Contribution: Rachna Arya
Do you find yourself taking antacids every time you feel heartburn, nausea or stomach ache? For many people, this is a quick-relief response to stomach acidity.
Most people often consider indigestion as a condition that goes away on its own with time. But doctors say, if the symptoms come regularly, then you have to think twice about it. If symptoms are severe or persistent, this may be cause for concern, as daily indigestion may be hiding something more chronic or serious. If you feel discomfort every day, you should not ignore it.
What is indigestion?
Indigestion – also called dyspepsia or upset stomach – is not a disease. It usually refers to the collective symptoms of upper digestive tract discomfort. This can be caused by everything from diet and lifestyle habits to medication side effects and an underlying medical condition. Sometimes, indigestion can be annoying and sometimes painful enough to make it difficult to sleep or do other activities.
Symptoms of indigestion
Some common symptoms associated with indigestion include:
- Acid reflux
- Acidic taste in mouth
- An uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest or throat
- Bloating or a feeling of fullness after eating a small amount of food
- Primary satisfaction
- Feeling very full after eating
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and regurgitation.
Indigestion is a very common occurrence and can affect people of all ages and genders. In most cases, it is a temporary problem caused by dietary patterns, lifestyle choices, or certain types of medication.
Research shows that in most cases, indigestion is not related to any disease. It is often caused by poor diet and lifestyle habits. Indigestion can occur if a person eats excessive amounts of problematic foods such as fatty or fried foods, eats out frequently, eats at odd times, has an irregular sleep schedule, exercises little, or is under too much stress. Besides eating too many snacks throughout the day, drinking coffee or tea before meals is another common cause of indigestion.
When should you worry?
There are certain conditions that doctors note as red flags that call for immediate medical help.
If the patient has a sudden onset of the symptoms mentioned below, it is not advisable to wait for the symptoms to pass.
- If there is blood stool or other signs of bleeding
- If the appetite suddenly decreases
- If there is significant weight loss for no apparent reason
- If you have trouble swallowing food
- If you have persistent upper abdominal pain.
In some cases, another underlying illness can cause persistent indigestion. These terms include:
- Peptic ulcer or stomach ulcer
- Cancer of the digestive tract
- Gallbladder disease.
Tips to prevent indigestion
- Eat meals at specific times of the day
- Avoid or reduce caffeinated foods or drinks
- Manage stress better by practicing stress-reduction techniques
- Reduce alcohol consumption as it can irritate the stomach lining
- Do not lie down immediately after eating
- Eat smaller meals instead of three large meals a day
- Avoid medicines that cause indigestion
- Avoid fried, fatty and spicy foods.
Everyone has a little indigestion from time to time. This is the most common bowel disorder and most of the time, it is nothing to worry about. However, it’s important to remember that indigestion that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter (OTC) medications and interferes with your quality of life needs to be investigated.
If you suffer from frequent and chronic indigestion – especially if it lasts more than 2 weeks, despite maintaining a regular lifestyle and healthy eating habits – see your doctor.
Book a full body wellness exam today!
fbq('init', '1713453968920369' ); fbq('track', 'PageView');