Indigestion

What is indigestion?

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, can be defined as a recurrent pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen.
It occurs when your body is having trouble digesting food in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, a group of organs that plays a major role in digestion.

What causes Indigestion?

A lot of factors can cause indigestion.

They include:
– Eating certain foods (spicy and fatty foods, foods with lots of acids or fiber etc)
– Eating too late in the day
– Drinking alcohol or too much caffeine
– Taking certain medicines
– Gastrointestinal tract problems or other health issues such as acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcer, gastroparesis etc., can also cause indigestion.

SYMPTOMS OF INDIGESTION

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

– Pain, discomfort, or a burning feeling in your chest or stomach
– Bloating
– Gurgling stomach and/or gas
– Acid reflux
– Nausea and/or vomiting

Other extreme symptoms include: Trouble swallowing, ongoing vomiting, throwing up blood, thick, black, or bloody stool etc.

Seek medical aid immediately If symptoms are severe.

How can I prevent or avoid Indigestion?

To start, one needs to know his/her body and how it reacts to different food and drinks.

– Spicy and acidic foods and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion.
– Eat smaller meals throughout the day, and don’t eat too late at night.
– Don’t lie down too soon after eating.
– Limit the use of alcohol and if you use tobacco, try to quit.
– Stress and lack of sleep also can worsen symptom.

TREATMENT

Your treatment will depend on what is causing your indigestion. Your doctor can help you decide which treatment is best for you.

However, some over-the-counter medicines may help your symptoms, they include:

– Antacids that work against the acid in your system.
– Proton pump inhibitors which help block the site of acid production in your stomach.
– Histamine blockers which help reduce pain and symptoms (should not be used long-term).

Check with your doctor before starting something new.

 

Written by: Ebere Chienjine

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