Indigestion: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Understanding and Treating Indigestion
Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a common condition characterized by an uncomfortable burning sensation in the upper abdomen, bloating, abdominal pain and nausea. In some cases, indigestion can also cause heartburn, burping and a sour taste in the mouth. While indigestion is often considered a mild discomfort, it can also be a symptom of a more serious underlying medical disorder.
Symptoms of Indigestion
The most common symptom of indigestion is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the upper abdomen, usually after eating. This burning sensation may spread to the neck or throat and be accompanied by other symptoms such as burping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, an acidic taste in the back of the throat, and an urge to belch. In more severe cases, indigestion may cause pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back or shoulder.
Causes of Indigestion
Indigestion is often triggered by certain foods such as fatty, greasy or spicy foods and carbonated beverages. Stress and anxiety can also worsen the symptoms of indigestion. Other potential causes can include underlying medical conditions such as peptic ulcers, gastroparesis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Treatment of Indigestion
Indigestion can often be treated with lifestyle changes and medications, such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors. If the cause of indigestion is an underlying medical condition, medications may be prescribed to treat it. In some cases, lifestyle modifications such as avoiding spicy and greasy foods, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and reducing stress, can help alleviate symptoms of indigestion.
The key to managing indigestion is to identify and address any underlying causes and to make lifestyle changes to reduce symptoms. Individuals who consistently suffer from indigestion should speak to a healthcare provider for further evaluation and personalized treatment.