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Indigestion, Acid Reflux and night time woes

Posted Jan 14 2009 7:42pm 2 Comments
You are tired and just want to sleep. Morning is going to come early. You should have gone to bed an hour ago but the end of the show or game was too interesting. You can't sleep late so you will just have to suck it up.

We have all been there and survived. In fact when we were young, that was the norm. Even if we had know that sleep would have an affect on our health when we were older -- wouldn't have mattered in the mind of "that happens to someone else".

But the real heartbreak is when you wake up just a few hours into sleep with indigestion (dyspepsia) or worse acid reflux. With the advent of prescription antacids - acid reflux became a separate term rather than being included in indigestion.

The medical dictionary defines indigestion as incomplete or imperfect digestion, usually accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms: pain, nausea and vomiting, heartburn and acid regurgitation, accumulation of gas and belching.

Indigestion pain makes you wonder if you are having a heart attack. Do you struggle to reach your bottle of Tums or some other just as chalky "cure"?

Acid reflux, the taste rising in your throat sends you to the bathroom to throw up and the burning sensation just won't be turned off or swallowed away. Again do you go for the antacids?

The first thing you should know is that you probably do not have enough stomach acid to digest your food instead of the TV ads that tell you that you have too much.

If you have the correct stomach ph your food will be digested easily long before you go to bed if bed time is at least 4 hours after eating.

1. Did you chew food thoroughly or gulp it down almost whole
2. Did you stuff your stomach with too much food because it was soo good
3. Did you drink lots of water with your food - watering down the stomach acid
4. Did you mix all types of food - red meat, salad, vegetables and fruit
5. Did you eat late and then snack while watching that last hour of TV

Before you pack your intestines and bowel with rotting food that has not been digested try some of these ideas.

At every meal, eat slowly and chew food to mush. That not only gives you time to realize that you are full, but it takes the strain off your digestive system.

If you don't put excess food in your stomach, there is plenty of room for it to churn and process and move into the intestines.

Different foods require different digestive enzymes to process them. If you have a mix of food types your stomach, often it is confused about what enzyme to produce and leaves some foods just sitting. If you must mix types, then have a bite of meat first to signal your body that heavy duty enzymes are needed.

Also most effective is to take digestive enzymes with your meals especially if you are having problems with indigestion and acid reflux.

Don't drink a glass of water or milk or soda or anything with your meal. Yes a sip or two is fine but the more you drink the more you reduce the amount of stomach acid and the ability to digest the food.

I know, all diets tell you to drink lots of water to fill you up and reduce the amount of food you take in. Drink your water in between meals. Eating slowing will reduce the amount of food you take in.

In this time of economic crunch, you are probably trying to reduce your grocery bill. One of the easy ways to do this is to stretch the food - have less at each meal. Do you really need a pound steak for each person?

Cook less food or at least put less food on the table, putting the "left-overs" away before you eat. If your eyes complain, use smaller plates.

The next big question comes after the meal is ended. How much do you eat between then and when you crawl into bed? Like most people you probably have a substantial meal at night. Your stomach is not prepared to take in any more food for at least 4-6 hours depending on what you ate.

If you pack on the snacks they have no where to go but up.

Talk to your doctor about persistent indigestion and or acid reflux. Stomach acid was not meant to be in your esophagus and can cause permanent damage. Your physician will probably give you antacids - over the counter or prescription. Only your healthcare professional can determine how much damage has already been done.

The majority of people just go to the local drug store and buy some antacides. Don't live with this particular pain. If you change your eating habits and nothing helps you must see your doctor. Continued acid reflux can lead to deadly results.

Please, change your eating habits and give your body a chance to do the right thing.

until next time - smile
Sharon
AnswersForYourHealth.com

Labels: acid reflux, digestion, indigestion

Comments (2)
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Another tool in your acid indigestion "To-Do" list can be the easiest - raise the head of your mattress when you sleep.  This allows gravity to help keep the contents of your stomach in thier proper place.  Using a device like the MediWedge, to incline your entire mattress is an easy step to help control nighttime acid indigestion while at the same time, let you sleep in your normal sleeping position (one less thing to effect your sleep).
I totally agree..Changing my eating habits helped.Ever since I started having meals before 6 p.m it helped.Popping pills without consultation can do more harm than good...
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