ABC of the upper gastrointestinal tract: Indigestion: When is it functional?

ABC of the upper gastrointestinal tract: Indigestion: When is it functional?

Such people may have acute coronary ischemia. People with chronic dyspepsia that occurs when they exert themselves but that goes away when they rest may have angina and should see a doctor within a few days. Also, some people having a heart attack or unstable angina (coronary artery ischemia) may feel only a sensation of dyspepsia, rather than chest pain (see Chest or Back Pain). Dyspepsia has many causes, which, despite common use of the term “indigestion,” do not involve a problem digesting food.

Sometimes people have persistent indigestion that is not related to any of these factors. This type of indigestion is called functional, or non-ulcer dyspepsia. Swallowing excessive air when eating may increase the symptoms of belching and bloating, which are often associated with indigestion. People often have heartburn (a burning sensation deep in the chest) along with indigestion. But heartburn itself is a different symptom that may indicate another problem.

Being overweight puts more pressure on your stomach, making it easier for stomach acid to be pushed back up into your gullet (oesophagus). This is known as acid reflux, and is one of the most common causes of indigestion.

hungry with indigestion

pylori infection. For more information on H. pylori, see Causes of indigestion. Your GP will ask about your symptoms and whether anything makes them better or worse (such as alcohol, exercise or certain foods).

The scientific evidence that fat causes indigestion is weak. Most of the support is anecdotal (not based on carefully done, scientific studies).

As many as one in four people with dyspepsia have an ulcer, an open sore on the lining of the stomach or the small intestine. These sores are almost always caused by either nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or by an infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

Indigestion, or heartburn, is another symptom of reflux and GERD that can contribute to nausea. Indigestion is the sensation produced by refluxed stomach acid and contents irritating the esophagus. People who have acid reflux often experience a sour taste in their mouth from stomach acids.

Elevate your head when you sleep. Put 6-inch blocks under the head of your bed to assist gravity in keeping the acid in your stomach. Wear loose-fitting clothes. Tight-fitting clothes put additional pressure on your stomach, which can contribute to acid reflux and nausea.

In most cases indigestion is related to eating, although it can be triggered by other factors such as smoking, drinking, alcohol, pregnancy, stress or taking certain medications. The majority of people with indigestion don’t have inflammation in their digestive system. Therefore, their symptoms are thought to be caused by increased sensitivity of the mucosa (to acidity or stretching). Indigestion may be caused by stomach acid coming into contact with the sensitive, protective lining of the digestive system (mucosa).

Individuals who develop nausea or pain after eating may skip breakfast or lunch because of the symptoms they experience. Patients also commonly associate symptoms with specific foods (for example, milk, fat, vegetables). Whether or not the associations are real, these patients will restrict their diets accordingly.

If you tend to experience indigestion symptoms at night, avoid eating for three to four hours before you go to bed. Going to bed with a full stomach means there is an increased risk that acid in your stomach will be forced up into your oesophagus while you are lying down.

Instead, when lactose is broken down in your large bowel, this makes lots of gas. Your GP may recommend having a dairy-free diet for a while, to see if this is causing your symptoms. If you have lactose intolerance, your GP may recommend eating and drinking less milk and other dairy products. If your symptoms don’t get better after you’ve made changes to your diet, or they get worse, speak to your GP. Most people with wind and bloating don’t have an underlying health problem.

The GI tract is a sequence of organs that play a part in digestion. Anyone can get indigestion. You can get it on occasion, or it can be an ongoing problem. The symptoms and causes vary by case.

You may get indigestion regularly or once in a while. Dyspepsia — commonly known as indigestion — is a catch-all term for pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Everything from stress to certain painkillers can cause indigestion, but with treatment and some basic lifestyle changes, most people find they can be free of it. I was recently told that I have Gerd from my visit to the ER.

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