Indigestion Remedies and Treatments
Indigestion is a result of excess stomach acid irritating the lining of your food pipe (known as the oesophagus), your stomach, or the upper part of your intestine. The symptoms can include pain, inflammation, bloating (feeling very full) and belching.
Indigestion may often, but not always, come on soon after a meal. It is closely associated with heartburn and many people experience both, although not usually at the same time. You can read about the differences between the two here.
If you know what causes or triggers your indigestion, then you may be able to adjust your eating habits or lifestyle to try to prevent it. Additionally, there are many different types of indigestion medication and treatment that may help you:
Home remedies for Indigestion
There are a number of natural "home" remedies that may help treat indigestion. These include peppermint oil, tea made from fennel or anise seeds, baking soda, or simply sipping a cup of hot water.1 However, sufferers frequently choose to try scientifically proven medications as opposed to natural remedies for indigestion.
Medications for Controlling Indigestion
Here are five commonly used treatments that you can buy over-the-counter:
There are several different antacid products. They usually contain acid neutralizing ingredients like calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate or aluminium hydroxide which are all effective remedies for indigestion. They are generally used for mild indigestion and heartburn, and are available in various formulations, including liquid and chewable tablets.
Alginates (rafting agents)
These treatments can be used for indigestion or heartburn and Gaviscon Dual Action Liquids and Tablets are a well known example. It contains sodium alginate (the rafting agent), together with calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate.
Sodium alginate works by forming a protective layer, or raft, on top of the stomach contents - a strong physical barrier to help prevent stomach acid getting up into the oesophagus. The calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate work to quickly neutralise stomach acid, to bring you effective indigestion relief.
Gaviscon Dual Action Liquids & Tablets offer long lasting and effective relief.
Histamine H2-receptor antagonists
These products are also called H2- antagonists or H2-blockers. The acid in your stomach is made in the cells of the stomach lining. H2-antagonists work by turning off chemical receptors in those cells so that they stop producing acid. Like Gaviscon, they can be bought over-the counter, or prescribed by a doctor.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
These products also stop the production of stomach acid. However, PPIs work in a different way to H2-antagonists. They block the acid pumps, which are the source of acid in the stomach. Again, like Gaviscon and H2-antagonists, some PPIs can be bought over-the-counter, while others are only available on prescription.
Not all products may be suitable for everyone with indigestion. So if you are in any doubt about your symptoms or what indigestion treatments may help, always ask for professional medical advice from pharmacists and doctors.
All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Gaviscon for Heartburn & Indigestion. Always read the label. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist. Medicines can affect the unborn baby. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine during pregnancy.
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