Constipation is characterized by a difficulty in eliminating stools or the absence of elimination. ...
Indigestion (aka dyspepsia) occurs when the body has difficulty breaking down and assimilating foods. The main symptoms are heartburns, heaviness after meals, belching, gas, flatulence, bloating, nausea and poor appetite.
Indigestion can be easily improved or even eliminated by correcting simple habits. Eating too fast, chewing open-mouthed, or drinking while eating will let air in the digestive tract and can produce serious discomfort.
Our experts explore causes, symptoms, remedies and lifestyle changes for indigestion, as well as recommend the best herbal remedies available. You can also use our Q&A service to ask a question about indigestion.
What is indigestion
Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a general term used to describe pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, arising from the first part of the digestive system (oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum (part of the small intestine)).
The term basically means ‘poor digestion’ and symptoms arise mainly because of a disturbance to the first part of the digestive process when food is broken down before being absorbed into the body.
What causes indigestion?
The digestive system produces substances known as enzymes which are necessaryfor us to digest the food we eat.
In the stomach, gastric juice is secreted together with gastric acid. This acid is strong enough to irritate the tissues of the stomach - however, this does not happen because nature provides the inside of our stomachs with a protective lining.
However, sometimes, this protective mechanism breaks down and becomes less effective, leading to inflammation. At the same time, the digestive process can become less efficient.
There are a number of reasons why this can occur, including:
- Overindulgence in food, alcohol or caffeine
- Fatty or spicy foods
- Irregular eating habits
- Eating too fast
Some medical problems can give rise to symptoms of indigestion. These include:
Some food combinations can trigger dyspepsia:
- Do not eat fruits with other food. Fruits are digested within 15 minutes; however, it takes about 2 to 3 hours to digest other foods. If combined, fruits will cause fermentation of the alimentary bolus causing irritation, gas and bloating.
- It is also important to limit the amount of grains (anything made of flour) or legumes ingested in one meal since they are harder to digest.
- Do not combine food high in carbohydrates with animal protein food (meat and dairy) since this can also produce fermentation.
Stress, anxiety, worries and frustrations can affect digestion. It is important that the nervous system is able to manage stress properly.
The role of the liver
The liver has a major role to play in digestion and is essential to fat digestion:
- It is responsible for fat metabolism
- It allows their assimilation
- It transforms them if need be
- It manufactures others
- And finally, it regulates fat concentration in the blood
If the liver does not function properly, it affects the body’s capacity to digest and assimilate fat.
The symptoms of an overloaded liver are many and varied: reflux, indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, coated tongue, bad breath, yellow complexion, brown spots on the skin, dizzy spells, light sleep (especially between 1 and 3 am), lack of energy after meal and/or sore spots around the liver or beneath the right shoulder blade. One or many symptoms may occur when the liver is congested.
Liver malfunction can affect most medical conditions since toxin overload can lead to many of them.
Stress, alcohol, medication, excess of processed foods and a lack of dietary fibers are unduly detrimental to liver health. Since fibers transport toxic substances out of the body, an inadequate amount of fibers reduces the liver’s ability to eliminate toxins. It is important to avoid processed food and consume food in its most natural state. For example:
- Margarines and commercial oils are not recognized as normal food by the body and must be transformed or eliminated, which creates extra work for the liver.
- Dairy products and meats can be harder to digest by an overloaded liver because of their high saturated fat content.
- Cold pressed oils and raw nuts supply good oils to the liver for the production of several hormones (e.g. progesterone, estrogen, testosterone), the control of circulating fats (e.g. cholesterol and triglycerides) as well as the absorption and circulation of fat-soluble vitamins.
- An inactive lifestyle tends to slow down intestinal transit, which hinders the elimination of toxins from the liver.
Artichoke • Milk Thistle Boldocynara® Complex is used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve dyspepsia. Artichoke • Milk Thistle Boldocynara® Complex improves overall digestion by stimulating bile secretion and helps to cleanse and protect the liver.
Molkosan is perfectly suited to help the digestive tract function better.
Half a lemon freshly squeezed in a cup of hot water every morning helps the liver to eliminate toxins. A small glass of fresh carrot juice also helps. Diaphragmatic breathing promotes better oxygenation of the liver. Rest and regular exercise are also an essential part of the program.
To activate the process of liver detoxification, a few good herbs can be useful. Boldocynara Liquid is a unique complex containing artichoke, milk thistle, dandelion, boldo and peppermint. Those plants are very effective to stimulate bile production and toxin elimination. As a preventative measure, a seasonal course of Boldocynara can be used for prevention.
When there is a liver-specific problem (such as elevated enzymes, fatty-liver, hepatitis or cirrhosis), milk thistle by A.Vogel is better suited because it is more of tonic than stimulating. Milk thistle protects and repairs damaged liver cells. It is perfect for long-term conditions.
Finally, if stress is the main cause of indigestion, Passion Flower will help manage stress by soothing both the nervous and glandular systems.
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