You’ve indulged during the holiday season, and too much food could have caused some discomfort. So, to avoid an upset stomach for the rest of the year, leading hospital in the Philippines Makati Medical Center gives tips on how to avoid indigestion.
“Overeating and eating too fast can lead to indigestion or that intense and uncomfortable feeling in your tummy, usually described as feeling ‘bloated’,” says Frederick Andre Leelin, MD, of the Section of Gastroenterology of the MakatiMed Department of Medicine. “It’s usually triggered by eating too much fatty, spicy, and greasy food as well as drinking a lot of caffeine and carbonated soda.”
Indigestion can be extremely uncomfortable, and sometimes, acid reflux goes hand-in-hand with it, too. Acid reflux is the burning sensation you feel in the middle of your chest. It’s most commonly known as heartburn, wherein stomach acids go back up to the esophagus.
“The smart thing to do would be to listen to your body, and to make healthier choices,” says Dr. Leelin. “Avoid the kinds of food that would cause you to have an upset stomach. It really varies from person to person. Some symptoms would be triggered by spicy food, for others it would be caffeine.”
If dairy, tomatoes, or soda seem to bother your stomach, it’s best to avoid those so you won’t have to suffer from indigestion. Try to limit your intake of carbonated beverages, because these can also cause acid reflux. Dr. Leelin also says that it’s best to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Paying attention to portion sizes or the amount of food you pile on your plate will do you a lot of good. Too much stress could also lead you to eat larger portions, and if indigestion is caused by stress, you should find time to rest and relax.
Chewing your food properly also helps. Eat in a relaxed manner, and avoid late night eating, especially 3 to 4 hours before going to bed.
“Eating food high in fiber can also improve your digestion. Try eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables,” says Dr. Leelin. “But be sure to seek medical help when symptoms last longer than a few days, if you’re experiencing inexplicable weight loss, severe abdominal pain, or blood in your stool or vomit.”
You don’t have to deprive yourself, but staying healthy and avoiding getting stomach pains – even heartburn – is worth the trouble of watching what you eat.