Indigestion: Symptoms, Causes, Remedies, and Treatment

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There are tests for identifying abnormal gastrointestinal function directly, but they are limited in their ability to do so. The number of promotility drugs that are available for use clinically is limited. Studies of their effectiveness in indigestion are even more limited. The most studied drug is cisapride (Propulsid), a promotility drug that was withdrawn from the market because of serious cardiac side effects.

Don’t eat within 3 hours of bedtime. This allows your stomach to empty and acid production to decrease.

“If medication controls your symptoms, then it’s probably okay to have a ‘trigger’ food occasionally. But if you do that too often, the heartburn will return,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. You may not have to take a medication to control GERD symptoms.

Mom always advised against eating too much sugar to avoid inciting a stomachache. Well, she was right, because that is exactly what fructose does to those with acid reflux, and it makes up half of the ingredients in table sugar. Sugars that aren’t readily absorbed in the bloodstream tend to linger, and they become nutrients for unhealthy bacteria. This causes havoc in your stomach, which then can easily proceed to cause havoc in your esophagus.

Treatment in indigestion for which there is no other cause found, is primarily with education as well as smooth muscle relaxant and promotility drugs. There also may be a role for anti-depressant drugs and dietary changes. Because acid reflux is so common, a trial of potent stomach acid suppression often is used as the initial treatment. Indigestion frequently occurs during pregnancy, however, most the time, the symptoms are heartburn caused by acid reflux.

Subjective symptoms are more unreliable than objective signs in identifying homogenous groups of patients. As a result, groups of patients with indigestion who are undergoing treatment are likely to contain some patients who do not have indigestion, which may dilute (negatively affect) the results of the treatment. Moreover, the results of treatment must be evaluated on the basis of subjective responses (such as improvement of pain). In addition to being more unreliable, subjective responses are more difficult to measure than objective responses (for example, healing of an ulcer).

In this theoretical situation, we can’t see the abnormality with the naked eye or the microscope, but we can measure it. If we can measure an associated or causative abnormality, should the disease no longer be considered functional, even though the disease (symptoms) are being caused by abnormal function? The answer is unclear.

According to Dr. David Williams, on his blog, licorice root can help alleviate symptoms of acid reflux and prevent its occurrence due to its powerful healing properties that have made it a renowned holistic remedy over the years. Williams recommends taking it 20 minutes before each meal and before bed to help relax the body and promote rest and proper digestion.

Testing in indigestion is directed primarily at excluding the presence of other GI diseases and non-GI diseases. Some people may require specific testing of certain GI functions. It is important to exclude other causes for the indigestion since their treatment will be different from indigestion without a clear cause.

Education also may prevent patients from falling prey to the charlatans who offer unproven and possibly dangerous treatments for indigestion. Many symptoms are tolerable if patients’ anxieties about the seriousness of their symptoms can be relieved. It also helps patients deal with symptoms when they feel that everything that should be done to diagnose and treat, in fact, is being done. The truth is that psychologically healthy people can tolerate a good deal of discomfort and continue to lead happy and productive lives. Many of the symptoms of indigestion can be explained on the basis of reduced activity of the gastrointestinal muscles that results in slowed transport (transit) of food through the stomach and intestine.

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. According to experts at Healthline, aloe or aloe vera juice, is beneficial for preventing acid reflux. You might be thinking, “what is that?” but it’s actually a nicely flavored juice and can be quite beneficial. Drink after a meal, and see how it helps you prevent indigestion and heartburn symptoms.

For most people, indigestion (dyspepsia) is mild and infrequent, and does not require treatment from a healthcare professional. Some people may get bouts of indigestion from helicobacter infection and, in these cases, getting rid of the bug with antibiotics (eradication) will help.

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