Also called dyspepsia, an upset stomach or indigestion is usually caused by stomach acid affecting the sensitive lining of the digestive system. Regular exposure can actually break down the lining and cause inflammation and irritation. You are likely to develop dyspepsia when you eat too fast or too much. Excessive drinking, smoking, stress, pregnancy, or certain medications can also cause indigestion. Most people experience certain symptoms only because of increased sensitivity of the digestive system (mucosa).
What Does Indigestion Feel Like?
When you have indigestion, it feels like something is burning in your throat. Sometimes, it feels like you need to burp but you just cannot. It happens because you develop gas in your stomach. Cramps in your intestines may also give you the feeling that you need to have a bowel movement. Here are some other common symptoms that you have indigestion:
- You feel full during a meal even though you have not eaten much.
- You feel full long after your meal.
- You experience discomfort in your upper abdomen – the pain is usually between your navel and the bottom of your breastbone.
- You experience burning in your upper abdominal region.
- You feel bloated in the upper abdomen and have a sensation of tightness.
- You feel nauseous.
Some people may also experience belching and vomiting when they have indigestion. Others have to deal with heartburn too.
What Does Indigestion Feel Like While Pregnant?
You produce high levels of hormones in early pregnancy. These hormones help relax your muscles, including your digestive system, which in turn can slow down your digestion. That is the reason why you are more likely to have indigestion soon after a meal, which can leave you with heartburn, bloating, acid reflux, and feeling full even when you have eaten a little.
Indigestion can make you very uncomfortable, but the good thing is that it is not harmful for your baby. The fact that your digestive system becomes slower during pregnancy actually allows your body to pass more nutrients to your baby through the placenta.
Quick Relief for Indigestion
What does indigestion feel like? You already know that it certainly feels uncomfortable, so it is better to take steps to help find some relief quickly. You can try certain things here.
1. Enjoy Some Seeds
Take a teaspoon each of dill, fennel, caraway, and anise seeds and blend them well. Take a half-teaspoon of it and chew up slowly. You can have it after a big, spicy meal to prevent indigestion. It also helps expel excess gas and makes you feel better.
2. Try Chamomile or Mint
You can have a cup of chamomile or mint tea to combat indigestion. Take a teabag of either chamomile or mint and boil it in a cup of water. Steep it for 10 minutes and drink to get rid of that dyspeptic feeling.
3. Try Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar
Simply mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water and have it about half an hour before you think you are going to eat something that may not sit well with you.
4. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
Take a teaspoon of baking soda and stir it into a glass of water. Now, add a few drops of lemon juice to the glass and drink it. This juice will help neutralize stomach acids and relieve gas as well. Consider adding the lemon juice into water before you add baking soda to prevent it from tearing.
5. Try Ginger
Simply nibbling on candied ginger can resolve your gas problem. You can find these candies in supermarkets. Get a few of these and have a couple of pieces to get rid of your tummy woes. Candied ginger works equally well for children.
6. Try Beer
You can have a bitter beer to help stimulate digestion. Just ensure that you do not get carried away and drink too much of it. Have more than a half glass and you will end up making your symptoms worse.
Remedies for Pregnant Women
What does indigestion feel like? It feels much worse during pregnancy. Some indigestion will always hurt you throughout the pregnancy. Certain steps will help ease things a bit. For instance:
- Do not put excessive pressure on your stomach after a meal and do not go to bed for at least an hour after your meals.
- Avoid having three large meals; instead, have several small meals a day.
- Avoid eating foods that make your symptoms worse – this may include spicy foods, fruit juices, chocolate, and fatty foods.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages and do not drink alcohol during pregnancy.
- Stop smoking because it increases your risk of developing indigestion and heartburn.
- Have your dinner at least three hours before bedtime to avoid having indigestion at night.
- Elevate the head of your bed a little – do not try to prop yourself up with pillows because it puts additional pressure on your abdomen.
When to Seek Medical Help
You usually do not need serious medical attention for your indigestion, but it is a good idea to talk to your doctor if your symptoms persist or you have recurring indigestion. Also, go see your doctor if:
- You are older than 55 years old
- You have lost weight quickly
- You have difficulty swallowing
- You have anemia
- You have persistent vomiting
- You notice blood in your stools or vomit
- You feel a lump in your stomach