How to manage those common digestive upsets

Digestive disorders are the ones which result commonly due to over-eating or eating bad food. They include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, flatulence, hiccoughs and constipation.
Rachna Pande
Rachna Pande

Digestive disorders are the ones which result commonly due to over-eating or eating bad food. They include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, flatulence, hiccoughs and constipation. One may develop either one or more than one of these disorders. Rarely, some persons can develop diarrhea after a binge of over eating.

Digestion can be impaired by eating too much of fried or spicy food, particularly when not used to it. Eating in too much or more than usual intake or eating too fast also results in digestive disorders.

Some persons are not able to tolerate large quantities of tea and coffee and can develop dyspepsia. Vomiting also occurs after over-eating, eating fried or hot spicy food containing pepper to which one is not accustomed. The quantity of food which cannot be tolerated by the stomach is usually thrown out. Nausea may precede actual vomiting. There may be associated complaints of sour taste in mouth, burning sensation in chest and abdomen. One also has a sensation of bloating of abdomen or an uncomfortable fullness in the stomach.

If one does not clear bowels regularly, they also develop a sense of bloating and fullness in abdomen along with heartburn.

Taking small, frequent quantities of food is always recommended to prevent digestive disorders. This is always better tolerated and digested as compared to a big meal. Avoid hot or spicy food if you are not used to them.

Several home remedies have been proven to be useful by the experience of people using it. Drinking hot water with half to a teaspoonful of lemon juice or pinch of baking soda reduces bloating. Taking cold milk in small quantity reduces nausea and heartburn. Drinking hot water before sleeping or as first thing in the morning clears the bowels and cures constipation.

They are beneficial as first aid remedy. In mild problems, they can serve as a cure by reducing the symptoms and preventing it from exacerbating. Many spices like mint, cumin, anise, etc,  aid in digestion. Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water per day is useful for digestion.

Nausea, vomiting and heartburn can be treated symptomatically with medicines that reduce the increased acid production of the abdomen. Anti-emetic drugs such as metoclopramide or domperidone are useful to stop vomiting. Mild laxatives can be used to treat constipation.

After recovery from a bout of digestive disorder, take light meal to give rest to the digestive system and allow it to recuperate well.

Dr Rachna Pande is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital.

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