Indigestion: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis
For example, functional diseases of the stomach and intestines may be shown ultimately to be associated with reduced or increased levels of normal chemicals within the gastrointestinal organs, the spinal cord, or the brain. Should a disease that is demonstrated to be due to a reduced or increased chemical still be considered a functional disease?
Symptoms may be augmented further by the patient’s anxiety about his or her physical well-being. Only after appropriate diagnostic studies have reassured the patient (and the physician) can both parties begin to deal effectively with an underlying emotional basis for the patient’s symptoms. More serious causes of bloating include Celiac disease, lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome.
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It may partially block refluxed stomach acid clearing from your oesophagus, leading to heartburn. It’s normal for your stomach to produce acid, but sometimes this acid can irritate the lining of your stomach, the top part of your bowel (duodenum) or your gullet (oesophagus). These symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, although there can sometimes be a delay between eating a meal and experiencing indigestion. Severe indigestion can cause long-term problems with parts of your digestive tract, such as scarring of the oesophagus or the passage from your stomach.
What Lifestyle Factors Cause Indigestion?
Some studies suggest that FD is a chronic condition for many people, with approximately 50% of patients still experiencing symptoms over a 5-year follow-up period. Other common symptoms include early feeling of fullness (satiety), nausea, belching, and bloating. According to the NHS, itâ€™s usually related to what you eat, since the acid your stomach produces at the same time can irritate the stomach lining, the top part of the bowel, or the oesophagus. Itâ€™s also sometimes called dyspepsia, or even heartburn – people may feel a burning sensation rising up into the chest. Reflux (stomach acid going backwards into the oesophagus) can occur as part of dyspepsia or might be a symptom on its own.
- In approximately 40% of patients with dyspepsia, the stomach does not relax normally in response to a meal.
- Patients also commonly associate symptoms with specific foods (for example, milk, fat, vegetables).
- While peppermint can ease indigestion, you shouldnâ€™t drink or eat peppermint when indigestion is caused by acid reflux.
- The physiological stress due to anxiety and stress also affect indigestion.
Eat foods that rarely cause heartburn and avoid those foods that will often cause heartburn. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This disease can eventually lead to more serious health problems. Although effective for indigestion, licorice root can cause sodium and potassium imbalances and high blood pressure in large doses. Consume no more than 2.5 grams of dried licorice root per day for fast relief.
Gitnick has patients keep a food journal to see if overeating or choosing the wrong foods affects their stomach pain. In addition to foods that may trigger indigestion, smoking can be a cause, as well as drinking coffee and alcohol. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, overseen by the National Institutes of Health, recommends that if you’re a smoker and you’re not ready to quit, at least try not to smoke before eating. People with acid reflux, stomach flu, irritable bowel, and other conditions may experience indigestion. Find out about the top 10 foods that are easy to digest and may be suitable for these people to include in their diet.
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But that doesn’t mean the discomfort is all in your head. There’s a nervous system in our gut that sends and receives messages from the brain (the brain-gut axis), and at times nerve and muscle sensations in the gut may differ in some patients with more sensitive digestive systems, translating into pain or discomfort in a certain area. Your diet may also be a factor, along with how much exercise you get. If you have persistent stomach trouble, schedule an appointment with your doctor. You can rest assured he or she has tackled this problem many times before.
In fact, non-cardiac chest pain is thought to often result from a functional abnormality of the esophagus. When a doctor cannot find a cause for indigestion, the individual may have functional dyspepsia. This is a type of indigestion without any structural or metabolic disease to explain the symptoms.
Indigestion is a term commonly used by patients and physicians to indicate some form of gastrointestinal tract upset. It includes a wide variety of symptoms, which in turn may be manifestations of a wide variety of gastrointestinal and nongastrointestinal diseases.
Don’t lie down for about two hours after you eat. Gravity helps to keep the stomach juices from backing up into the esophagus and assists the flow of food and digestive juices from the stomach to the intestines. Limit your intake of foods and beverages that trigger your symptoms.