Do you eat too much, too quickly or stressed? What do you feel after eating? Do you have a sense of fullness after eating even if you only have eaten a small amount of food? These are only some of the questions a doctor may ask during consultation to determine if a person is suffering from indigestion.
Indigestion is different from constipation. This symptom is sometimes called dyspepsia, discomfort after meal or upset stomach. This kind of ailment is often accompanied by nausea, abdominal bloating, belching and vomiting.
Causes of Indigestion
Indigestion could be a symptom or a result of a currently occurring disease. It might be caused by a disease in the digestive system like ulcer or gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, the most common causes among many people are eating too much, eating too quickly, eating highly fatty foods or eating during stressful situations. These factors cause the stomach to not digest the food properly. Fatty foods are really difficult to digest especially those that contain insoluble fats.
Other causes include smoking, drinking too much alcohol, using medications that irate the stomach lining and being tired or stressed. However, there are other people that suffer indigestion that are not related to the previous factors mentioned. This type of indigestion is called functional or non-ulcer indigestion. It is a result of the malfunctioning of the stomach muscle while squeezing or digesting the food in take.
Treatment and Prevention of Indigestion
Other than the routinely physical diagnostic questions that a patient should honestly answer to determine if the patient is suffering from indigestion, there are other diagnosis that some physicians initiate to make sure of the occurrence of the ailment. Some of these require x-rays of the stomach and endoscopy of the small intestines.
As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure, the occurrence of indigestion could easily be prevented when the food intake is monitored. Monitoring food does not only require a person to check the food contents or nutritional values of the food but even the time of eating and the amount of food. It is still better to avoid the foods or situations that can cause indigestion. Smokers can be relieved when smoking is minimized or quitted. Exercising just after eating is also not recommended as it also causes indigestion.
When the problem is functional, consultation to doctors could provide the treatment. They could either give oral medication that may affect stomach motility or prescribe internal diagnosis.
Indigestion could be serious
Since indigestion could be a precursor to a more serious disease in the digestive tract, a person should see a doctor when the indigestion becomes recurrent or the symptoms have become worse or aggravating.
When indigestion already goes with vomiting, weight loss, appetite loss, black tarry stools or blood in vomit, heartburn or severe pain in the upper right of the abdomen, discomfort unrelated to eating, shortness of breathing and sweating, a person is already advised to see a doctor for consultation and diagnosis.
When the symptoms enumerated above last longer than two weeks, the indigestion could have already been elevated to serious disorder.
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