Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Day 52: Indigestion

As promised!

I am one of these people who is rather prone to acid indigestion.  I have been for years: I have checked it out with the doctor, and it is just a reflux thing.  I should say at this point that these things should always be checked with a doctor, and that the 'remedies' below are just coping strategies that have helped me, none of which will cure a chronic problem, and none of which are a substitute for medical treatment.  The same goes for any other suggestions made in the comments.

Clearly, the best cure is prevention, and one very good side-effect of this healthier diet has been a lot less acid swilling about my stomach.  I know that if I work my way through a steak-pie-and-chips, I will pay for it.  Apart from heavy greasy food, chocolate and fizzy drinks are two of the worst culprits, but happily, both of these have been all but eliminated from my diet..  But the problem is still there, even with healthy eating, so it helps to have a few more direct remedies to hand.

Up till now, I have contented myself with always having a copious supply of antacid tablets to hand.  We are very lucky in the UK that these can simply be picked up at the supermarket: when I lived for a few months in Germany, I had to buy them over-the-counter in the Pharmacy, where they cost nearly 6 euros a time.  (Asking for them the first time was quite a test of my limited German, and was accompanied by some expressive mime.)  But you know, even back in Blighty, these little sweeties can be very expensive.  A packet of 24 Rennies, for example, usually costs over £2, and if the bout of indigestion is bad, I can get through that in less than two days. That means I could easily chew my way through about £6 a week.  Not an option for the Frugalist.

Nevertheless, the little sweeties are useful to carry about in a bag or pocket, and so it is worth knowing that the cheapest I have found is Asda's own brand.  Here you can get 4 handy tubes of 20 each for only £2.  By comparison, Tesco charges £2 for a packet of 48, and Boots currently charges £1.62 for 48 of their own brand.  Quite a difference.  But if you know of any cheaper ones, please do let me know.

When at home, however, I have been resorting to the disgusting but effective old remedy of mixing a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda with a glass of water, and downing it.  Effectively this is like drinking salt, and if you make it too strong, you will be sick.  However, even a couple of mouthfuls react with the acid in the stomach to neutralise it.  The side effect is the production of gas, which will result in a loud and satisfying burp!  Which is why this is a home remedy only!

Ah, inner harmony ...
The other one that I know some people swear by, but has never really worked for me, is peppermint tea.  I remember my sister downing it by the gallon when she was pregnant.  It is certainly a lot more pleasant than bicarb of soda, so perhaps I should return to it and try it again, especially for breakfast.  I am told that chewing mint leaves can have a similar effect, and it is
definitely less anti-social than the burpy soda.

Maybe some of you have your own favourite remedies.  I would be interested to hear if so. 

Today's Expenditure: £0.00  (I like these days)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

!!Don't use peppermint for reflux!!

It makes things worse. It relaxes the esophagus to the point that acid can come back up even MORE easily. So you basically get a little volcano. :O

I forgot about this effect myself, and had a not-fun experience.