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Overview

Indigestion or dyspepsia is discomfort in the upper belly (also known as an upset stomach). Indigestion is a collection of symptoms, such as stomach pain and a feeling of being full soon after eating. Indigestion is a symptom of a variety of digestive diseases and disorders. An upset stomach may cause a painful or burning feeling in the abdomen.

Some of the symptoms associated with indigestion are bloating, nausea, vomiting, gurgling sounds, burping, and burning sensations.

Indigestion is frequently a symptom of GERD i.e. gastroesophageal reflux disease, gallbladder disease, or ulcers.

Indigestion may manifest itself in a variety of ways. It is possible for some people to have several symptoms at the same time. You may also have occasional heartburn. Many factors, including diet, medications, health issues, and anomalies of the digestive system, may contribute to the occurrence of indigestion.

While indigestion is common, each person’s experience with the disease is unique. Indigestion is often relieved by a combination of lifestyle changes and medication.

Indigestion is diagnosed by the doctor after reviewing medical history, doing a physical examination, performing an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and ordering further tests as needed. Imaging, H. pylori testing, blood tests, stool tests, and urea breath tests are some of the other exams that may be performed in addition to the above tests.

Indigestion may be treated in a variety of different ways, depending on the underlying reason. Medications, dietary and lifestyle modifications, and psychological treatments are among the treatment approaches. Along with altering eating and drinking habits, a person may avoid dyspepsia by adopting healthy lifestyle practices.

You may prevent indigestion by changing your eating habits. If you have indigestion, you should avoid eating and drinking certain foods and drinks that may exacerbate the condition. Alcoholic drinks, coffee, acidic meals, carbonated beverages, spicy, fatty, and greasy foods are among them that need to be avoided in order to prevent indigestion.

Causes

A variety of factors may cause indigestion. Indigestion is often the result of an individual’s lifestyle, although it may also be induced by drink, food, or medicine. It is possible that lying down immediately after eating will make it more difficult to digest the meal. This increases the chances of experiencing stomach pain.

The following are some of the most common causes of indigestion:

·         Consuming too much food

·         Eating too fast

·         Foods that are fatty, oily, or hot

·         Excessive use of caffeinated drinks, alcoholic and carbonated beverages

·         Anxiety

·         Jaundice

·         Medications like pain medicines, antibiotics, and iron supplements.

Some conditions that are associated with dyspepsia are discussed below:

Non-ulcer dyspepsia: This condition is known as functional dyspepsia. This indicates that no known source of the symptoms has been identified.

Ulcers: When the stomach lining is destroyed, the underlying tissue becomes visible, resulting in an ulcer leading to indigestion.

Duodenitis or gastritis: These are the inflammation of the duodenum or stomach. Both are possible complications, which may be minor or severe and result in an ulcer with the consequence of a sour stomach.

Acid reflux: It is a condition in which stomach acid seeps (refluxes) into the esophagus, resulting in discomfort and acid indigestion.

Hiatus hernia: This happens when the stomach’s upper portion pushes up into the lower part as a result of diaphragm insufficiency. It is often associated with upper abdominal bloating along with indigestion.

H pylori: It is a bacteria that may cause ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. This is one of the most common infections.

Other illnesses that cause indigestion are:

·         Gallstones (causes abdominal pain after eating)

·         Constipations

·         Celiac disease

·         Pancreatitis i.e. inflammation of the pancreas

·         Stomach cancer

·         Thyroid disorders

·         Intestinal blockage 

·         Intestinal ischemia i.e. reduced blood flow to the intestine

When to see a doctor

In most cases, minor indigestion is no reason for concern. Seek medical attention if you have been in discomfort for longer than two weeks.

Contact your doctor right away if your pain is severe or accompanied by any of the following symptoms.

·         Appetite loss

·         Weight loss

·         Tarry or black stool

·         Vomiting

·         Swallowing problems

·         Excessive tiredness or weakness

Immediately get medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

·         Circulatory oxygen deficiency

·         Profuse sweating

·         Chest pain which may spread to other parts like the jaw, neck, or arm

·         Chest discomfort that worsens over time

·         Stomach feels weird

Indigestion symptoms, if left untreated, may have a severe effect on the entire health.


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