Sometimes, it just happens. You’re eating something delicious—maybe something you don’t get very often—and even though both your brain and stomach know that they’re full, you sneak in a few more bites. And then maybe dessert.
Regardless of whether you’re cooking a big holiday meal or ordering takeout from your favorite local spot, there’s at least a chance that you might eat a little more than you can comfortably hold today. If that happens, you may deal with a bout of indigestion. Here are a few ways to help calm your innards when you feel like you might explode.
What is indigestion?
If you did not grow up in an era when Alka-Seltzer commercials were constantly on TV talking about the condition, here’s what to know about indigestion. Also known as “dyspepsia” or simply an upset stomach, “indigestion” is the term for a bunch of different digestive-related symptoms, including uncomfortable fullness, bloating, burning in the upper abdomen and nausea.
Indigestion can happen for a variety of reasons other than eating too much in one sitting. Some of those are potentially serious health issues, so if you’re experiencing these symptoms a lot, it might be time to chat with a doctor. But for today, the focus is on feeling human again after a large meal.
How to deal with indigestion
A lot of people have their own favorite remedy for indigestion, so it might take some trial-and-error before figuring out which works best for you. Here are a few options:
Stand up and walk around.
Drink as much water as you (comfortably) can.
Some swear by ginger ale for an upset stomach, but others find ginger tea to be far more effective.
Chewing gum could help reduce heartburn.
Another heartburn hack involves a baking soda concoction.
Sleeping in a particular position can also help with acid reflux.
If all else fails, put on loose-fitting clothing, get as comfortable as possible and wait it out.
And as tempting as it might be to pop an antacid, “excess stomach acid does not cause indigestion, so using antacids will not help your indigestion,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.