ZocdocAnswersCould the way I chew food have something to do with my digestion?

Question

Could the way I chew food have something to do with my digestion?

I get indigestion quite a bit. My mom says it is because I eat too fast and I don't chew my food enough. I say I've been eating like this my whole life and I'm 19 and its only now causing indigestion. Does chewing and eating fast have to with bad digestion?

Answer

It is pretty unlikely that chewing fast has much to do with true indigestion, if by indigestion you mean symptoms like heartburn. Heartburn is actually caused by acid escaping from the stomach and irritating the esophagus. Although eating fast does not cause this, it may be associated with over eating. It also may be associated with eating certain kinds of foods, especially foods which relax the muscle controlling the junction between the esophagus and the stomach. Some of the foods that can do this include tomato products, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, and greasy foods. If, on the other hand, by indigestion you mean simply that you sometimes feel a little bloated or uncomfortable after eating, this may be caused by chewing too fast and eating too fast. This occurs because when you eat fast you swallow a lot of air along with the food, which may lead to gas distention. You also tend to overeat when you eat fast, because you don't eat slowly enough for signal from your stomach to reach your brain telling you that you are full already. If these symptoms persist, you should talk to your primary care doctor!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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