How to relieve indigestion
Treatment for indigestion (dyspepsia) will vary depending on what is causing it and how severe your symptoms are.
If you have indigestion only occasionally with mild pain and discomfort, you may not need to see your GP for treatment. It may be possible to ease your symptoms by making a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Being overweight puts more pressure on your stomach, making it easier for stomach acid to be pushed back up into your oesophagus (gullet). This is known as acid reflux and is one of the most common causes of indigestion.
If you are overweight or obese, it is important to lose weight safely and steadily through regular exercise and by eating a healthy, balanced diet.
If you smoke, the chemicals you inhale in cigarette smoke may contribute to your indigestion. These chemicals can cause the ring of muscle that separates your oesophagus (gullet) from your stomach to relax. This allows stomach acid to leak back up into your oesophagus more easily (acid reflux).
Diet and alcohol
Make a note of any particular food or drink that seems to make your indigestion worse and avoid these if possible. This may mean eating less rich, spicy and fatty foods, cutting down on drinks that contain caffeine, such as tea, coffee and cola and avoiding or cutting down on alcohol.
If you tend to experience indigestion symptoms at night, avoid eating for three to four hours before you go to bed. Going to bed with a full stomach means there is an increased risk that acid in your stomach will be forced up into your oesophagus while you are lying down.
When you go to bed, use a couple of pillows to prop your head and shoulders up, or raise the head of your bed by a few inches by putting something underneath the mattress. The slight slope that is created should help to prevent stomach acid moving up into your oesophagus while you are asleep.