Best Over-the-Counter Solutions to Your Digestive Problems

Best Over-the-Counter Solutions to Your Digestive Problems

To diagnose indigestion, your physician must first rule out any underlying conditions such as ulcers. You may have X-rays of the stomach or small intestine.

An over-the-counter antacid or acid blocker can relieve symptoms, but you should see a doctor if symptoms worsen or persist. Even though morning stomach pain is probably nothing to worry about, you shouldn’t ignore a severe ache that doesn’t go away.

Symptoms begin within 12 hours of ingesting contaminated food and lessen within 36 hours. Indigestion is one of the most common ailments of the bowel (intestines), affecting an estimated 20% of persons in the United States. Perhaps only 10% of those affected actually seek medical attention for their indigestion. Indigestion is not a particularly good term for the ailment since it implies that there is “dyspepsia” or abnormal digestion of food, and this most probably is not the case. In fact, another common name for dyspepsia is indigestion, which, for the same reason, is no better than the term dyspepsia!

Occasionally experiencing heartburn is common and shouldn’t cause a person to feel alarmed. An antacid can help ease heartburn pain. However, if an individual experiences heartburn regularly, and it interferes with their daily routine, it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition that may require the attention of a medical professional.

If it is not clearly effective, the option of discontinuing the relaxant should be discussed with a physician. The lack of understanding of the physiologic processes (mechanisms) that cause indigestion has meant that treatment usually cannot be directed at the mechanisms. Instead, treatment usually is directed at the symptoms. For example, nausea is treated with medications that suppress nausea but do not affect the cause of the nausea.

Foodborne illnesses are caused by many different bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins produced by bacteria, and the symptoms you get and how soon you feel them vary based on which contaminant was in your food. For the most part, gastrointestinal upsets caused by bacteria such as salmonella and E.

What other non-functional GI diseases mimic indigestion? How are they diagnosed?

Whether or not the associations are real, these patients will restrict their diets accordingly. Milk is the most common food that is eliminated, often unnecessarily, and this can lead to inadequate intake of calcium and osteoporosis. The interference with daily activities also can lead to problems with interpersonal relationships, especially with spouses. Most patients with functional disease live with their symptoms and infrequently visit physicians for diagnosis and treatment.

For instance, the ingredient in Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) coats the esophagus, acts as a barrier to reflux, and alleviates pain and other symptoms. Pepto-Bismol is indicated for indigestion, heartburn, upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea.

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes symptoms and signs that are the same in men and women include skin infections, numbness or tingling in the feet or hands, nausea, excessive thirst or hunger, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, weight gain, weight loss, urinary tract infections (URIs), and kidney problems. Treatment for type 1 diabetes is insulin, and treatment for type 2 diabetes are lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, getting exercise daily, and if necessary, diabetes medications. The complications of functional diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are relatively limited.

Diarrhea results when the nutrients in food are not absorbed properly. When this occurs, stool can become loose, watery, oily and foul-smelling. Pancreatic enzymes are responsible for digesting fatty foods. If a tumor blocks the pancreatic duct, insufficient pancreatic juices in the intestines can lead to poor absorption and diarrhea, as the undigested food passes quickly through the digestive tract. If this happens, stool may float due to the higher fat content, appear bulky, greasy, and unusually pale.

Tight-fitting clothes put additional pressure on your stomach, which can contribute to acid reflux and nausea. Loose-fitting clothes won’t add this pressure. Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a ring of muscle that separates your esophagus and your stomach, is unable to close tightly after you’ve ingested food or fluids.

For others, eating relieves symptoms. Because indigestion is such a broad term, it is helpful to provide your physician with a precise description of the discomfort you are having.

How Is Indigestion Diagnosed?

Indigestion (dyspepsia) is a pain or burning feeling in your upper belly or abdomen. It is common in adults. Indigestion is not the same as heartburn. It is not related to stomach acid.

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Since their side effects are few, these drugs probably are worth trying. As with all drugs that are given to control symptoms, patients should carefully evaluate whether or not the smooth muscle relaxant they are using is effective at controlling the symptoms.

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