Most people in New York City experience indigestion now and then. Having an upset stomach or being a little gassy doesn’t mean you should rush to your Manhattan gastroenterologist. Unless the condition recurs frequently or is accompanied by more severe symptoms, your indigestion is likely the result of poor food or lifestyle choices.
Improve Your Heartburn, Gas & Indigestion
1. Increase fiber. The best way to keep your stomach and intestines in good working order is to include more fiber in your diet. Your body needs fiber — as much as 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams a day for men, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fiber is easily digestible, so it helps to clean your system by pushing everything along. Whole grain breads, raspberries, split peas, lentils, and beans are all high in fiber. Drink plenty of water during and after your high-fiber meal to aid digestion.
2. Decrease certain foods. Some foods naturally produce gas. If you are continually bothered by bloating, gas and indigestion, eliminate or reduce these foods from your diet:
- Baked beans
- Broccoli and Brussels sprouts
- High-fat and spicy foods
- Cabbage and cauliflower
- Onions and garlic
- Tomatoes or tomato-based products
- Certain fruits, such as citrus, pears, peaches and apples
- Chocolate, chewing gum, peppermint and hard candy
- Carbonated drinks
3. Change your habits. Reduce the portion size of your meals. Don’t eat within an hour of going to bed. Avoid fatty foods, such as fast food. Your body can’t tolerate highly processed foods, which can lead to indigestion, gas and bloating. Don’t wear tight-fitting clothes to the table; they can put undue pressure on your stomach and intestines. Also, lying down after a meal actually can increase your indigestion.
4. Make healthier choices. For starters, stop smoking cigarettes. Nicotine taxes your whole body, not just your lungs. Decrease the amount of alcohol and caffeine you drink. If you’re overweight, shed some pounds. Finally, seek to reduce your daily stress. If you can’t quit your stressful job or divorce yourself from stressful relationships, find time and activities that help you cope, such as meditation or gentle exercise.
Remember: if your heartburn symptoms persist despite having taken these steps, see your doctor. If you also have more serious symptoms — such as a change in your bowel patterns, a dry cough, or acid regurgitation — book an appointment with a gastroenterologist in New York City. It could be the sign of a more serious illness.
Contact us for more information on how NYC Gastroenterologist Dr. Shawn Khodadadian can help to treat heartburn, gas & indigestion.