Role of Diet and Lifestyle Changes in Treating Chronic Indigestion

Chronic Indigestion - Sriramakrishnahospital

After food is chewed and ingested, it is propelled downward by muscular contractions along the esophagus and then through a sphincter, which is a circular muscle ring, into the stomach. Occasionally, even among individuals in good health, the stomach’s contents exert pressure and move up through the sphincter, returning to the esophagus. This phenomenon is referred to as ‘reflux’ (also known as gastro-esophageal reflux disease, indigestion, or heartburn) and manifests as a sensation of burning behind the breastbone.

What are the signs that indicate chronic indigestion?

Chronic indigestion can seem similar to a bad stomach ache. Here are few of the common signs that can indicate chronic indigestion:

  • Bloating
  • Constant burping
  • Pain and discomfort in the stomach
  • Inflammation in the stomach
  • Acid reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

If you notice any of these symptoms, reach out to the dyspepsia treatment in Coimbatore, to find relief from chronic indigestion and enjoy your meals without any worry.

What are the different causes of chronic indigestion?

Indigestion can lead from various sources, though it’s infrequent for a significant underlying issue to be the origin. Most of us are prone to encountering chronic indigestion occasionally, particularly after consuming a spicy, or fatty meal. Symptoms may arise when meals are hurried or when we’ve consumed an excessive amount of food or drink.

Common cause of indigestion include:

  • Smoking
  • Eating late
  • Consuming high amounts of caffeine
  • Disrupted sleep cycle

Few underlying causes of indigestion:

Acid reflux or gastrointestinal reflux:

This occurs when the contents of your stomach, including food and beverages, return upwards after you’ve eaten or drunk. These contents often consist of acid and can make their way into your esophagus, the tube-like structure linking your mouth and stomach. Acid reflux can also lead to episodes of vomiting. This condition is also associated with the occurrence of heartburn.


Chronic indigestion can be triggered by a bacterial infection caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).

Irritable bowel syndrome:

This condition impacts your intestines and gives rise to symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.


This refers to a lesion occurring on the inner lining of your stomach (peptic ulcer), small intestine, or esophagus.

What are the lifestyle tips that help manage chronic indigestion?

Maintain an ideal weight:

The likelihood and seriousness of GERD tend to increase among individuals with higher body weights. Shedding a few pounds could result in improved well-being.

Avoid foods or drinks that can trigger chronic indigestion:

In a few people foods like garlic, carbonated drinks, caffeine, even onion can trigger indigestion. It is important to avoid these foods. 

Refrain from wearing tight clothes around the stomach region:

Wearing tight clothing can exert pressure on the stomach, prompting stomach acid to ascend towards the esophagus and triggering acid reflux. Consider opting for looser clothing that doesn’t constrict the stomach region.

Chew your food slowly and consume in smaller portions:

Consuming smaller meals can alleviate stomach pressure, and eating at a slower pace can aid in recognizing fullness more promptly. Slowing down also reduces the likelihood of irritating the esophagus.

Left untreated, GERD has the potential to give rise to more severe health issues in the long run, including the development of esophageal cancer. It’s crucial to engage in a conversation with your primary care doctor regarding your symptoms and discover an optimal solution tailored to your needs. Hence it is important to seek chronic indigestion treatment to avoid any discomfort or major complications. 

Can gravity cause chronic indigestion?

The force of gravity plays a significant role in managing reflux. Individuals with a less than optimal lower esophageal sphincter (LES) often notice that reclining after a substantial meal leads to food returning to the esophagus, causing heartburn. If you experience heartburn, reflect on whether it happens after eating, when you lie down at night, or if you nap following a meal. 

Sustaining an upright posture until digestion is complete could help prevent heartburn. For recurring nighttime heartburn, consider elevating the head of your bed or using a triangular wedge to ensure your esophagus remains above your stomach. Refrain from strenuous activities after eating, as they engage the abdominal muscles and exert pressure on a weakened sphincter. This is particularly applicable to tasks that involve bending, such as lifting or cleaning the floor.

Can water help calm indigestion?

Taking gentle sips of water during episodes of chronic indigestion might offer some relief. When dealing with acid reflux in the esophagus, the water could assist in pushing the acid back into the stomach. In cases where the stomach’s digestion and food release appear sluggish, a small amount of water might aid in propelling things forward while also diluting the acid. However, avoid consuming excessive water that could cause your stomach to expand, potentially yielding the opposite outcome.

When should you seek medical help for chronic indigestion?

Consult a healthcare professional if you experience persistent indigestion that doesn’t respond to antacids or if you find yourself relying on antacids excessively and require a more sustainable approach.

Additionally, seek medical attention if you encounter any warning signs in conjunction with your indigestion, such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Spotting of blood in stool
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Feeling of tightness in chest
  • Sudden weight loss

Can you prevent indigestion or can it be avoided?

There are methods to prevent indigestion. Firstly, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your body’s responses to various foods and beverages. Indigestion triggers can include spicy, acidic foods, as well as carbonated drinks, so it’s advisable to steer clear of them when feasible. 

Opt for consuming smaller meals spread across the day and avoid eating excessively late at night. Refrain from lying down immediately after meals. Moderation in alcohol consumption is recommended. If you’re a tobacco user, consider striving to quit. Keep in mind that both stress and inadequate sleep can exacerbate symptoms.

Important Takeaway:

Indigestion is a prevalent occurrence, typically lacking severity. However, if it becomes a frequent issue, it can transform into a significant concern. It has the potential to disrupt your eating patterns, sleep, and overall quality of life. While it often signifies a minor concern, occasionally it might point towards an underlying medical condition, although rarely of a serious nature. Given the intricate nature of your digestive system, numerous factors can influence its functioning. Visit a gastroenterologist in Coimbatore in case you are looking for indigestion treatment.

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