Indigestion: Expert gives advice on how to treat symptoms
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Indigestion is normally nothing to worry about, but it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Most people have indigestion at some point, but the symptoms are vast and it can be hard to pinpoint what the issue is. Express.co.uk reveals the top symptoms of indigestion, according to the NHS.
Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is the term that describes the pain or discomfort in your stomach associated with difficulty in digesting food.
It’s easy to confuse indigestion with heartburn and acid reflux, but these two things are symptoms of indigestion a lot of the time.
Lots of people mistake indigestion and chest pain for heart attacks, so it’s important to learn the symptoms of indigestion to avoid confusion.
According to Guts UK, almost all of us will get indigestion from time to time, particularly after a heavy, spicy or fatty meal.
The website explains: “Sometimes we get indigestion when we have rushed our food or when we have simply had too much to eat or drink.
“Whilst gastric and duodenal ulcers used to be a common cause of indigestion only a few years ago, they occur less frequently nowadays.
“An increasing number of people suffer from reflux associated with indigestion because the acid produced in their stomach can travel (reflux) back up into their oesophagus (gullet).”
The following symptoms after eating or drinking are signs of indigestion:
- heartburn – a painful burning feeling in the chest, often after eating
- feeling full and bloated
- feeling sick
- belching and farting
- bringing up food or bitter-tasting fluids into your mouth
Indigestion will normally go away on its own or your pharmacist can recommend medicines to ease the burning feeling or pain such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors.
The pain in your back is NOT linked to dyspepsia
According to the NHS, stomach pain and back pain are not normally signs of indigestion.
If you have pains in your back or stomach, you might be experiencing constipation rather than indigestion.
Constipation is a temporary condition where you have difficulty emptying your bowels.
You’ll need to see a GP if any of the following is true in connection to your indigestion:
- keep getting indigestion
- are in severe pain
- are 55 or older
- have lost a lot of weight without meaning to
- have difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- keep being sick
- have iron deficiency anaemia
- feel like you have a lump in your stomach
- have bloody vomit or poo
- These symptoms can be a sign of something more serious
It’s important to see your GP if you are concerned about indigestion.
Guts UK warns: “Less commonly, indigestion symptoms can be due to more serious conditions such as gallstones, disease of the pancreas, and rarely, cancer of the stomach or oesophagus.
“Happily, the vast majority of people with indigestion don’t have any of these conditions and for most, there is no obvious reason why such symptoms occur – they just do.”
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