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Indigestion- A serious issue to be addressed
20 Sep 2021
Indigestion- A serious issue to be addressed image

Table of Contents

Context
What are the symptoms of Indigestion?
What are the causes of indigestion?
What are the causes of indigestion?
When should you consult a doctor?
How is indigestion diagnosed?
How is indigestion treated?

Context

Indigestion or upper abdominal discomfort is referred to as the burning sensation, pain in the abdomen, feeling full as soon as you eat, bloating in the abdomen, or nausea. Indigestion can also be a symptom of health issues like ulcers.

It is common to experience indigestion, but each person may experience it differently depending upon their lifestyle and food habits. Indigestion is classified as a chronic disease. Lifestyle changes and medication can help in relieving indigestion.

What are the symptoms of Indigestion?

If you have indigestion, then you may experience the following symptoms:

  1. Early fullness

If you have indigestion, then you might experience early fullness during your meal. You will be having a feeling that you cannot eat more. This is one of the most common symptoms experienced by people having the trouble of indigestion.

  1. Burning in the upper abdomen

People having indigestion may experience a burning sensation in their abdomen. Certain foods can also result in a burning sensation in the abdomen.

  1. Nausea

It is a feeling of sickness with the tendency to vomit. Nausea will be experienced by a person with indigestion regularly or at indefinite intervals.

  1. Heartburn

Heartburn is a rare symptom of indigestion. It involves pain or a burning sensation in the chest which can spread to the neck after you eat.

Other symptoms may include:

  1. Frequent and loud growling in the stomach
  2. Gas trouble
  3. Discomfort in abdomen
  4. Feeling sick
  5. Bitter taste in the mouth

What are the causes of indigestion?

Indigestion is mainly caused due to overeating or consuming foods that your body is allergic to. Indigestion may also occur when you eat food items that are too spicy and oily. An unhealthy habit that can lead to indigestion is lying too soon after a meal. This makes it difficult for the body to digest the food.

The usage of drugs mainly, consumption of alcohol, and smoking are also major factors that contribute to indigestion. Some medications can also cause indigestion as their side effects. Aspirin and naproxen are some of the medicines that cause indigestion after consuming them.

Indigestion is also caused by certain health issues such as peptic ulcers, gastric cancer, pancreatic diseases, and acid reflux disease. Functional dyspepsia is a type of indigestion due to an unknown cause.

When should you consult a doctor?

There is no need to worry about mild indigestion and its effects. Mild indigestion can occur due to our body’s reaction to a particular food. You should immediately seek medical attention if you experience the following:

  1. Sudden weight loss
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Continuous vomiting
  4. Vomiting blood
  5. Symptoms of anemia such as weakness
  6. Trouble swallowing that progressively gets worse
  7. Breathing trouble
  8. Unintended sweating
  9. Chest pain

How is indigestion diagnosed?

At first, your gastroenterologist will ask you about your lifestyle, food habits, and previous medical history. You may also undergo a physical examination by your doctor. Your doctor may recommend undergoing an X-ray to diagnose any abnormalities in the stomach or digestive tract.

As part of the diagnosis, your blood and stool samples may also be collected. Your doctor will conduct an endoscopic examination to check the presence of:

  1. Ulcers
  2. Inflammation diseases
  3. Cancer
  4. Reflux esophagitis

How is indigestion treated?

In most cases, lifestyle and food habit changes can prevent indigestion to an extent. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines after medical examination. 

Medications

  1. H2 receptor antagonists(H2RAs)

They reduce stomach acids. They can include side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Rashes
  1. Proton pump inhibitors(PPIs)

These are mainly recommended if you experience heartburn along with indigestion. Side effects may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  1. Prokinetics

They are mainly used to reduce acid reflux. Prokinetics also help in emptying your stomach faster. Side effects may include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Depression 
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision

Indigestion can often occur if you don’t change your lifestyle habits or food habits. They can be a common issue but you should take every symptom of it seriously. Consult a gastroenterologist if you experience any symptoms.

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