relief.
  • Chew a handful of fennel seeds after every meal to get rid of gas and bloating and improve the digestive process. Fennel tea with a bit of honey added to it is another way of treating symptoms of a sour stomach.
  • Carrot juice: Half a glass of carrot juice mixed with the same amount of water can help relieve indigestion and reduce the symptoms of sour stomach.
  • Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cold water. Drink this for instant relief from gas, belching and flatulence.
  • Papaya: This fruit is excellent for improve digestion, which helps reduce acidity as well as other digestion related problems.

There are also a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make to get rid of a sour stomach such as:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety by learning yoga and meditation
  • Regular exercise can help reduce obesity and control symptoms of acid indigestion
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to improve the overall functioning of your digestive system
  • Eat four or five small meals throughout the day instead of three heavy meals
  • Keep a gap of a few hours between eating and sleeping
  • Chew your food properly and eat slowly
  • Get a minimum of eight hours sleep

Diet:

  • Avoid foods that are oily, spicy, and fatty
  • Citrus fruits may also aggravate symptoms such as acid reflux and should be avoided
  • Avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks
  • If you have a food allergy or intolerance, cut out the items from your diet such as milk or eggs
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