Indigestion, heartburn, and reflux – collectively known as GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease – are extremely common amongst Australians, especially during pregnancy and often worsening with age.
Also known as dyspepsia, the condition causes discomfort in the upper abdomen and is classified by symptoms including a burning sensation in the chest, a feeling of tightness, bloating or nausea, which is triggered when stomach acid rises up the oesophagus. Yuck!
As any sufferer will tell you, it’s an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience – and triggers vary from one person to the next. Common causes include overindulging in spicy or fatty foods, eating too quickly, or treating yourself to one too many coffees (caffeine can be a major trigger!).
Despite its unpleasantness, indigestion is common and usually not a cause for concern – however, if you’re concerned by the persistence of your symptoms, it’s always worth visiting your local doctor or pharmacist.
If you’re a busy mum juggling work, kids, family and a million other things, you likely have little to no time to spare.
The last thing you want to deal with is the discomfort of indigestion slowing you down, so before your condition prevents you from going about your daily life, here are some of the best indigestion remedies and products to help treat it.
Herbal indigestion remedies
While over-the-counter heartburn medications work by counteracting the production of stomach acids, herbal remedies aim to target the cause of the symptoms – working to relax the stomach muscles, calm the nerves and improve overall gastrointestinal wellbeing.
Herbal remedies are a good option for those susceptible to GERD as they can be taken daily to prevent the onset of indigestion and are usually gentler on the stomach.
Try: Iberogast Liquid 50ml, RRP: $29.89. Available at Chemist Warehouse.
Ginger is a great natural ingredient used to treat multiple gastrointestinal ailments such as nausea and stomach upsets – and many also swear by its ability to provide heartburn relief.
Want to ease that burning sensation in your chest? Try steeping ginger in hot water to concoct a comforting ginger tea or adding grated ginger to a stir-fry, a smoothie, or a hot soup.
Try: T2, Lemongrass and Ginger Teabag Everyday, RRP. $29.00. Available at t2tea.
High fibre foods
Indigestion may be something you can avoid by making a few simple changes to your diet. Fibre, for example, is beneficial when it comes to preventing symptoms of indigestion and assisting with overall healthy digestion. Start by introducing fibre-rich foods such as broccoli, lentils, brown rice, oats or beans.
If you’re finding it difficult to incorporate enough fibre into your diet alone, you could also consider a fibre supplement.
Try: Happy Mammoth, Fermented Happy Fibre, RRP. $69.99. Available at Happy Mammoth.
Aloe vera juice
A lesser-known remedy for easing the discomfort of heartburn is aloe vera juice. In the same way that aloe vera is used to soothe the skin after a particularly unpleasant sun burn, aloe juice can be used to soothe the irritation caused by heartburn.
Aloe juice works best when taken before a meal, especially if you know a specific meal may be likely to trigger your symptoms.
The juice works by soothing your stomach and oesophagus, preventing the likeliness of irritation occurring.
Try: Melrose Organic Aloe Vera Juice 500ml, RRP. $10.50. Available at Chemist Warehouse.
While it’s great to try natural indigestion remedies to assist with heartburn, every now and again we might need a little extra support to fight those unpleasant symptoms. Whether a medication is prescription or over-the-counter, it’s important to always speak with your pharmacists or GP before starting anything new.
Following the go-ahead from a trusted medical professional, an antacid might be something worth considering. Antacids help to treat indigestion by offsetting the stomach acid produced during an episode of heartburn.
Try: Chemists’ Own Heartburn Relief Esomeprazole Tablets 20mg 14 Tablets. Available at Chemist Direct.
Or APOHEALTH Esomeprazole Heartburn Relief 20mg 14 Tablets. Available at Super Pharmacy.
While symptoms of indigestion are far from ideal, the right products and indigestion remedies can greatly improve your experience – with any luck significantly reducing your discomfort.
By testing out a range of indigestion remedies and products and seeking expert medical advice, you’ll be feeling back on track and ready to conquer whatever life (or children) throw at you next.