Also known as Dyspepsia, Indigestion is a condition experienced by almost everyone from time to time. It often comes as a persistent mild discomfort in the abdomen or upper belly region while eating or right after. Although, one of the effects of indigestion may be heartburn, it is NOT the same as heartburn as some people think. The causes of indigestion may be self-induced or may be due to an underlying disease or condition.
The following factors are possible causes of indigestion:
- Unhealthy Habits: Such as High consumption of alcohol, eating too much at a time, smoking of cigarettes, swallowing too much air . Too much intake of foods with high-fat and caffeine content can also lead to indigestion.
- Underlying stomach ailments and diseases may manifest indigestion as part of their symptoms. Some of these diseases include: Stomach cancer, infections, Ulcers, Thyroid disease.
- Stress, anxiety and inadequate sleep: may also contribute to symptoms of indigestion
- Another possible cause of indigestion may be intake of certain medications such as aspirins like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), some antibiotics, steroid medications.
- Obesity: Obese, overweight people have more likelihood of experiencing indigestion. This is due to the higher pressure in their stomach.
Symptoms of indigestion may include:
- Unusual and often times unpleasant fullness during and after the meal: the fellow may experience unusual fullness shortly after he started eating and he may not be able to finish the meal. Even after the meal, there is the feeling of food “overstaying” in the stomach.
- Burning sensation, heat and pain may also be experienced in between the lower part of the chest bone and the navel (the epigastric area)
- Feeling of tightness in the stomach, feeling of fullness which may sometimes be accompanied by nausea, and bloating.
- Uncontrollable burping.
Treatments are usually based on the cause of the indigestion. Changing your lifestyle and eating habit can significantly help relieve you of the symptoms. Some healthy habits you can adopt include: Taking time to properly chew as you eat, stay away from unnecessary excitement and hyperactivity immediately after meals, allow for enough time in between your meals, stay away from high fat foods and excessive caffeine. Some antacids and over-the-counter medications can help relieve you of the effect of indigestion.
Be sure to visit your doctor if these symptoms are accompanied by weight loss, shortness of breath, loss of appetite that lasts for more than a day, or bloody stool or vomit.