Just several weeks ago, I met three bariatric clients in back to back sessions all having the same concerns – indigestion. Indigestion is a common problem that may be faced post-surgery, but having the right guidance and information can help in preventing this condition.
In order for me to discuss the common causes of indigestion, I will use questions that I ask clients to answer to get to the root of the problem.
How do you cook your food?
The way you cook your food can greatly affect how your digestive system tolerates it. Broiling, grilling, microwaving, roasting and other drier cooking methods have been shown to be more difficult to tolerate. On the other hand, dishes that contain moisture or liquids like stews and soups will go down better. A saucy chicken dish for example will be easier to digest than a grilled chicken.
Adding soups or sauces to your meal is a good way to aid in digestion.
Do you chew your food well?
People often forget that digestion starts in the mouth. This means that one way to ensure that your food will be well digested is to chew properly. Some sources suggest chewing your food from 10 to 30 times before swallowing, but in my opinion, you should chew your food until it is very easy to swallow. Swallowing large chunks of food is just a surefire way to indigestion.
Chewing properly and thoroughly allows your stomach to work better and break down particles more efficiently. Digestion is actually a very demanding task for your body so helping it by proper chewing can prevent indigestion.
Where do you eat?
Older generations may find this question obvious, the answer of course would be the kitchen or on a dining table. But now, living in a very fast paced world, it is very normal to eat while on your office desk, in front of the television, in the car or even while walking down the street.
Engaging in other activities rather than just focusing on your food distract you from enjoying your meal and prevents you from chewing properly. When you eat on the go and you are in a hurry, chances are you will finish your sandwich in just a few bites which can definitely lead to indigestion. Not eating on a proper dining table like eating in front of the TV can also be an issue. Believe it or not, bad posture while eating like slouching on a couch or being propped up on the bed can contribute to improper digestion.
Are you undergoing stress?
I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase “butterflies in my stomach” which refers to a feeling of nervousness or anxiousness. You may be wondering how an emotional state can affect your digestive process. However, it has been found that experiencing emotional anxiety can tighten the upper digestive tract. Being uncomfortable or tensed while eating may be a cause why you have a hard time digesting your food. A way to solve that is to try eating in a calm, quiet environment. Relax and don’t be distracted by things that may upset you.
These are just some of the causes of indigestion. With proper care and by following these tips, you can definitely get over this struggle.