We’ve all been there -- that moment when your stomach starts to rumble, and you realize something isn’t right.
You’re not alone! Indigestion is very common, affecting up to 25% of adults.
We sat down with Dr. Zach Borman -- a gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City -- to help us understand what happens to your body when you experience indigestion symptoms, and the natural remedies you can turn to for those uh-oh moments.
Dr. Borman says there are a variety of causes of indigestion; a brief bout can be caused by dietary changes such as higher fat or salt, as well as eating processed foods, whereas lingering symptoms can be the result of food poisoning or food intolerance.
To understand indigestion, it is also crucial to understand the Brain-Gut axis -- the link between the gut and the brain. Dr. Borman explains that the brain and gut are connected via a bidirectional link that begins during embryologic development. This connection explains why your mood can often affect your digestive system, and why you may have experienced indigestion during times of stress. These nerves can also affect the rate at which the stomach empties or digests food, and in certain situations can cause acid reflux, bloating and pain.
The most common misconception about indigestion? That it can’t be solved.
Dr. Borman’s go-to’s for avoiding and treating indigestion:
- Manage stress & anxiety: getting lots of sleep and exercise will help to maintain healthy stress levels and avoid anxiety-induced indigestion.
- Eat a balanced diet: Eating a balanced, low fat and non-processed diet is key to preventing and treating indigestion.
- Natural remedies: Natural ingredients can be effective for relieving indigestion symptoms without harsh effects on the body. Ginger, specifically ginger chews, are a great natural solution for indigestion. Dr. Borman has also seen success with peppermint oil and caraway.
The first step is always to focus on preventative factors, but if you find yourself experiencing discomfort, Dr. Borman notes that there are many effective and natural solutions to soothe in those uncomfortable moments.
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult a physician before treating any disorder.