Suffer from indigestion and/or acid reflux?

I’m not shilling for any company, only singing the praises of almonds in general, as an almost immediate cure for horrid stomach problems. Such maladies have been causing me grief for ages.

I’d been lying in bed at night and food that had been eaten hours ago was repeating on me, even almost exploding back on me; coming back, soaked in acid, at the rear of my mouth. Just a horrible experience of total vileness. And in order to ameliorate this, one would sometimes throw food on top of this constant volcano, for some short-term relief. That was good as far as it went but it was storing up trouble for later, increasing the sense of one’s digestive system being like a constant washing machine. Also, you find yourself always eating: cooking a plate of thick oven chips at 9.45 at night. So, you probably put on weight and that, then, increases digestion problems and around and around we go, getting more and more distressed and depressed at things.

Those Gaviscon tablets, that tend to get heavily advertised around the holiday seasons, with their concurrent stuffing of one’s face with food, work like a dream, as does Gaviscon in liquid form. If I recall correctly, the advert shows an animated rendition of firefighters at work in one’s stomach and that’s the exact effect. Gaviscon always worked; never failed. However, one doesn’t want to go through life on a crutch. So, I moved to using the more readily available and versatile Sodium bicaronate when the need arose.

One teaspoon in cold water, often at the end of a night after struggling through the day, and that also had an instant healthy impact….of loud, reverberating burping and the disappearance of pain. It tastes terrible but one got more and more inured; throwing it back with ever greater elan. But it wasn’t curing the underlying problem.

As per the supposed solution for those suffering from this stomach turmoil, I tried to cut various things from my diet and compare and contrast. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life so meat wasn’t the issue. I still consume some dairy: I tried 86-ing that but there was no real difference. I never been too much of a drinker so I knew that wasn’t the cause but I dropped some of my other bad habits: still, no real luck.

Reading more on the net about all this, one day it hit me: what about my process of eating in general? I’d never really noticed how, at meals, I was always the first one to finish or I was the one who was always drinking tea at such a rapid rate. Thinking honestly, I realised that I shoveled stuff down rather than truly tasted and enjoyed eating and drinking. What a farce. I had to play both the parent and the child as I taught myself to chew properly and take my time: fully grown man concentrating on chewing like a seven year old.

Yet, this helped greatly. My sense of taste, which seemed to have slowly disappeared over this extended period of nausea and belly-malaise, came roaring back. I’d grown somewhat disenchanted with my long-standing predilection for hand-rolled cigarettes and wondered why I bothered anymore. I shouldn’t say it but my taste returning led to a new evangelism for smoking too, although it’s a private passion. Of course it’s a bad habit; I’ve never been a heavy smoker; and can easily abide by restrictions on its practise.

Anyway, the stomach problem still never totally went away, with some days being better than others. At the weekend, it became acute and – being out in the town – I almost ran to the pharmacy for some Gaviscon. That offered an instant cure but I couldn’t keep paying out for tablets. I just wanted to feel as nice and natural as I used to. I wanted to eat normally and in peace. I didn’t feel that it was a serious, serious condition as I felt that other symptoms would have manifested by this time. I could go, and probably would have to go, to the Doctor, but I’d probably be told to examine my diet, which I’d been doing anyway.

The internet, though. Just form a question in a search engine because what’s been vexing you has previously probably vexed someone else, just as much if not more. Almonds. Almonds were a possible solution. Just munch three or four after you ingest anything and it might counteract an acidic stomach and give relief, said a site.

I bought some, in order to try this process for a few days, and the effect has been immediate and revelatory. Just amazing. Some food stuffs that I’d been avoiding, as they seemed to have the greatest negative reaction with me, are now back on the (dining?) table. How strange that such a long period of stress, worry and real discomfort can get figuratively switched off like a light. Some maladies can leave room for the odd moment of relief. For example, a dodgy ankle can be forgotten about by sitting on a couch and taking the weight off but, say, a toothache or stomach trouble is always with you and, if with you for a while, starts to make you feel sick at heart as you suspect that it might be an indicator of an underlying, more serious problem.

So, if you ever suffer from an extended bout of stomach trouble and find yourself going through packets of Gaviscon or Sodium bicarbonate and wondering when it was ever going to cease and leave you in peace, I’d strongly recommend getting some almonds and slowly crunching down three or four after a meal. They’ve worked so well on me that it doesn’t feel like I’ve got a problem any longer – my stomach feels fresh and light, not bogged down in discomfort and trapped wind – but I’ll keep taking them, to be safe.

I’ll have to figure out how to transport them when away from the house. If I have a backpack with me, then it’ll be easy enough just to keep them there but going out for a meal, I’ll have to fashion something along the lines of the container for Gary Oldman’s drugs in ‘Leon: The Professional’ but to eat them with less ostentatiousness; with less cry-for-help overacting.


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