Guide to Indigestion and treatment

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Abdominal Pain Diagnosis

Your doctor will begin the evaluation by asking you about your past health, your symptoms, and any recent events that might have triggered your abdominal pain. For example, did you start a new medication? Eat something unusual? Drink alcohol?

After taking a history, the doctor will examine your abdomen. Make sure to tell them if certain movements of your body or light pressure on specific areas make the pain worse. Your doctor may also ask you to rate the intensity of the pain on a scale from zero to 10.

The next step is typically a blood test and urine analysis, which can reveal signs of infection or inflammation in the abdomen. Other laboratory tests may be needed based on initial findings and your doctor’s judgment.

Imaging tests can help doctors identify many causes of abdominal pain, including cancer and diverticulitis (inflammation in small pouches within the intestine). Imaging tests include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds.

An endoscopy involves inserting a thin tube with a camera into your mouth and down through your throat into different parts of your digestive tract so that doctors can see inside – an ideal way to detect stomach ulcers or tumors in other parts of the digestive system. Doctors may also use endoscopy to obtain tissue samples for biopsy.


Abdominal pain is common and isn’t always serious. If you’re concerned about a child’s illness, trust your instincts and seek medical attention. Often, the cause of abdominal pain can be diagnosed quickly, especially if there are obvious symptoms such as vomiting or fever. In cases where there aren’t any clues to suggest what may be causing the abdominal pain (such as blood in the vomit or fever), tests may need to be performed to help identify the problem.

In most cases, abdominal pain isn’t a sign of something serious and will get better over time using home treatment methods or simple medical care. You should see your doctor if you have any of these warning signs:


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Gastritis is a condition in which the stomach lining becomes inflamed. It can be caused by an infection or irritation of the stomach lining, excessive alcohol consumption, or the use of aspirin or other drugs known to irritate the stomach. Vomiting, bloating or loss of appetite can also result from gastritis.


Gastritis symptoms include nausea and vomiting, bloating, and abdominal pain. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.


Causes include:

o Cigarette smoking

o Stress

o Bacterial infection

o Using certain drugs like aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

 If left untreated, gastritis can lead to ulcers or even stomach cancer. Consult your doctor for treatment options if you are experiencing gastritis symptoms.

If you have severe indigestion, it can sometimes cause chest pain and arm pain.

Severe indigestion can be a serious condition. Indigestion is a word that describes the discomfort people feel after eating. It is also known as dyspepsia or upset stomach. You get indigestion when acid from your stomach backs up into your esophagus, which is the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.

When stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it can cause a burning sensation in the chest, arm, or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, and this is called acid indigestion. Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GERD.

Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems.

Gastric acid rises up into your throat causing silent reflux.

You may also be experiencing a condition called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). This is similar to acid reflux but with the other symptoms below. LPR is caused by stomach contents coming back up into the throat and irritating the larynx (voice box).

  • Chronic cough
  • Hoarseness and throat clearing
  • Voice changes
  • The sensation of a lump in your throat, also known as “Globus”

Over time, chronic acidic contents cause ulcers and scar tissue formation.

Over time, chronic exposure to these acidic contents of the stomach can lead to inflammation in your throat, causing ulcers and scar tissue formation. The most common cause of this is a bacterial infection called Helicobacter pylori. This bacteria can be found in other parts of the body besides the throat, but it’s usually located in the stomach. Ulcers can also be caused by other factors like smoking or regular use of pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

A long-term lack of sleep might cause you to develop an ulcer. Usually, when you’re sleepy, you feel tired and sluggish all day long, but sometimes it can get even worse than that: You may experience chest pain and shortness of breath as well! This is especially true if your ulcer has gone untreated for too long—and unfortunately, those two symptoms are often misdiagnosed as heartburn or something similar.

Fortunately, there are treatments available that will help relieve those feelings while still addressing any underlying problems causing them such as high cholesterol levels or diabetes mellitus type II (also known simply as “diabetes” )

If reflux damages the esophagus over time, it can cause narrowing of the tube or stricture.

If reflux damages the esophagus over time, it can cause narrowing of the tube or stricture. This can be a problem if you want to swallow food or liquid into your stomach. A stricture is treated with dilation, which expands the opening so that food and liquid can pass through more easily.


This condition is caused by acid reflux eroding away at your esophagus over several years, making it difficult for you to swallow foods and liquids. It’s often accompanied by dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing certain foods. You may also experience other symptoms like chest pain or heartburn as a result of GERD.


Usually, doctors will diagnose this condition with an endoscope, which is a thin tube that allows them to view what’s going on inside an area of your body. They’ll insert this tool into either your mouth or nose to scope out what’s happening in your esophagus and stomach lining areas.


A doctor will believe they’ve found that there’s an esophageal stricture present when they spot narrowing during their endoscopy procedure (which usually involves placing an endoscope up through one nostril). Treatment options include: dilation technique called “stretching” the passage open wider using balloons; surgery for severe cases where damage has become too serious – common procedures include repairing damaged muscle tissue using stitches; dilating passages under general anesthesia; removing scar tissue from inner linings after mechanical trauma such as burns has occurred due to accidents involving ingestion of chemicals such as bleach solution accidentally eaten from cleaning products bottles etcetera!

This narrowing can cause food or liquid to get caught in the esophagus and lead to pain in the chest and arm.

This narrowing can cause food or liquid to get caught in the esophagus and lead to pain in the chest and arm.

If you have any symptoms of reflux, you should see a doctor. The first thing your doctor may do is recommend an over-the-counter antacid. If that doesn’t help, then you may need to see a specialist who can do more tests.

The most common test for GERD is the endoscopy procedure. During this test, a doctor inserts a long flexible tube with a camera down your throat into your stomach to check for damage caused by reflux

What causes indigestion

Eating too quickly

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  • Too much, too fast? If you’re eating a large meal too quickly, it may be that your stomach can’t break down the food before your brain gets the message that you’re full. This results in indigestion as well as a feeling of fullness.
  • What goes on inside your stomach? When we eat or drink anything which causes indigestion, the stomach produces even more acid to help break down what we have eaten or drunk. This increased acid production can cause inflammation of the stomach lining, resulting in indigestion and discomfort.


Overeating can cause indigestion. Your stomach can only expand so much. So if you eat too much in one go, your stomach will stretch more than normal to accommodate all that food. This stretched-out feeling can make you feel uncomfortable, and it’s not helped by all the extra acid churning around inside there as well.

It’s better for your digestion to eat a little and often, rather than stuffing your face at mealtimes. Think of it like this: when you fill-up the tank of your car, you don’t pour all the fuel in at once – if you did, some would probably spill out of the top. Instead, you lift up the nozzle and gently squeeze the trigger until it’s full.

Your stomach is very much like a fuel tank – when it’s full it won’t hold any more food or fluid until there’s some room left.

Eating fatty, spicy, or other food that can be upsetting to your stomach

Eating fatty, spicy or other food that can be upsetting to your stomach is often the cause of indigestion.

A very common one is eating too much at a meal. This causes the stomach to stretch and triggers the release of chemicals that may cause pain.

Your own stomach acid may be irritating your stomach. If you are sensitive to it, you may have heartburn after eating foods that irritate your tummy.

Eating something that has been incorrectly stored or prepared can also cause indigestion. Food poisoning happens when you eat contaminated food and makes you feel ill within a few hours.

Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine

  • Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine: If you find yourself reaching for antacids after every cup of coffee, it might be time to switch to decaf. It’s best to limit your intake of caffeinated products like coffee and soda (including diet soda) to no more than 2-3 cups a day.
  • Excessive alcohol use can also cause indigestion. Alcohol causes the stomach to produce excess acid and may also slow down digestion. A hangover can keep your body from processing food properly, which can leave you with a bad case of indigestion and acid reflux the next day.

It’s best not to have alcohol at least two hours before going to bed so that the effects won’t interfere with sleep and digestion.


Indigestion is a common occurrence in smoking first-timers. It can be caused by any number of things: decreased appetite, nausea, or heartburn. The most common symptom is heartburn, which is when acid bums up into the esophagus. A normal person will usually only experience this a few times a year, but for heavy smokers, who puff on the pack after pack every day and sometimes more often, it will happen all the time—often multiple times a day.

If you feel that your body isn’t digesting properly while eating because of smoking, it’s important to get some extra help from your doctor. In order to help your body stop feeling sick after you quit smoking, you should try and avoid fatty or greasy foods that aren’t an essential part of your diet (such as fried food) as well as caffeine and alcohol for at least two weeks after quitting so your body has enough time to heal itself.

And if you feel that finding relief for indigestion isn’t enough motivation to give up smoking forever.

Anxiety and stress

  • Indigestion is often caused by stress, anxiety, or depression.
  • When you’re feeling anxious, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. This can increase acid production in your stomach and relax the muscles lining its walls—making it easier for this acid to flow into your lower esophagus and cause heartburn.
  • At the same time, anxiety can make you feel like you’re going to throw up at any moment. This is because stressful thoughts cause your brain to send signals that turn on reflexes that prevent vomiting (such as a gag reflex). If these reflexes don’t activate properly, however, you can experience nausea or even vomit as a result.
  • Stress and anxiety can also cause other problems with digestion such as abdominal pain or diarrhea because they interfere with communication between your brain and gut. Additionally, when some people are stressed or anxious they might overeat—and this can cause indigestion in itself if they eat too much fatty food or too quickly.

Changing hormone levels during pregnancy and menopause

During pregnancy, your body produces more of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The increase in these hormones can cause the relaxation of muscles throughout the body, including those in the digestive tract.

The result? Your digestion slows down, and stomach acids take longer to move from your stomach up into your intestines to be eliminated. This gives food a chance to ferment, causing gas and bloating that may contribute to heartburn or indigestion.

Medication side effects.

You may be experiencing indigestion as a side effect of certain medications. Medications are known to cause indigestion include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Bisphosphonates used to treat osteoporosis

Eat right and correctly

With all of this in mind, it’s best to approach your meals with intention. Take your time, chew your food well, and eat until you’re full but not stuffed. Avoid eating right before bedtime, as this can put pressure on your stomach when you are lying down.

If you get indigestion most often after trying a new restaurant you love or a type of food you don’t usually eat (like spicy dishes), take a moment to slow down while enjoying it instead of shoveling it in at maximum speed. Indigestion is often caused by eating too much or too fast because we’re excited to try something new!

Identify suspected food triggers

  • You should avoid the suspected food trigger for a few weeks, and then reintroduce it.
  • If you believe your indigestion is due to a specific food or meal but can’t pinpoint exactly what it is, try keeping a diary of what you eat and any symptoms you experience. If a certain food seems to be repeatedly associated with digestive problems, eliminate it from your diet for at least two weeks and see if your condition improves.
  • If after two weeks you don’t notice any difference when eating the suspected trigger food alone, reintroduce it into your diet—but only in combination with one other food that you suspect might be triggering your indigestion as well. Repeat this process until all of your potential trigger foods have been reintroduced into your diet in combinations of at least two foods each time (this will take several weeks).
  • If none of these steps appears to improve the situation or eliminate possible triggers after about six months, talk with your doctor about whether an ongoing evaluation is warranted (e.g., via an endoscopy).

Eating and Drinking Tips to Reduce Indigestion

If you’re currently suffering from a bout of indigestion, here are some tips to help:

  • Eat small, frequent meals. If you’re eating between three to four meals per day (as most people do), keep the overall amount in your stomach at a minimum. This way, you won’t feel as bloated or full after each meal. For example, if you have a sandwich for lunch that’s bigger than an apple or one slice of pizza instead of two slices–or if you have more than ten pieces of fruit–you’ll be better off skipping it and going straight to bed with some soup or chicken noodle soup.
  • Eat slowly. Stomach acids can’t function properly when food is being digested too quickly so it’s best not to eat fast. That doesn’t mean trying to go days on end without any food; just slow down how much and what you consume so that everything moves along smoother and faster.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet. Fiber is essential for our digestive system because it helps move things along smoothly; however, it can be hard on the stomach linings which are already delicate from acid reflux or GERD. There are ways around this though such as drinking lots of water so the excess stays in your body where it belongs rather than being absorbed by your stomach lining; consuming smoothies that have larger amounts of fiber such as kale and bananas; eating plenty of raw vegetables (which contain more fiber); eating oatmeal once in a while (rather than cereal). Or try some ginger tea like this one I made recently…

What you eat can contribute to your indigestion.

Here are some tips for eating well to help alleviate indigestion.

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  • Avoid food and drinks that trigger heartburn.
  • Experiment with the timing of your meals. Try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, instead of three big meals.
  • Eat slowly, chew your food well, and don’t gulp down your meals.
  • Avoid lying down within a few hours after you eat, since this puts pressure on the LES muscle and can cause reflux to occur.
  • Keep a food diary so you can identify foods that make your symptoms worse.

By John Gurung

A former software developer who is now a blogging enthusiast. A true digital nomad.

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