Settle Your Indigestion

What to do if you are experiencing indigestion

Indigestion, or having an unsettled stomach as some people may describe it, can be rather painful and distressing. Perhaps you were at a family meal and wanted to enjoy the after-dinner conversation with your loved ones. But instead, your indigestion was really painful and you had to excuse yourself, needing to belch or just be alone, hoping the pain would soon pass.

To help you reduce the chances of indigestion, or an unsettled stomach, here are some suggestions on what preventative steps you can take and how you may consider dealing with it, should it occur again.

Avoiding indigestion or an unsettled stomach

Indigestion results when excess acid irritates the stomach lining or passes up into the food pipe (oesophagus). Adjusting your eating habits is a good place to start to prevent this from happening. These tips to avoid indigestion/unsettled stomach may help in both the short and long term:

  • Try to avoid any foods you know have caused indigestion or an unsettled stomach in the past. If you are unsure what the food you're about to eat contains, check the packaging or ask the person who prepared it about the ingredients. After all, we're much more conscious of things like allergies, and we increasingly question what's in our food. So, why not apply the same principles to managing your indigestion, to help you know what you're about to eat?
  • Choose or ask for smaller portions. Overfilling your stomach can create pressure and cause acid to escape. It's easy to get carried away, but try to chew food slowly, pausing between mouthfuls. That way you'll gradually introduce smaller amounts into your stomach.
  • Try not to eat on the go or late at night. Eating on the run or just before bedtime can affect your digestive system, making it easier for acid to escape up into the oesophagus (food pipe).
  •  Reflect on the amount of spicy and fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine or carbonated drinks that you may eat and drink. Then consider cutting down on them if possible.

What to do if you are experiencing indigestion

If you suffer a bout of indigestion in the middle of your meal, simply pause for a while to see if it helps and try to remember the points above. However, indigestion is more likely to begin after a meal. So if you start to feel an unsettled stomach:

  • Remain sitting up straight, rather than in a slumped or lying position - it's a more effective way to help acid stay down
  • Loosen your waistband or belt, if you can
  • Try to avoid getting up to do something too energetic, too quickly - like gardening, D.I.Y work or playing with your children      
  • Don't forget- drinking more alcohol, carbonated drinks or drinks with caffeine may make it worse
  • If excess acid has been produced due to eating and drinking, you could also consider taking some medication to counteract it

Gaviscon Dual Action to the rescue

If you have previously been prone to unsettled stomachs or indigestion, it can be an idea to keep the indigestion medication that you have left over stored at home , or even with you, for some quick relief when you need it.

Gaviscon Dual Action Liquid, for example, provides long lasting relief in as little as 4 minutes!*

Firstly, it neutralises excess stomach acid using calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate.

Secondly, it forms a physical layer, or a protective barrier, on top of the stomach contents, to help stop acid passing up into the food pipe (oesophagus). Gaviscon provides long-lasting relief - up to twice as long as an antacid.

Dual Action is just one of several Gaviscon formulations. You'll find details of the full range here.

Having indigestion or an unsettled tummy may simply be down to your lifestyle choices. However, if you are in any doubt, always check with your doctor.

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.


Information sources for this article:

*Strugala et al. 2010 – Gaviscon v non active control, Financial Sponsor Reckitt Benckiser