Indigestion, referred to as “Dyspepsia”, is one of the most dreaded fears of every mom. Also known as stomach upset, it is often characterized by a burning sensation in the back of the throat, or uneasiness in the chest and the stomach, nausea, stomach bloating or burping. In worst come worst cases, a combination of all the above mentioned symptoms. This is definitely quite disturbing and throws the kids out of track. So, what are the Natural Home Remedies For Indigestion In Kids.
Usually indigestion gets settled within some time, but at times, it prolongs for a longer time, and that is when it is extremely painful to look at them suffer. Rather than feeling helpless and desperate, we need to be aware of the causes and symptoms of Indigestion and learn of the ways to cure it. Here is an attempt by me, in this regard, to bring to light the facts relating to Indigestion.
What Causes Indigestion In Babies
Indigestion is usually caused when the acid from the stomach breaks down the protective lining of the digestive system, leading to inflammation and irritation of the upper abdomen. It is revealed that nearly 50% of babies under 4 months show symptoms of indigestion. Most of them get resolved by 12 months, excepting a small percentage which continue to have indigestion in school years.
Causes of Indigestion In Kids:
- Weak digestive system
- Quick or fast eating, without chewing the food properly
- Oily or greasy food intake, or spicy food intake
- Eating food items which are not regularly eaten
- Disturbed sleeping patterns
- Stress, particularly in older kids
- Obesity, being one of the main causes of Indigestion in Kids
- Not having meals in a sitting and relaxed position
- Intake of excess of chocolate, in any form
- Consuming carbonated/aerated drinks, or packaged juices Administering of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which cause the stomach acids to flare up.
Symptoms of Indigestion in Babies:
- Difficulty in normal breathing
- Inability to feed properly
- Arching of the back during feeding
- Continuous hiccups
- Weak bowel movement
Symptoms of Indigestion in Kids:
- Bloating of stomach
- Continuous burping and passing of wind or flatulence
- Difficulty in normal breathing
- Fussy eating habits
Indigestion can very often be related to colic, as the symptoms are quite similar. In many cases the cause is wrong food intake, which settles down after some time. In case, it prolongs for longer hours, disturbing every meal time of the child, then it is best to consult a doctor.
How To Treat Indigestion
If your child is suffering from Indigestion you can take care of her by following these steps at home itself:
- Dress your child with loose and comfortable clothing, especially round the belly area.
- Do not give your child over the counter medicines, as some of them are anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Encourage your child to engage in activities which give her happiness and joy – it really helps.
- Teach her and make her practice the habit of eating the food slowly and swallowing it completely before she takes the next bite.
- Avoid totally oily/greasy/spicy foods.
- Stop chocolate / any chocolate related drinks.
- Make sure that your child’s intake of water and fluids is doubled than a normal day.
- Make her diet rich in proteins and fibre – this will encourage bowel movement.
- Teach your child to eat slowly and wait for atleast an hour for the food to settle down before she starts any physical activity.
- Inculcate the habit of sitting down and eating the meals with full concentration, and this is possible only without the disturbance of any gadgets, whatsoever.
Natural Home Remedies for Indigestion In Kids:
- Increased intake of water helps reduce the impact of acid reflux.
- In babies, it is very necessary to burp him in every couple of minutes to help the indigestion of milk and to release excess air.
- Even after burping if the child is not able to settle down, then hold him in an erect positon for about 15-20 minutes after feeding. This will relieve him of the excess air.
- Chilled milk is also very good to treat mild indigestion, provided the baby is above 1 year of age.
- Gripe water is one of the most sought after and the most trusted treatment given by mothers to treat Indigestion in Babies.
- Ginger is again one of the best home remedy to cure Indigestion. Take 1 tsp of ginger juice, add ½ tsp of honey and ½ tsp of lemon juice. Even scientific studies have proved the benefits of Ginger to cure tummy trouble in kids.
- Chewing mint leaves raw or crushing the mint leaves into a juice also helps to cure Indigestion. The mint leaves contain peppermint which is said to cure stomach pain, heart burn and Indigestion too.
- Apple cedar vinegar is also said to play a wonderful role in easing the stomach and the digestive system. Mixing one spoon of it in a glass of water and it’s consumption on an empty stomach can cure your child of stomach ailments.
- One of nature’s very own ingredient – Gooseberry or Amla, as we call it, works wonders. Amla juice helps in stimulating digestive juices thereby aids in speedier digestion in kids.
- Peppermint oil is particularly helpful to treat nausea. Do not apply directly, but pour a few drops of it in the cotton wool and dab it on the sides of the baby’s crib/bed/pillow. The smell of it will help ease out nausea.
When does a visit to the Doctor become mandatory?
These home remedies will definitely prove to be successful in treating Indigestion in most of the cases. Sometimes, the symptoms are severe, the kid faces Indigestion problems after every meal of the day. Then probably it is time for you to visit your Paediatrician. These are the alarming signals you should look out for:
- Acid reflux due to which the fluids and the food come back from the stomach into hiw mouth.
- Extreme nausea and frequent vomiting
- Noticeable weight loss
- No appetite for over a day
- Sweating without any strenuous physical activity
- If your child has anaemia or iron deficiency
- When the stools are very dark or blackish in colour
- When you notice blood in his stools or his vomit
Indigestion is a common phenomenon in kids and adults alike. These home remedies go a long way in giving to relief – though special care and attention needs to be given to kids as their immune system is not as strong as ours. With the proper intervention of doctors, when required, your kid will surely be able to jump back to normal in no time!
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