What is Indigestion?
Indigestion, scientifically known as dyspepsia, is a feeling of discomfort experienced in the upper abdomen, and as such is associated with the way food flows through the digestive tract. One person out of every forty-five people in the United States experience some form of this condition. Moreover, the most common occurrences of indigestion pain take place while eating foods too quickly; and when the stomach is unable to produce enough stomach acid to absorb nutrients. Indigestion causes any number of gastrointestinal complaints to occur including belching, bloating, flatulence and stomach growling. As a symptom, indigestion generally is not life threatening, but it can become an annoyance and cause great discomfort. It is one of those symptoms that, in theory, can strike anyone, at any time. In reality, though, it is the foods and beverages we consume, and how we consume those foods and beverages that trigger this symptom. More cases than not, indigestion is the result of unhealthy eating habits. When poor food choices enter the digestive tract it can disturb the acids in the stomach region and irritate the stomach's lining. Ultimately, indigestion is a sign that can help identify unhealthy food choices and signal any abnormalities in the stomach.
There are many indigestion causes. Certain symptoms may include uncomfortable fullness during or after a meal. In fact, studies show that indigestion can manifest while overeating, gulping down food, eating spicy foods, and consuming foods high in fat and acidic content. Eventually, these actions may cause mild to severe pain or burning sensations in the upper abdomen. The time spent waiting from one meal to the next also contributes to indigestion pain. Consequently, stomach acids become stronger when a lot of time passes between meals. Due to hormonal changes, indigestion causes pregnant women to experience discomfort in the middle and latter parts of pregnancy. In some cases, indigestion causes nausea or vomiting to occur. Lifestyle situations, such as stress, anxiety and depression may also cause indigestion pain to increase in intensity. Indigestion causes pain to occur while taking medications such as aspirin, oral contraceptives, and steroid pills. Specifically, these medications irritate the stomach and may cause damage to the stomachï¿½s lining. Bouts of indigestion pain can be a sign of other underlying conditions. At times, indigestion causes ulcers, thyroid disease and gastro esophageal reflux disease. These conditions require specific treatment under a physician's care.
Prevention and treatments
One thing is certain: When you put prevention on the menu, it is easy to eliminate or control dyspepsia. However, if you experience bouts of indigestion, rest assured, these episodes usually subside within hours. On the other hand, if symptoms persist, there are practical steps you can take to help manage and ease indigestion pain. First, an exercise routine will help food flow through the digestive tract, making food easily digestible. Secondly, drinking fluids after a meal, instead of during a meal will control most symptoms. Next, limit spicy foods and alcoholic beverages. Avoid tobacco, caffeine and high acidic foods and beverages. Whenever indigestion pain becomes too annoying to ignore, consult a physician. Indigestion can be a sign of a more serious health problem. A physician may perform breath, blood and other tests to diagnose the underlying problem of your indigestion, and suggest the best treatment to combat the condition. Be prepared to tell your doctor exactly where you are experiencing pain to help pinpoint the problem. Seek medical attention immediately, if you experience a loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, vomiting, tar-colored stool, blood in stool, shortness of breath, sweating, or pain radiating to the arm, jaw or neck.