Indigestion- all you need to know

Indigestion

Dyspepsia is also known as indigestion. Indigestion is a popular term. There is hardly a person in the world who doesn’t know what indigestion feels like.

Indigestion can cause some symptoms like pain in the abdomen, feeling of fullness and other gut problems.

What do we mean by Indigestion?

Indigestion is an umbrella term given to various digestive related symptoms like

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  • Feeling of fullness
  • Discomfort in the abdomen
  • Nausea and
  • Heat burn

Usually, people experience indigestion after consuming a large meal. Yet there are several other factors that can trigger the symptoms of indigestion.

What are the causes of indigestion?

The various causes of indigestion can be broadly classified under three types – lifestyle, medication, or medical conditions.

Lifestyle choices

A person’s lifestyle choices may have a great risk of triggering indigestion. Our body experiences indigestion when it cannot digest food normally.

Eating food too fast or consuming more spicy or fatty food will also increase the risk of indigestion.

Some of the other lifestyle choices that increase the risk of indigestion may include:

  • Smoking and Alcohol
  • Stressed routine
  • Lack of sleep and
  • Irregular internal between meals.

Medication

Indigestion in a person can be a side-effect of taking a few medications. The antibiotics and medications that treat bacterial infection can also trigger irritation in the digestive system which would increase the chance of indigestion.

Medical conditions

Some of the health conditions that can cause indigestion are

  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Gastroparesis
  • Gastric cancer
  • In tolerances
  • Irritable bowel syndrome and
  • Pancreatic defects

If a person experiences indigestion for no specific reason it is called functional dyspepsia.

What are the symptoms of indigestion?

Some of the commonly exhibited symptoms of indigestion are:

  • Bloating or inflammation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heat burn
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Feeling full in between a meal
  • Burning sensation in the food pipe
  • Excessive gas
  • Sudden and unexplained weight loss and
  • Stool that is not normal.

Indigestion generally doesn’t lead to other complications. However, if it is severe, the symptoms will make it more difficult for a person to consume the right amount of food.

How do we diagnose indigestion?

A medical professional would examine the body. He would start asking questions about a person’s medical history and lifestyle choices.

Newer non invasive & non radiation tests like ULTRASOUND may be used  for identifying problems in DIGESTIVE TRACT.

To further rule out other health conditions blood samples or stool samples are collected to check the bacteria that cause indigestion. If a person experiences indigestion for 3 days or more in a row, there is a high chance that indigestion is caused by an underlying disease.

How do we treat indigestion?

Usually, indigestion doesn’t require any treatment and it often goes away on its own. If indigestion is caused by another health condition, then it is mandatory to treat the health condition to curb the symptoms.

There is no exact medicine to claim that it works best for indigestion.

Symptoms of indigestion can be contained and digestion can be improved with a few home remedies like

  • Chewing the food properly
  • Eating slowly
  • Avoiding food that can cause heat burn
  • Quit smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Cutting down soft drinks and alcohol
  • Practicing mindfulness and reducing stress

In some cases, few medications and lifestyle changes are suggested by a doctor to prevent indigestion and its symptoms.

Medications help in treating indigestion quickly. They suppress the symptoms and ease the person suffering from indigestion.

A doctor would prescribe medication to treat the symptoms of indigestion which may also cause side-effects like

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cough and
  • Vomiting

Even though improper digestion is a common problem the symptoms should not be ignored. If the symptoms are prevalent for long-term, consulting a medical professional is important.

 To sum up

Indigestion causes discomfort in the abdomen. Even though indigestion is common the symptoms can be mild or severe.

Mild indigestion usually doesn’t require treatment. The body cures itself.

Only if the symptoms are severe and persist for long time, medical assistance is required.

Indigestion may also be a result of various digestive diseases and hence ruling out other options through proper medical diagnosis is essential.

Mild indigestion can be treated at home only in cases of severe indigestion, medications are suggested and lifestyle changes are recommended by a doctor.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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