Symptoms of indigestion can often be relieved with a few lifestyle changes.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Large meals expand your stomach and increase upward pressure against the esophageal sphincter.
- Limit your intake of acid-stimulating foods and beverages.
Eat foods that rarely cause heartburn and avoid those foods that will often cause heartburn.
- Don't lie down for about two hours after you eat.
Gravity helps to keep the stomach juices from backing up into the esophagus and assists the flow of food and digestive juices from the stomach to the intestines.
- Elevate your head a few inches while you sleep.
Lying down flat presses the stomach's contents against the LES. With the head higher than the stomach, gravity helps reduce this pressure. You can elevate your head in a couple of ways. You can place bricks, blocks or anything that's sturdy securely under the legs at the head of your bed. You can also use an extra pillow, or a wedge-shaped pillow, to elevate your head. Read this article for more tips on easing nighttime heartburn.
- Don't smoke.
Nicotine relaxes the esophageal sphincter. Smoking also stimulates the production of stomach acid. Read this article to learn other ways smoking can worsen heartburn.
- Don't drink alcohol.
If you still want to drink alcoholic beverages, follow these tips.
While stress hasn't been linked directly to heartburn, it is known that it can lead to behaviors that can trigger heartburn. Follow these relaxation tips to alleviate stress, and thus make stress-related heartburn less likely.
- Don't wear belts or clothes that are tight fitting around the waist.
Clothing that fits tightly around the abdomen will squeeze the stomach, forcing food up against the LES, and cause food to reflux into the esophagus. Clothing that can cause problems include tight-fitting belts and slenderizing undergarments.
- Over-the-counter remedies
There are various over-the-counter treatment options available for acid reflux. For some individuals, they've found relief from their indigestion symptoms by using these methods.
- Histamine Receptor Antagonists
There are a number of medicines for treating stomach ulcers and indigestion. One of the most important of these is a group of medicines known as H2-receptor antagonists or histamine receptor antagonists.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of prescription medications that prevent the release of acid in the stomach and intestines.