Indigestion And General Digestive Discomfort
Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen usually after eating, that may have a variety of causes. It is more common in adults. Risk factors include: stress, being overweight, smoking and certain dietary habits.
Most people experience episodes of upper abdominal discomfort related to eating, which we usually call indigestion. The condition is more common in adults, and smoking as well as obesity increase the risk of indigestion. Most cases are not serious.
Causes And Treatment Of Indigestion
Usually indigestion follows a meal, especially one that includes rich, fatty, or heavily spiced food. Overeating, consuming too much alcohol or coffee and eating too quickly can also cause indigestion, as can stress as well as drugs like aspirin that irritate the digestive tract. If indigestion symptoms persist or becomes more severe, or if you start to vomit, lose your appetite, or lose weight, you need to consult your doctor. These symptoms may be a sign of more serious conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), a peptic ulcer, or in rare cases, stomach cancer.
Antacids can usually relieve mild indigestion. There are also a variety of self-help measures to follow which can avoid future attacks of indigestion.
How To Prevent Indigestion – Self-Help Measures
In order to prevent or reduce the frequency and severity of episodes of indigestion, follow this advice:
- Eat small portions of food at regular intervals, without eating too fast or overfilling your stomach.
- Avoid eating in the three hours before going to bed to allow your body enough time to digest food.
- Reduce or eliminate your intake of alcohol, coffee and tea.
- Avoid rich, fatty foods such as butter and fried foods.
- Keep a food journal to help identify foods that cause indigestion.
- Learn to overcome stress, which can often trigger episodes of abdominal discomfort.
- If overweight, try to reduce weight and avoid tight fitting clothing.
- If possible, avoid medicines that irritate the digestive tract, such as aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.