Indigestion: Causes, Symptoms, Risks and Home Remedies

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Everybody knows how it feels when your stomach isn’t doing good and that it may be due to indigestion. It may be a family get together that would require you to go out for dinner. A dinner that was meant to mean paradise could have caused you indigestion and battling with it could be a nasty affair.

Indigestion

However, this a common occurrence and most people do feel the sort of discomfort that they are about to deal with. Inflammation in your stomach can trigger this problem leaving with a feeling of fullness even though you haven’t eaten anything. Medically speaking, indigestion is caused due to gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD), gallbladder disease and stomach ulcers.

Indigestion is scientifically called dyspepsia, which can be defined as constant pain or discomfort in your upper abdomen. Before getting into some of its basic causes, let’s take a peep into some interesting facts that you need to know about indigestion.

Depending on over-the-counter (OTC) medication can cause further complications. So don’t regret and make sure that you consult a doctor.

Facts About Indigestion:

Indigestion in simple terms refers to food that is not digested properly due to stomach ulcers, gastric problems and problems with your gallbladder. However, here are some facts that you need to know about indigestion.

  • The best remedy for curing indigestion is by consuming bananas, oatmeal, leafy vegetables, greek yoghurt etc.
  • Did you know that excessive smoking and drinking multiple alcoholic drinks can cause indigestion?
  • Indigestion is also caused due to stomach cancer, gallstones, pancreatitis etc.

Causes of Indigestion:

Indigestion is something common that affects everyone, but understanding what causes this health problem is important. You need to understand that indigestion is also caused due to diseases that can trigger it. But, here are some other factors that trigger indigestion.

1. Diseases that Trigger Indigestion:

The below-listed diseases cause indigestion, and if you are suffering from it, it is best that you consult a doctor as soon as possible as this can be life-threatening.

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gastroparesis (This usually happens for diabetics).
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Chronic pancreatitis.
  • Thyroid problems.

2. Medication that Trigger Indigestion:

Did you know that medications can also trigger indigestion and leave you feeling nasty the entire day? Well, here are some medications that can cause indigestion and you need to watch out for it.

  • Oral contraceptives (Estrogens)
  • Steroid medications
  • Thyroid medication
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.

Note: Watch out for all the above-listed medication that can trigger indigestion and worsen your condition.

3. Lifestyle that Trigger Indigestion:

The type of lifestyle you practice can also cause indigestion. Take for example, the way you eat and what you can cause indigestion. So, here are some lifestyle factors that can cause indigestion.

  • Overeating: This includes eating too fast and that includes eating high-fat foods. Also, when you are stressed eating can trigger indigestion.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • High amounts of stress and fatigue.
  • Excessive smoking.

4. Miscellaneous Factors that Trigger Indigestion:

There could be other rare factors that can cause indigestion and here are some of them.

  • Swallowing excessive air when eating can also lead to indigestion and this causes bloating.
  • Sometimes the cause of indigestion cannot be detected and this type of indigestion is called functional or non-ulcer dyspepsia.

Symptoms of Indigestion:

Indigestion can make you feel very uncomfortable and you would have to take a day off from work or school. Also, did you know that swallowing excessive air while eating can cause bloating which in turn can lead to indigestion? So what exactly does indigestion feel like? Here are some symptoms of Indigestion.

  • Bloating (Feeling full).
  • Growling stomach.
  • Burning sensation in the stomach including the upper abdomen.
  • Gas.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Everything you eat tastes acidic.

Here are some of the most severe problems that can be very life-threatening:

  • Continuous vomiting.
  • Blood vomits that appear like coffee seeds.
  • Weight loss.
  • Severe trouble swallowing.
  • Black stools.

Note: If you are stressed, then you need to be sure that indigestion can increase. Some people develop heartburns along with indigestion. Also, your risks of developing Indigestion increases over heavy alcohol consumption.

How Is Indigestion Diagnosed?

If you are having any of the symptoms of indigestion, you need to consult a doctor as soon as possible, because some causes of indigestion currently are unknown. Timely medication will save you from the risks of further health complications. You need to keep in mind that, a clear description of your symptoms must be explained to your doctor. Here is how a doctor may diagnose you with indigestion.

  • Several blood tests and X-rays of your small intestine will be conducted.
  • Upper endoscopy will also be conducted in order to look at your stomach in depth. This includes a flexible light and a camera that helps in producing the images.

Risks of Indigestion:

Indigestion can be defined as a feeling of severe pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen, chest and a feeling of fullness. This causes a burning sensation in your throat and chest and when you begin to feel that burning sensation of what you ate a couple of hours back, then you can be sure that you are suffering from indigestion. If indigestion is left untreated, then this can lead to serious medical complications such as bleeding in the esophagus. This refers to a tube that connects your throat and stomach. So why wait till something gets bad when you can just prevent this by following the below-listed points.

How To Prevent Indigestion?

There are different ways that you can prevent indigestion. Firstly, you need to precautionary measures that will ensure your well-being. Precautionary measures meaning that you need to avoid foods that can cause indigestion. One simple food that can help keep this acidic problem away is by opting for dairy foods. However, here are some simple ways in which you can prevent indigestion.

  • Eat less so that your stomach does not have to push digestion. This means that curd and rice will do good.
  • Chew your food well before you swallow it. This will aid in easy digestion.
  • You need to avoid foods and drinks that can cause acidity. Some of these include tomatoes and citrus fruits.
  • Do not consume too much caffeine. This can cause acidity and result in future complications. Caffeine has been linked to diabetes and limited consumption is advised.
  • If you are a smoker, then you need to reduce it, or simply put a stop when you are suffering from indigestion. This will create irritation in the lining of the stomach. The same goes with alcohol consumption too.
  • If you are a fitness enthusiast, then you need to keep in mind that exercising must not b done with an empty stomach.
  • Once you are done eating, do not lie down immediately.

Home Remedies for Treating Indigestion:

Indigestion is something very common, but it can be treated well at home if taken the right kind of medication and food intake. You need to keep in mind that this will save you from indigestion progressing. Here are some home remedies that you can treat indigestion and avoid western medication which may come with a lot of side effects.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar has loads of health benefits from benefiting your skin to managing your weight. You name it, this liquid has loads of health benefits for your hair and it is also used to treat many diseases too. In terms of indigestion, apple cider vinegar can be consumed along with a glass of water and this ill ease indigestion.

Note: You need to keep in mind that this can cause tooth erosion, low blood sugar, burning sensation in the throat and nausea if it is consumed in excess.

2. Ginger:

Ginger is yet another home remedy and in fact, the most accessible home remedy that aid in good digestion. You need to understand that too little or more of stomach acid causes indigestion. But ginger stabilises the production of stomach acid and helps it produces the right proportion. All you need to do is to just sip a cup of ginger tea and you will be in good form as soon as you can ever imagine. You can also add some honey if you prefer to.

Note: Excessive consumption of ginger can cause a burning sensation in the throat, heartburns and increase in levels of acidity.

3. Baking Soda:

Baking soda is said to stabilise stomach acid and put an end to indigestion. It also stops bloating and gas and this must be consumed after eating. All you need to do is to add ½ teaspoon of baking soda and to a glass of water and drink it. This non-toxic drink can be the solution to many health issues such as diarrhoea, irritability, vomiting, indigestion constipation.

Note: Make it a point not to have more than 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, if not, this would lead to other medical problems.

4. Lemon Water:

Lemon water is said to neutralise stomach acid and also aids in good digestion. All you need to do is mix a tablespoon of lemon juice in some lukewarm water and drink it before eating. It is also a good source of vitamin C.

Note: Do not consume too much of lemon juice as it will tear down the enamel from your teeth. Once you consume lemon juice, it is advised that you rinse your teeth with water.

5. Chamomile Tea:

Chamomile tea is good for those who do not get sleep and those who are suffering from anxiety. Apart from that, this herbal tea aids in good digestion too. It reduces stomach acid and also has anti-inflammatory properties that can save you from diseases that your body may be prone to. All you need to do is to place two chamomile tea bags in boiling water for 10 minutes and add some honey if you’d like to.

Note: If you are suffering from blood clots, then you need to consult a doctor before consuming chamomile tea. This is because, when chamomile tea is mixed with blood thinning medication, then there could be a potential risk that is involved in it.

When To Consult A Doctor?

Everyone knows that indigestion is a common problem and can be resolved with some simple home remedies. However, you need to keep in mind that frequent indigestion can be a sign of a chronic digestive problem such as gastritis or even stomach cancer. If you are suffering from frequent indigestion for more than 2 weeks, then it is advised that you see a doctor at the earliest. Moreover, here are some symptoms that make your condition worse and cannot be ignored.

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Black stools
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Extreme tiredness

FAQs

Indigestion is a common occurance, but you need to treat it well in advance before it causes any complication. Here are some frequently asked questions that will give you a better understanding of indigestion and its potential risks. One natural way of getting rid of indigestion is by drinking a lot of water after eating. Drinking plenty of water will help food digest faster and aid in normal bowel movements.

1. How long does indigestion last?

After consuming antacids, you may have indigestion for not more than 3 hours. Antacid medication will ease your stomachs functioning and make it produce less acid. It will also ease the burning sensation and pain that comes with indigestion. So make it a point to consult a doctor and beat that acidic problem that is causing all the confusion.

2. Is drinking milk a good remedy for indigestion?

Traditionally, milk was considered to be a great remedy for indigestion, but this may not be the case for now. Milk can ease the stomach for some time but the nutrients in milk, especially the fat can make your stomach produce more acid. This may go the same in the case of heartburns too. In fact, overfilling your stomach with milk can increase your risks of having heartburn.

3. What is the difference between stomach upset and indigestion?

Stomach upset and indigestion are both similar to each other. It is just that some people prefer calling it different names. Stomach ulcers, gastritis, acid refluxes are some of the basic diseases that are associated with both. However, by simple consuming enough water after eating will avoid the risk of developing indigestion.

Indigestion can become severe and cause heartburn. You must be wondering how does heartburn feel like. It can be described as severe discomfort in your upper abdomen and chest, including a feeling of fullness and bloating. All of these factors cause a burning sensation in your chest or throat. The best way to understand acid reflux or heartburn is when you can feel the acid at the back of your mouth. This is also called acid indigestion. In order to get rid of this, all you need to do is to follow the above-listed home remedies and stay healthy.

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