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What is indigestion (dyspepsia)?

Indigestion is a common condition and is also known as dyspepsia. It can happen when the food is digested in your body. This takes place inside the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is a sequence of organs which play a digestive part. Anybody could get indigestion. Occasionally you can get it, or it can be an ongoing problem. The signs and causes differ by situation. If there is no known cause of indigestion, it is considered functional dyspepsia.

Symptoms of indigestion

Indigestion can feel like a stomachache. You can have a range of symptoms including:

• Pain, irritation, or a burning sensation in the chest or stomach
• bloating
• gurgling stomach and/or gas
• acid reflux
• heartburn
• nausea and/or vomiting

the symptoms persist for more than two weeks, talk to your doctor. If your symptoms are serious, such as: seek medical care right away.

• shortness of breath
• trouble swallowing
• ongoing vomiting
• throwing up blood
• sudden pain in chest, arm, neck, or jaw
• cold sweats
• thick, black, or bloody stool

What causes indigestion?

A lot of factors can cause indigestion. These factors can include:

• Eat certain hard-to-process foods, such as foods high in spice, fat, acid and/or fibre.
• Eating too late in the day.
• Drinking alcohol.
• Getting too much caffeine.
• Taking certain medicines.
• A lack of sleep.

Problems can also induce indigestion in your GI tract or other health issues. These include:

Acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux (GER), or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): A food and drink reaction where contents are coming back from your stomach. The acid may come into your esophagus, which is the tube-like organ that connects your mouth and stomach. Acid reflux can also cause vomiting. This condition causes heartburn due to its high concentration of acids.

Irritable bowel syndrome: A condition affecting the intestines. Symptoms include pain in the stomach, bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhea.

Infection: An infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria (H. pylori) can cause indigestion.

Gastroparesis: disease which has an effect on digestion. Once muscles stop working in your GI tract, the body slows down, or stops food movement. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, pain to the stomach, bloating and reflux of acid.

Ulcer: A sore on your stomach lining (peptic ulcer), a small intestine or an esophagus.

Gastritis: Inflammation of your stomach lining.

Stomach cancer: This is a rare condition, but indigestion may be one of its signs.

How is indigestion diagnosed?

To begin with, your doctor will check your symptoms and do a physical exam. If warning signs are present in your history or during your evaluation, your doctor can order tests to determine the cause of indigestion. Such tests can include blood work, urine / stool checks or an ultrasound or X-ray. The doctor will sometimes do an upper endoscopy to look inside your stomach. Your doctor will insert a thin tube into your esophagus, with a camera at the end.

Can indigestion be prevented or avoided?

There are ways to protect against indigestion. You need to know your body to start with, and how it responds to various foods and drinks. Spicy and acidic foods, as well as carbonated drinks can cause indigestion. If possible try to avoid those issues. Eat smaller meals all day long, just eat no too late at night. Upon eating do not lie down too long. Reduce Drug Use. If you're using cigarettes seek stopping. Stress and sleeplessness can also worsen symptoms.

Indigestion treatment

The care will depend on what causes you to become indigested. The indigestion prevention methods are also ways of treatment. These include changing the way you eat and the diet. It also lets you get more sleep and reduce stress.

If you have an ulcer in your stomach, it may be healed. You may need to take a medication which blocks acids. When you have a stomach infection, you might need to take an antibiotic, too.

You can also try avoiding or taking other over - the-counter medicines. Check with your doctor before anything new starts.

Pain and anti-inflammatory medicines, Do not help with indigestion, just like Advil or Aleve. They can make your condition worse, particularly if used frequently.

Antacids in your body are intended to work against the acids. Brands like Tums or Alka-Seltzer may help to relieve certain indigestion symptoms.

Histamine antagonists have Zantac and Pepcid in them. These can help to reduce pain and symptoms but should not be used in the long run.

Omeprazole and lansoprazole proton pump inhibitors are now available through the counter. Such medications tend to inhibit the production of acid in your stomach.

You may need further treatment on the basis of the cause of your indigestion.

Living with indigestion

Most of the people who have indigestion lead a normal life. You may need to make some lifestyle changes to help prevent indigestion. Or you may need medication to prevent and treat symptoms. Work with your doctor to treat and manage any problems that may cause indigestion.

Sometimes indigestion can be a sign of a serious problem, such as a deep stomach ulcer. Indigestion is rarely caused by stomach cancer. Talk to your family doctor if you have indigestion. This is particularly important if any of the following is true for you:

• You’re older than 50 years of age.
• You have trouble swallowing.
• You have severe vomiting.
• You have black, tarry bowel movements.


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