Information about Indigestion
We have to know about Indigestion
- Long-lasting (chronic) disorder of the upper gastrointestinal system, which includes your esophagus and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum) as well as your stomach.
Could be dangerous, if the answer is YES for any one of the following questions
- Digestion of food is improper?
Causes of Indigestion
- Indigestion is often a sign of an underlying problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, or gallbladder disease, rather than a condition of its own. Also called dyspepsia, it is defined as persistent recurrent pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen.
Do’s and Don’ts of Indigestion
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Avoid trigger foods such as fatty and spicy foods, carbonated beverages, caffeine and alcohol.
- Chew your food slowly and thoroughly.
- Limit beverages during meals.
- Take steps to avoid swallowing excessive air.
- Don’t lie down right after a meal. Wait to lie down until at least two hours after eating.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Create a calm environment at mealtime.
- Learn how to manage your stress by exercising, relaxed breathing, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation.
- Pursue relaxing activities. Spend time doing things you enjoy, such as hobbies or sports.
- Balance your rest and activity.
- When possible, go to bed and get up at the same times each day.
- Sleep only as much as you need.
- Take time each day to relax. Find a few minutes just for you.
- Start your exercise program gradually.
- Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day
- Don’t exercise immediately after eating.
Signs & Symptoms for Indigestion
- A burning sensation or discomfort in your upper abdomen or lower chest, sometimes relieved by food or antacids
- An early feeling of fullness with meals
- An unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to nonulcer stomach pain. Stress, fatigue, poor diet, not enough rest, and lack of exercise may aggravate its signs and symptoms. Abdominal pain.
- Heartburn or acid indigestion (acid reflux)
- Bloating (full feeling)
- Excessive gas (belching, burping or flatulence)
- Nausea with or without vomiting.
- Acidic taste in the mouth.
- Gurgling, rumbling or growling stomach discomfort.
- Constipation or diarrhea.
Medical advice for Indigestion
- Persistent or recurrent abdominal pain
- Persistent nausea, vomiting, especially if accompanied by blood
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent loss of appetite
- Bloody stools
- Indigestion accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or pain radiating to your chest, neck or arm (possible heart attack)
Risk factors of Indigestion
- Eating too quickly, sometimes with air swallowing
- Drinking carbonated beverages
- Eating spicy foods, greasy or fatty foods
- Consuming too much caffeine or alcohol
- Taking certain medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen and antibiotics
Treatment for Indigestion
Your doctor is likely to start with a health history and a thorough physical exam. Those evaluations may be sufficient if your indigestion is mild and you’re not experiencing certain symptoms, such as weight loss and repeated vomiting.
But if your indigestion began suddenly, and you are experiencing severe symptoms or are older than age 55, your doctor may recommend:
- Laboratory tests, to check for thyroid problems or other metabolic disorders.
- Breath and stool tests, to check for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), the bacterium associated with peptic ulcers, which can cause indigestion. H. pylori testing is controversial because studies suggest limited benefit from treating the bacterium.
- Endoscopy, to check for abnormalities in your upper digestive tract. A tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken for analysis.
- Imaging tests (X-ray or CT scan), to check for intestinal obstruction.
If initial testing fails to provide a cause, your doctor may diagnose functional dyspepsia.
Lifestyle changes may help ease indigestion. Your doctor may recommend:
- Avoiding foods that trigger indigestion
- Eating five or six small meals a day instead of three large meals
- Reducing or eliminating the use of alcohol and caffeine
- Avoiding certain pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve)
- Finding alternatives for medications that trigger indigestion
- Controlling stress and anxiety
If your indigestion persists, medications may help. Over-the-counter antacids are generally the first choice. Other options include:
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which can reduce stomach acid. PPIs may be recommended if you experience heartburn along with indigestion.
- H-2-receptor antagonists (H2RAs), which can also reduce stomach acid.
- Prokinetics, which may be helpful if your stomach empties slowly.
- Antibiotics, if H. pylori bacteria are causing your indigestion.
- Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, which may ease the discomfort from indigestion by decreasing your sensation of pain
Self-care of Indigestion
- Avoid known allergens
Investigations for Indigestion
- Endoscopy, ultrasound