Toilet-Photo-by-Evil-ErinIndigestion, also known as upset stomach or dyspepsia, is discomfort or a burning feeling in the upper abdomen, often accompanied by nausea, abdominal bloating, belching, and sometimes vomiting. Some people also use the term indigestion to describe the symptom of heartburn.

While indigestion may be caused by a disease in the digestive tract such as ulcer or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), most of the time for many people, it’s simply the result of

– Eating too much

– Eating too quickly

– Eating foods high is low quality fat, or

– Eating during stressful situations.

– Stomach bacteria are weak or over run

– Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, using medications that irritate the stomach lining, being tired, and having ongoing stress can also cause indigestion or make it worse.

There are some folk who have persistent indigestion that is not related to any of these factors.  This type of indigestion— called functional or nonulcer dyspepsia— may be caused by a problem in the muscular squeezing action of the stomach (motility).

To diagnose indigestion, the doctor might perform tests for problems, like ulcers.  In the process of diagnosis, a person may have x-rays of the stomach and small intestine or undergo endoscopy, in which the doctor uses an instrument to look at the inside of the stomach.

Avoiding the highly processed and additive rich foods that seem to cause indigestion is oftenthe most successful way to treat it.

In any event, other factors not being obvious, this should be a first step.

Heartburn caused by acid reflux is usually improved by treatment with antacids, H2-blockers, or proton pump inhibitors.  Smokers can help relieve their indigestion by quitting smoking, or at least not smoking right before eating.  Exercising with a full stomach may cause indigestion, so scheduling exercise before a meal or at least an hour afterward might help.

To treat indigestion caused by a functional problem in the digestive tract, the doctor may prescribe medicine that affects stomach motility.

Because indigestion can be a sign of, or mimic, a more serious disease, people should see a doctor if they have

– vomiting, weight loss, or appetite loss

– black tarry stools or blood in vomit

– severe pain in the upper right abdomen

– discomfort unrelated to eating

– indigestion accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or pain radiating to the jaw, neck, or arm

– symptoms that persist for more than 2 weeks.

One thing many people have found effective is to take a course of pro-biotic supplements as this will restore the balance to your stomach bacteria. Simply put… If you  have the right bugs in your stomach it will do it’s job properly.

Also, eating pro-biotic foods such as natural yogurt, sauerkraut and other fermented foods can help enormously as these will provide a good environment for the good bacteria in your stomach to flourish.

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