- Heart Burn
- Upper Abdominal discomfort or pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Early satiety after a meal
- Belching or Flatulence
About 20% of the population of United States suffer from it. Dyspepsia, commonly known as indigestion can be caused by diseases of the digestive tract like Gastritis, Esophageal reflux, Peptic Ulcers, Gastric Cancer, Crohn’s disease, Cancer of the Colon etc. It can also be caused by certain drugs, Alcohol, Depression, Anxiety and Pregnancy. Some cases of dyspepsia are caused by a bacteria which colonizes the stomach and neutralizes the stomach acid, called Helicobacter pylori. Flatulent dyspepsia is a functional disorder with no organic cause, where symptoms like belching, bloating and flatulence predominate.Functional dyspepsia is diagnosed when the symptoms are not associated with any organic pathology.
A healthy stomach can digest not only what is called nutritious wholesome food but also rich foods like steaks and pies to some extent. As long as we do not overburden our stomach with rich food we can enjoy good digestion. In most cases the symptoms arise when we eat foods which satisfy our palate alone instead of those which sustain us.
Following certain food habits can help improve your digestion:
- Meal times should be a time of bodily and mental relaxation. Agitation of the mind leads to indigestion. Sitting down and concentrating on the meal is the best way to avoid over eating.
- Take time to chew your food properly. Digestion of food starts the moment the food is being chewed in the mouth. Chewing releases the enzyme, Salivary Amylase which starts the digestive process and prepares the food for further digestion in the stomach.
- Drinking a glass of water half hour before a meal activates the digestive organs.
- Avoid drinking water or any liquids (wine, coffee etc) during a meal. This dilutes the stomach acids which play an important role in digestion and hampers the digestive process.
- According to the ancient Indian Science of Ayurveda, sipping small quantities of warm water throughout the day aids digestion.
- Cigarette smoking, Spicy foods,Alcohol, Tea and Coffee can lead to dyspepsia.
- Stress is a well known factor leading to dyspepsia. Stress management plays an important role in managing the symptoms.
While most cases of dyspepsia are not serious, a few cases may be. It is advisable to visit your doctor if dyspepsia recurs often. People over the age of 55 years with recent onset dyspepsia, should see their doctor immediately to rule out any organic pathology, as the incidence of developing malignancy is higher in that age group. Your physician may investigate further by prescribing blood and stool examination, Liver function tests, Endoscopy etc.
How can Homeopathy help?
Homeopathy, along with a change to healthy eating habits, offers a very effective solution in the treatment of Dyspepsia. It works by treating the underlying cause and not just the symptoms. The treatment is gentle and the relief obtained is usually long term.
The following are a few Homeopathic remedies frequently used in the treatment of dyspepsia:
- Nux Vomica – Dyspepsia from beer, wine, alcoholic stimulants, tobacco, mental overwork and excesses of all kind. People of sedentary habits, who suffer from haemorrhoids and habitual constipation.
- Pulsatilla – Indigestion caused by eating rich, fatty food.
- Bryonia – Sense of pressure and pain in the pit of the stomach and vomiting soon after a meal. The character of the pain and aggravation from motion indicate this remedy.
- Carbo Veg – Dyspepsia of a chronic nature in old people. Diarrhea right after eating. Great flatulence and bloating relieved temporarily by belching.
- Antimonium Crudum – Indigestion with nausea and a thickly coated milky white tongue. In people prone to corpulence.
- Lycopodium – Flatulent distension of the bowels, flatulence passing downwards. Suitable for dyspepsia in gouty individuals.
The nature of the remedies used may vary from case to case. The above are examples of some of the commonly used medicines (but not the only ones!) for Dyspepsia. Your Homeopath would be able to guide you on what remedy suits you the best. They may prescribe some other remedies too based on the individual constitutional type of the patient.