Up until I was 20 years old I don’t remember talking about indigestion or having any kind of gut issues.
My IT career started in 1998, I started as a lab assistant cum programmer, used to work 14 hours a day because of my own interest. Had no health issues or indigestion problems that time.
In 2001 took up more responsibilities in another firm, apart from being a programmer, I acted as the technical lead cum PM, managing a team of 10 members. I was responsible for client, employee and employer satisfaction. While I did great at work, I started having abdominal pain, reflux and indigestion. When I look back, I think it might have been because of stress levels (had no idea how to manage stress back then) and not having a nutrient rich diet.
For years I left the issue unattended thinking it would resolve on its own, but it didn’t. Then, I went through various treatments (mostly allopathy) but none actually helped, they just provided short term relief, perhaps for a few hours.
But today my digestion issues have significantly reduced because I learned about various causes of indigestion and possible solutions to it. I am sharing the list here, assuming it helps.
- Solar plexus imbalance — Allopathy doesn’t understand this at all, only yoga/exercise can fix this. You can learn about it here.
- Eating frequently — Try to give a window of 3 to 4 hours between meals, not more than 3 meals a day (this includes snacking)
- Eating Junk/Processed/Sugar food — Avoid them, I understand the cravings part, at least limit them to once a week and to a small portion
- Stress/Sleep Deprived — Learn to manage stress via meditation, mindfulness and minimalism and dinner before 6:30 pm for better sleep quality
- Disorders — Celiac disease, malabsorption, short bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, hiatal hernia, lactose intolerance etc. Consultant a doctor to know if any of these are affecting you.
- Not having enough water — At least 6 glasses of water is a must, to keep you hydrated and to avoid indigestion
- No exercise — Exercise is a must for good bowel movement, if nothing, a 30 minutes walk is the least you can do.
- Lack of Pre/Probiotics — I do ACV/Salad for prebiotics and buttermilk for probiotics.
- Lack of nutrients — Make sure that you are getting enough of Carbs, Fats, Protein, vitamins & minerals. Read a book or two on naturopathy, it will provide you good insights on how food affects your body, here is one of them.
- Overeating — Try reducing your portion by 25% and see if it helps, if not, reduce it further.
- Weak core — No amount of upper body or leg exercises are a substitute for core. Do planks/lower back exercises. I suffered from digestive issues for many years, then one of my friends said, maybe you have a weak core. I did planks and leg ups, and it helped a lot.
- Leaky gut — Years of abuse damages the gut lining, leaking food particles into your bloodstream. Do a one month detox program with NO sugar, chilly, caffeine (tea/coffee), process good, milk.
- Dry Intestine — Use of laxatives, too much hot water, junk food or dehydration can cause dry Intestine leading to constipation. Try having ghee 2 to 3 spoons daily (empty stomach), this will lubricate your intestine…I have tried this and it works.
- Lack of fiber — Eat whole food, fruits and veggie, if required supplement with organic isabgol to increase your fiber intake.
- Caffeine (Tea/Coffee) — Caffeine certainly interferes with your digestive process, intensity might vary from person to person. For me anything more than 2 cups/day is a problem. If you can move to green tea, even better.
- Carbonated drinks — In the US having a carbonated drink along with your lunch/dinner is common. I copied it, but for me, it never worked, it led to heartburns and burps. Now, it has been a decade since I combined a carbonated drink with food.
- Antibiotics — If you have observed, doctors usually prescribe a pre/probiotics tablets when they give you antibiotics as it affects your gut bacteria. Longer term usage of antibiotics can severely impact your microbiota.
- Depression/Anxiety — Thinking too much about the past leads to depression, and too much about future leads to anxiety, both of these affects your gut in someway, learn to live in the present via meditation and mindfulness.
- Microbiota — out of the 100 trillion cells in your body, only 10% belongs to you, rest 90% are from microbiota (bacteria/fungi/viruses living in your body). If your microbiota is disturbed it will certainly cause gut issues. To know more read 10% Human.
For immediate symptomatic relief you can use Triphala or Kayam Churan before bed time. I usually take it 45 minutes after dinner, 2 tablets works best for me. If you haven’t tried it before, start with 1 tablet. Overdose can cause issues. Avoid making it a habit.
Alternatively you can try Isabgol for a few days and see if it helps.
Disclaimer: I am not qualified to provide medical advice, above are just my personal observations and learnings, please consult your doctor before you try anything.