Complications of long-term, uncontrolled GERD include esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, strictures, and esophageal cancer.
“For some people, attacks of choking and retching about an hour after going to bed may signal acid reflux,” Nazario says. “Avoid late-night eating and drinking to help reduce these symptoms.” You can also use your pillows to help you sleep at an incline and further avoid the movement of stomach acid that causes choking, according to a study conducted by Dr. Joel E. Richter, MD. “People with a decreased stomach acid are not able to digest their food and it sits in the stomach longer, causing upset, fermentation of carbohydrates, and possible regurgitating what little acid is there up through the esophagus causing reflux,” Dr. Kevin Conners, D.PSc., tells Bustle.
Our elders always told us to chew our food thoroughly before ingesting it. Turns out, it indeed is a great piece of advice. Our stomach has to work really hard to break the food down when we don’t chew properly. This not only makes the process of absorption of nutrients difficult but also hinders the entire digestive process thus paving way for indigestion and consequently acidity.
Indigestion is diagnosed on the basis of typical symptoms and the absence of other GI diseases, particularly acid-related diseases (acid indigestion, esophagitis, gastritis, and ulcers), and non-gastrointestinal diseases that might give rise to the symptoms. Your doctor will likely start by asking questions about your medical history and eating habits.
Sometimes people with indigestion also experience heartburn, but heartburn and indigestion are two separate conditions. Heartburn is a pain or burning feeling in the center of your chest that may radiate into your neck or back during or after eating. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This disease can eventually lead to more serious health problems. Some people who experience heartburn report to others that they have a case of indigestion.
These symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, although there can sometimes be a delay between eating a meal and experiencing indigestion. Most people are able to treat indigestion with simple changes to their diet and lifestyle, or with a number of different medications, such as antacids. 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. Indigestion may be caused by stomach acid coming into contact with the sensitive, protective lining of the digestive system (mucosa).
pylori and symptoms disappear. Thus, recognition of infections with Helicobacter pylori has removed some patients’ symptoms from the functional disease category. Many people are able to identify specific foods that provoke their indigestion.
- These tests identify anatomic (structural) and histological (microscopic) diseases of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
- Therefore, indigestion should be considered in anyone with lower chest pain, and heart attack should be considered in anyone with upper abdominal pain.
- “This is caused by the stomach acid irritating the esophagus and the pain radiating to arms, neck, or back,” Carlton says.
- This will help to reduce the symptoms of acidity, keep your metabolism strong and relieve weakness and pain associated with acidity.
- In people with acid reflux, this muscle is weakened or dysfunctional.
Though they both have similar triggers, and treatment may be the same in many instances, indigestion isn’t the same thing as heartburn. Indigestion is the condition, and heartburn occasionally is a symptom of indigestion. The condition is also known as dyspepsia or upset stomach. Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a general term for pain or discomfort felt after meals in the stomach region, associated with difficulty in digesting food. Acid reflux is the reverse passage of gastric contents into the oesophagus (‘food pipe’) which can cause heartburn.
Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia is a common condition. It can happen when your body has trouble digesting food. It occurs in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is a sequence of organs that play a part in digestion. Anyone can get indigestion.
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Thanks to these stomach-protecting effects, doctors sometimes prescribe PPIs for people who take drugs that increase the risk of bleeding – even if they don’t have heartburn. if you feel pain rising in your chest for any reason what so ever, it is always advisable to get medical help ASAP.
It has a circular band of muscle (the oesophageal sphincter) at its lower end where the oesophagus opens to the stomach. The sphincter closes after food has entered the stomach to prevent the contents of the stomach travelling back up the oesophagus. However, if the sphincter becomes weak and does not close fully, or relaxes at the wrong moment, stomach acid can flow back up the oesophagus and irritate the lining of the oesophagus.