One of the most common complaints of every individual at some point of the day is indigestion. In order to keep pace with the tempo of daily toil and work, we usually forget to maintain a fixed, healthy routine of meals and snacks. It is natural that all of us eat anywhere, anytime and anything which is available. We unknowingly make blunders which affect our digestion. But, one should not forget that such habits have slow and long lasting effects on our body. Some common daily habits that lead to dyspepsia or indigestion:
1. Eating too Quickly: Getting late for school or office? Have no time to sit and eat? This might cause indigestion later that day! Eating fast tends to increase the acid reflux reaction, which happens when the stomach’s acids irritate the food pipe. This results in indigestion, heart burns and acidic belching. Acid reflux is also known as GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux reaction). Other symptoms also include chest pain, lumpy feeling in the throat and bad breath. To prevent acid reflux, it is advisable to eat small quantities of food at a slow pace. Studies have also shown that people who eat slowly, consume less calories than people who eat fast. Hence eating slowly is also good for weight management.
2. Overeating: Suffering from indigestion after gourmandizing at last night’s party? Overeating large quantities of food at a time leads to a distended stomach that dilates the opening of the esophagus and stomach. This makes room for the movement of stomach acids into the food pipe, causing heartburns, indigestion and bloating. One should not indulge in overeating at the stake of one’s health. Eating small quantities of food at short intervals is a wiser idea.
3. Talking while Eating: All of us love chatting with our dear ones at the dining table. This habit is known to be one of the biggest reasons for indigestion. When we talk, we tend to swallow undue amount of air along with our food. This increases the air within our stomach that leads to belching and indigestion. It is advisable not to talk while eating, instead just enjoy the company of your loved ones at the dinner table and have a good gossip after dinner’s done.
4. Excessive Consumption of Caffeine and Carbonated Beverages: Are you one of them who love to start your day with a cup of tea or coffee? Beware! Caffeine, a common component of both tea and coffee is proved to trigger acid reflux reactions in the stomach. Excessive consumption of caffeine throughout the day might lead to an acidic stomach which may result in indigestion, heartburns and belching. For coffee lovers, it is advisable to take cold brew coffee which has lower caffeine content and tea addicts are advised to go for green tea. Besides, carbonated drinks contain soda which again increases acid reflux as a result of carbonation reactions. Acidic beverages too should be abstained from if one has constant symptoms of indigestion.
5. Smoking: Estimates reveal that one in every five adults all over the world smoke. People have yielded to the addiction of smoking as a remedy for stress, anxiety and tension. Apart from severely harming the lungs, it affects the entire body as well as the gastroesophageal and gastrointestinal tract. Smoking weakens the esophageal sphincter, which allows the movement of stomach acids into the food pipe, leading to acid refluxes, indigestion and vomiting. Long term smoking also leads to cancers of the mouth, esophagus, stomach and pancreas.
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6. Consumption of Alcohol: Alcohol, in any quantity does vex the digestive system. It makes the stomach produce more acid than usual. This creates an extremely acidic medium in the stomach which readily reacts with the food. This is the reason why many people vomit after consuming large amounts of alcohol. It also causes stomach pain, belching, indigestion and even bleeding in some cases. Besides, alcohol also increases the risk of cancer.
7. Junk And Spicy Food: Nowadays, we cannot live without indulging in fried chicken and spicy food to satisfy our taste buds. Fatty and spicy foods bother the mucosal lining of the stomach, increasing its acid secretion. Spices are complex food products comprising of many acids which raise the acidic ambience of the stomach to a harmful level. It is commonly noticed that people complain of belching, heartburn and indigestion after consuming spicy food.
8. Stress and Anxiety: It has been studied that students complain of indigestion during their exam days. Stress, tension and anxiety are the leading causes of indigestion even in individuals who have healthy eating habits. Stress, which affects the brain, is a contributing factor behind almost each and every ailment of the human body. Stress affects the digestive system as it hinders the secretion of hormones and enzymes. This leads to indigestion, fatigue, heartburn, vomiting and several other gastric problem.
Hence, the key to a healthy digestive system lies with the individual. Eating healthy food at regular intervals is definitely better than gulping down loads of food. Staying away from unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking not only keeps the digestive tract healthy, but also administers prevention against cancers. Staying stress free, indulging in good physical activities and lots of water consumption is all that is necessary.
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