Natural Treatment of Indigestion & Heartburn
Do you experience heartburn or indigestion?
Your digestive tract may need help. Naturally.
Are these symptoms familiar?
– Acid reflux, heartburn and frequent belching after eating
– Indigestion or upset stomach after a meal
– Feeling of excessive fullness after eating
– Bloating and cramping
These symptoms may occur singly or in combination. For some it’s a daily occurrence while for others, it only happens once in a while.
Your digestive system is much more than a simple tube that carries food through your body. The process of digestion starts in your mouth and continues through your esophagus, stomach, small intestines, and colon. Along the way, the pancreas and liver produce enzymes and bile to break down food. This newsletter will deal with the upper portion of the digestive tract from the mouth to the stomach. Next season’s issue will deal with the lower portion of the digestive tract which includes the small and large intestines
Make a few changes to restore proper digestion in the upper portion of your system:
- Digestion begins in your mouth. Chewing breaks down food to make it easier for your stomach and intestines to digest it. Saliva in your mouth contains the enzyme amylase to break down starches.
Action: Set aside 20 minutes for each meal, eat mindfully (enjoying flavours and textures) and chew thoroughly before swallowing.
- After swallowing, the food travels to the stomach via the esophagus. The stomach churns food while adding hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes to further breakdown food into a puree.
Action: Avoid drinking liquids with meals as this dilutes stomach acid and enzymes that are required for proper food breakdown.
- Stomach acid facilitates digestion and kills potentially harmful bacteria and microorganisms. Many people believe that stomach acid is bad and that too much causes heartburn, but low stomach acid can result in decreased nutrient absorption, gastrointestinal infections, food sensitivities, heartburn and reflux, indigestion, fullness and bloating, flatulence, and constipation or diarrhea.
Action: Ensure that you have sufficient stomach acid production. It would be best to work with qualified healthcare practitioner to determine your best options.
- Digestive enzymes such as pepsin break down protein in your stomach.
Action: Consider supplementing with a well-designed comprehensive digestive enzyme to promote proper digestive function.
- When you experience recurrent heartburn or reflux, the mucous membranes in your esophagus are often irritated and inflamed as they are not designed to handle the acidity.
Action: Heal irritated mucous membranes with herbs such as meadowsweet, marshmallow (the herb!), slippery elm, liquorice (the herb!), or chamomile.
Contact Suzanne if you would like to discuss your specific digestive issues in greater detail.