What is Indigestion?

Indigestion is also named as upset stomach or dyspepsia. Indigestion is a general term which is used to describe upper abdominal or stomach discomfort and pain which is correlated with complications in the digestion of food. It is described as a burning, uncomfortable, and uneasy sensation in the belly. Indigestion may result in bloating, feeling full of stomach soon after you eat anything. Indigestion is not considered as a disease. Although, indigestion can rather be a symptom for other digestive diseases. Indigestion can happen to anyone. A chronic digestive problem or eating habits can accelerate indigestion considerably at a higher rate.

Glance to What Causes Indigestion

Indigestion is caused by many possible reasons. It can either be caused by digestive diseases or it may be eased with relevance to changes in lifestyle and it can be triggered by drink, food, and medication.

In general, there are many reasons for frequent indigestion which are stated below:

  • Intake of the excess of alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, and carbonated beverages.

  • Eating junk food which is greasy, fatty, and spicy results in increasing the risk of indigestion.

  • Overeating or eating even if you are not hungry can also result in indigestion.

  • Smoking can irritate the lining of the stomach.

  • Eating too quickly.

  • Lying down just after taking the meal stops the process of food digesting. This also increases the risk of upper abdominal discomfort.

  • It can even be caused if more physical work is performed just after eating the food.

  • Anxiety, mental stress, and depression 

  • Side effects caused by certain medications which include antibiotics, pain relievers, oral contraceptives, iron supplements, steroid medicines, and aspirin.

Sometimes, other digestive conditions can also be a reason for Indigestion which include:

  • Gallstones

  • Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach)

  • Peptic Ulcers

  • Constipation

  • Intestinal blockage

  • Celiac disease

  • Stomach cancer and many more

Note: Stomach acid does not result in Indigestion. 

Indigestion Symptoms

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Anyone or everyone can experience indigestion which could be in a slightly different way. Indigestion symptoms can be felt either daily or occasionally.

Anyone suffering from indigestion may have one or more symptoms from the following:

  • Early feeling of fullness during a meal: If you just started to eat your food and you already feel full and you are not being able to finish your food.

  • Uneasy fullness after the meal: Feeling exceptionally full after eating a normal-sized meal as the fullness lasts for longer than it supposed to be.

  • Discomfort in the upper abdomen: Mild to severe pain is experienced in the area between the breastbone bottom and the navel.

  • Burning sensation: Uncomfortable heat or burning sensation is felt in the upper abdomen, deep in the chest, and in the esophagus.

  • Bloating in the upper abdomen: An uncomfortable sensation of tightness is felt during having a meal. Swallowing excessive air increases the symptoms of bloating and belching.

  • Gnawing sensation in the stomach: Experience of chomping sensation in the stomach.

  • Formation of gas: Belching or experiencing excessive gastric issues.

  • Nausea: Feeling of vomiting.

Severe Symptoms Include:

  • Loss of appetite or unintentional weight loss.

  • Black, tarry stools.

  • Repeated and severe vomiting or vomiting with blood.

  • Fatigue or weakness.

  • Trouble in swallowing is extremely worst cases.

Note: People sometimes suffer from persistent Indigestion that is not relevant to the above symptoms and which is known as functional, or non-ulcer dyspepsia.

Indigestion Diseases

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Stomach Ulcer: It is a sore found in the lining of the stomach, esophagus, and small intestine.

 Symptoms include:

  • Indigestion

  • Early satiety

  • Heartburn and acid reflux.

Food Intolerance: After eating a certain food, the digestive problem occurs as a result.

Symptoms include:

  • Indigestion

  • Vomiting 

Gallstones: Gastric issues result in the turn of eventually blocking the bile duct that happens when a type of hard deposit is found on the gallbladder.

Chronic and Acute Gastric: These are the group of conditions that occur when the stomach lining is completely inflamed due to the abruption of inflammation.

Symptoms include:

  • Indigestion

  • Abdominal pain

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease): It is a digestive disease in which HCl acid in the stomach and bile irritates the esophagus lining.

Symptoms Include:

  • Indigestion

  • Bitter taste

Explanation of How to Treat Indigestion

Medicine used for treating Indigestion includes:

  • Prokinetics: The medication is helpful in case the stomach empties slowly.

  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): It is helpful to reduce stomach acid and is also suggested for heartburn along with indigestion.

  • Antibiotics: The education is used to cure peptic ulcers as it is caused by H.pylori bacteria.

  • Antidepressant medications: It helps to ease the discomfort that results from indigestion by decreasing the sensation of pain.

Note: Over-the-counter antacids are considered as the first choice.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Other Treatment for Indigestion?

Mild indigestion can be cured by changing lifestyles that include:

  • Maintaining weight: Food containing an excess of acid must be avoided as an excess of weight puts pressure on the abdomen which pushes up the belly and results in acidic conditions into the area of the food pipe.

  •  Avoid triggers: Fatty and spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine,  and smoking need to be avoided as it triggers indigestion.

  • Eating more-frequent and less quantity of meals: Chew the food slowly and properly.

  • Exercise regularly: Exercise helps you to stay healthy, losing extra weight, and facilitating better digestion.

2. How to Diagnose Indigestion?

Indigestion can be diagnosed by the following ways:

  • Blood test: The test is done to check metabolic disorders or anemia.

  • Breath and stool test: The test includes a blood test, urea breath, and stool antigen test used for diagnosis of H.pylori bacteria which is the related peptic ulcer that can cause indigestion.

  • X-ray or CT scan: To check intestinal obstruction, x-ray images are taken of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.

  • Endoscopy: Detailed examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract is done to check for abnormalities. A tissue sample or biopsy may be taken for the test for cancer.