INDIGESTION

Other Names: Dyspepsia, Stomach Upset, Non-Acid Dyspepsia, Upset Stomach

Indigestion occurs when the acid in stomach flows back up to the esophagus. This may also occur when stomach is inflamed or irritated. Commonly, the symptoms of dyspepsia are aggravated after eating. Symptoms may start from the upper gastrointestinal tract (stomach and first part small intestine).  Indigestion generates soreness which is hard to identify where it is coming from but is normally sited between the navel and the breast-bone.

Symptoms of Indigestion:
  • Upper abdominal pain (pain, fullness and discomfort)
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal swelling (distention)
  • Flatulence, belching and burping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heartburn (Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease/GORD)

Causes of Indigestion:

Indigestion can be due to different factors such as lifestyle and medical conditions. These factors set off the symptoms of indigestion.
Heidelberg Belt
  • Alcohol and use of certain drugs
  • Smoking
  • Eating too much
  • Stress, depression and anxiety
  • Excess Acid in the stomach
  • Overweight or obese
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Pregnancy
  • Intestinal Gas
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Helicobacter Pylori
  • GERD
  • Gastroenteritis




Treatment of Indigestion:

There are many things we can do by ourselves in order to minimize the symptoms of indigestion, this include stopping smoking, reducing levels of stress, not eating much and fast, avoiding fatty foods, coffee, and alcohol, and even losing excess weight.

On the other hand, there are plenty of available over-the-counter and prescription only medicines, which help in treating dyspepsia. Rarely, surgery is suggested to a patient who doesn’t show improvements after taking medicines or if patient do not like to depend on proton inhibitor for long period of time.

OTC Preparations
  • Antacids (acts by neutralising acid in stomach)
  • H2 Blockers (works by reducing production of stomach acid)
          - famotidine (click the link to see available brands in Philippines)
          - ranitidine (click the link to see available brands in Philippines)
  • Proton Pump Inhibitor (acts by stopping the production of stomach acid) (maximum use of four weeks)
          - omeprazole
          - lansoprazole (click the link to see available brands in Philippines)

POM

Long term use of proton inhibitor will call for the need of a prescription. In a long run, if this medicine still won’t give the benefit you are expecting, doctors may consider the use of another drug.
  • Prokinetics (acts by by-passing the food easily through a stomach which causes reduction of the symptoms)
          - domperidone
          - metoclopramide

*In case of Helicobacter Pylori infectivity, doctors may recommend two different antibiotic and proton pump inhibitor to kill the bacteria for seven days.

*If indigestion persists for more than two weeks, it should be examined by a doctor as it could be a indication of a serious medical condition such as a stomach ulcer.

*Before buying any OTC medicines, ask a Pharmacist first.


References: Merk Manuals
            MIMS Philippines








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