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Complementary medicine.

Byline: Dr Yvonne Casey

"OH, I shouldn't have eaten that - I know it's bad for me". Sound familiar? So why do we keep on doing it to ourselves?

No matter how good you are, no-one can resist temptation all the time. Most of us occasionally succumb to food that doesn't agree with us and if it's only every now and again, we're prepared to suffer the consequences.

But if you do suffer from tummy troubles, such as indigestion, changing your diet can make a tremendous difference.

Be sure to have any persistent symptoms checked out by your doctor. If there's nothing serious, try avoiding certain foods.

Hyperacidity is often the source of the problem. So it is crucial to cut out all acidic or acid-forming foods. Some of these are obvious, others less so.

Pork and pork products, such as ham, gammon, bacon and sausages are top of the list.

Cut the white bread and white flour products. Yes, that means biscuits, buns, pastries, cakes, scones, pancakes, as well as white sugar itself. And instead of white rice eat plenty of brown rice, as it is more easily digested.

Adopt a non-dairy approach. Cut out cow's milk, cheese, butter, cream, ice cream and chocolate. It is important to replace these products to maintain your level of minerals so use goat's or soya milk as an alternative.

Citrus fruits are also extremely acidic. That include oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits, not forgetting their juices. Tomatoes and rhubarb can have a similar effect. Coleslaw, mayonnaise, salad dressings, pickles and vinegar are to be avoided.

Reduce your intake of tea and completely rule out coffee, substituting with Bambu or Dandelion if you have a wheat intolerance.

Eat plenty of fresh fruit - except citruses - and lots of fresh vegetables. Try to include a fresh salad every day.

If all that sounds just too extreme, don't give up before you've even tried it. These changes aren't necessarily for life. Try to make a real effort for at least six weeks and prove to yourself that it can make a difference. It may be a cliche, but there's a lot of truth in that saying, `You are what you eat.'

I would also highly recommend the stomach bitter Centaurium. This herbal remedy is extremely useful for general indigestion and gastric reflux - heartburn and hiatus hernia. It is excellent for stimulating the appetite and triggering the secretion of digestive juices, aiding the breakdown of food.

Adults can take 10 drops in a little water three times daily. Take it about 15 minutes before meals and hold in the mouth for around a minute before swallowing. Children can take half the adult dose.

Gastronol is the combined homeopathic remedy to always have handy in the cupboard. It is an antacid useful for any digestive irregularities. Take two tablets up to three times a day, allowing them to dissolve slowly under the tongue for about a minute before swallowing.

Homoeopathic remedies have certainly proven their worth in this field. I haven't even begun to list all the possible remedies. If you want to know more, a qualified practitioner will prescribe the exact remedy for you.
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Title Annotation:Health
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 7, 2002
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