If you're suffering from indigestion symptoms and you don't have any antacid tablets with you, then you don't have to suffer in silence. If you have some gum on you, then you might be able to knock your indigestion on its head by chewing on a piece.
How does gum work on indigestion, and what kind of gum works best?
How Chewing Gum Affects Indigestion
Typically, it isn't gum itself that deals with the symptoms of indigestion; it's the chewing that helps. As you chew a piece of gum, your mouth automatically produces more saliva. This saliva can reduce indigestion symptoms like discomfort from acid reflux. If you have reflux, then acid washes back up your throat and irritates you. This often causes a burning sensation or gives you a nasty taste in your mouth.
As you chew gum, the extra saliva you produce washes down your throat as you swallow it. This fluid helps neutralise acid and wash it down and away. So, a piece of gum could make you feel more comfortable.
How to Choose the Most Effective Gum
While you may think that a minty gum is the best option for your indigestion, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, mint relaxes areas of your oesophagus. If this happens, then you may get more acid coming up than your excess saliva can wash down.
Gums with a non-minty flavour, like fruity products, may be a safer bet. These gums boost saliva production without affecting acid flow. If you can find a gum that has a sodium bicarbonate ingredient, then so much the better. Bicarbonate is an acid-neutraliser. So, this kind of gum won't just wash acid down through your system; it also reduces the amount of acid you have to deal with. You may get quicker relief from your symptoms.
Whatever kind of gum you use, it's important to note that the gum's effects on your symptoms might die down over time. You may get immediate relief as you start to chew, but this may lessen as the gum loses its flavour and becomes softer. So, you may need to give this a go with a couple of pieces of gum. While chewing gum can help you manage indigestion at a push, this is best used for occasional problems. Gum isn't a cure for persistent indigestion or reflux problems.
If you're having regular problems, it's better to book an appointment with your GP. They can investigate your symptoms and work out their cause.
Hello, my name is Peter and I live in Western Australia with my wife on our pet dogs. This is my blog which details how to deal with various medical emergencies and other conditions. Last year, several friends and members of my family suffered from various different kinds of medical problems. Some of them, such as my uncle had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate treatment that saved his life. Lots of my friends had minor problems which had a big impact on the quality of their lives. I take an active interest in first-aid and other medical matters so I decided to start this blog.