The alimentary canal and the process of digestion begin at the mouth. The stomach, which is the most abused organ of the body, looks like a pear-shaped pouch. It forms part of the digestive tract which is a tube coiled in loops nearly 28 feet in length. It varies in size and position depending on how much food it contains. An overloaded stomach tends to prevent the diaphragm from functioning properly. It may also press on the heart.
Many people gulp their food due to stress or being in a hurry. When food is swallowed in large chunks, the stomach has to work harder and more hydrochloride is secreted. Eating too fast also causes one to swallow air. These bad habits force some of the digestive fluids into the esophagus, causing burning, a stinging sensation or a sour taste, giving an illusion of stomach acid.
Certain foods, especially if they are not properly cooked, cause indigestion. Some people react unfavorable to certain foods like beans, cabbage, onions, cucumber, radishes and seafood. Fried foods as well as rich and spicy foods often cause abdominal discomfort and gas, and aggravate the existing condition.
Excessive smoking and intake of alcohol can also cause stomach upsets. Constipation may interfere with the normal flow of ingested mater through the gastro-intestinal tract, resulting in gas and abdominal pain. Drinking too much water with meals, insomnia, emotions such as jealousy, fear and anger and lack of exercise are among the other causes of indigestion.