12 Natural Tips for Indigestion Relief
The liver is a part of the digestive system. As such, it is no surprise that those with a chronic liver infection like Hepatitis C frequently suffer from some type of digestive disturbance. Thankfully, there are several ways to mitigate digestive symptoms without requiring a doctor’s visit. Despite all of the options, healthcare professionals rarely address this population’s propensity towards digestive woes – at least from a non-pharmaceutical perspective.
How the Liver Impacts Digestion
A healthy liver performs many functions that are crucial to overall health, including digestive system health.
- Bile – The liver produces bile, a substance needed to metabolize fat. After bile breaks down fat, the digestion of food continues with pancreas and intestinal enzymes.
- Detoxification – The liver is the filter for all nutrients absorbed through the gastrointestinal system. Via the liver’s detoxification function, toxins, harmful chemicals and drugs are removed from the blood for excretion.
- Glucose – Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose before being transported to the liver for storage or used for energy.
When someone has Hepatitis C, his or her liver is continually battling inflammation, liver cell damage and a reduction of fully functioning liver cells. As such, Hepatitis C can hinder the liver’s ability to produce bile, reduce its ability to detoxify the blood and interfere with glucose storage and distribution for energy – all which may contribute to different manifestations of indigestion.
Symptoms of Indigestion
Also known as dyspepsia, indigestion describes several different types of uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as:
- feeling full or uncomfortable after a meal
- pain in the abdomen
Indigestion is one of the most frequently reported types of digestive complaints. Stemming from food sensitivities, overeating, peptic ulcer disease, liver disease, diabetes, cancer, or other health conditions, there are many potential causes of recurring indigestion.
Because indigestion can be a sign of a more serious condition, a doctor should be seen right away if there is:
- frequent vomiting or blood in the vomit
- weight loss or loss of appetite
- black tarry stools
- difficult or painful swallowing
- abdominal pain in a non-epigastric area (below the belly button or on the flanks) – especially if accompanied by fever
- dyspepsia accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating or pain that radiates to the jaw, neck or arm
- symptoms that persist for more than two weeks
As long as the cause isn’t a serious problem that requires immediate medical intervention, doctors may recommend over-the-counter antacids or prescribed medications to relieve basic indigestion. While many of these medications can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription, they almost always have side effects and exert stress on the liver. Thus, someone with Hepatitis C is better off trying to relieve their digestive symptoms naturally before resorting to chemicals.
12 Natural Tips for Indigestion Relief
- eating several small, low-fat meals throughout the day at a slow pace
- abstaining from consuming coffee, carbonated beverages and alcohol
- stopping medications that can irritate the stomach lining – such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs
- getting enough rest
- decreasing stress; such as meditation, relaxation therapy or yoga
- walking 100 steps after each meal
- avoiding laying down immediately or within 30 minutes of eating
- supplementing with digestive enzymes to reduce gas, bloating and digestive discomfort (Digestive Enzymes is a comprehensive enzyme formula specifically formulated to improve digestion, increase nutrient absorption and reduce the side effects of poor digestion. Furthermore, UltraNourish™ – superfood protein shake – contains 585 mg of a proprietary digestive enzyme blend that can help eliminate your digestive discomfort and other digestive side effects.)
- drinking ginger, peppermint, spearmint, fennel seed or anise teas to reduce nausea, bloating and abdominal cramps
- consuming fresh ginger, ginger tablets or ginger beer to help calm indigestion
- eating bitter foods before meals may help improve digestion (e.g. olives or rocket lettuce)
- taking a high quality combination of probiotics to increase the digestive system’s strength – especially valuable after a course of antibiotics or to help digest and absorb food, maintain a good digestive acid balance and protect against toxic bacteria (Ultra Probiotic Formula contains 35 billion living cells per capsule, making it a very powerful, high-potency formula developed to withstand acids in the stomach, and to quickly restore healthy levels of beneficial bacteria in the stomach and intestines.)
Because their liver is under duress, someone with Hepatitis C will commonly encounter indigestion. It is important to make certain that the digestive discomfort does not necessitate immediate medical care. If not, combining a handful (or all of) the twelve natural suggestions given above can relieve indigestion and help your digestive system achieve balance and harmony.
http://hepatitiscnewdrugresearch.com/-healthy-liver---healthy-digestion.html, Healthy Liver – Healthy Digestion, Retrieved February 20, 2015, hepatitscnewsdrugresearch.com, 2015.
http://www.austingastro.com/your-health/indigestion.aspx, Indigestion, Retrieved February 20, 2015, Austin Gastroenterology, 2015.
http://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis-c/effects-on-the-body, Learn the Effects of Hepatitis C on the Body, Ann Pietrangelo, Retrieved February 20, 2015, Healthline Networks, Inc., 2015.
http://www.hepatitisaustralia.com/symptom-management/, Symptom Management, Retrieved February 20, 2015, Hepatitis Australia, Inc., 2015.
http://www.hepatitiscentral.com/news/hepatitis-cs-impact-from-head-to-toe/, Hepatitis C’s Impact – From Head to Toe, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved February 20, 2015, Hepatitis Central, 2015.
A National Epidemic of Hepatitis C Transmission
Observing World Hepatitis Day 2015