Dysphagea Swallowing Difficulties

Bloating

Normal Digestion

The gut (gastrointestinal tract) is the tube that starts at the mouth, and ends at the anus. The upper gut includes the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

Food passes down the esophagus (gullet) into the stomach. Stomach secretes acid to help digest food. Food then gradually passes to small intestine where enzymes from pancreas coming thru pancreatic duct and Bile from Gall Bladder coming thru bile duct breaks down food. Digested food is absorbed from small intestine.

What are the Symptoms of Indigestion?

The symptoms of indigestion include:

  • Bloating (feeling of fullness)

  • Belching and Gas

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Acidic taste

  • Burning stomach

  • Pain in abdomen specially after eating

  • Growling stomach

  • Symptoms may increase in times of stress.

What Causes Indigestion? Who is at Risk?

Indigestion has many causes, including:

Diseases:

  • Ulcers

  • GERD

  • Stomach cancer (rare)

  • Gastroparesis (a condition where the stomach doesn’t empty properly; this often occurs in diabetics)

  • Stomach infections

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Chronic pancreatitis

  • Thyroid disease

Medications:

  • Aspirin and many other painkillers

  • Estrogen and oral contraceptives

  • Steroid medications

  • Certain antibiotics

  • Thyroid medicines

Lifestyle:

  • Eating too much, eating too fast, eating high-fat foods, or eating during stressful situations

  • Drinking too much alcohol

  • Cigarette smoking

  • Stress and fatigue

Functional:

Sometimes people have persistent indigestion where no known cause is found and endoscopy is normal. This type of indigestion is called functional, or nonulcer dyspepsia. Infection with a bacterium (germ) called Helicobacter pyloriis considered as a probable factor.

How Is Indigestion Diagnosed?

  • Through history and Examination

  • Blood test or X_ray

  • Upper GI Endoscopy

What Is the Treatment for Indigestion?

Treatment usually depends upon the underlying condition causing the indigestion.

Helpful tips to prevent indigestion:

  • Not to chew with your mouth open, talk while chewing, or eat too fast. Eat slowly
    This causes you to swallow too much air, which can aggravate indigestion.
    Eat small frequent meals

  • Drink fluids after rather than during meals.

  • Avoid late-night eating.

  • Try to relax after meals.

  • Do not exercise with a full stomach

  • Do not lie down right after eating.

  • Wait at least 3 hours after your last meal of the day before going to bed

  • Avoid spicy foods and acidic foods

  • Stop smoking/alcohol

  • Learn relaxing techniques to relieve stress

  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting garments because they tend to compress the stomach

  • Raise the head of your bed.

When Should I Call the Doctor About Indigestion?

Because indigestion can be a sign of a more serious health problem, call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting or blood in vomit (the vomit may look like coffee grounds)

  • Unexpected weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Black, tarry stools or visible blood in stools

  • Severe pain in upper right abdomen

  • Pain in upper or lower right abdomen

  • Discomfort unrelated to eating

Symptoms similar to indigestion may be caused by heart attacks. If indigestion is unusual, accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or pain radiating to the jaw, neck or arm seek doctors advice immediately.


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