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Indigestion, what is it? Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Indigestion is characterized by more or less intense pain and heartburn. This condition is common and can affect any individual.

Definition of indigestion

Indigestion is a general term used for pain and discomfort in the stomach.

The characteristic symptoms are heartburn, the consequences of acid reflux, from the stomach to the esophagus. Indigestion can be collective (resulting from a food infection for example) or individual.

This is a common ailment and can affect anyone. Most of the time, indigestion is not serious and lasts only a short time.

Causes of indigestion

Indigestion is usually associated with a nutritional problem. Indeed, when we eat, the stomach produces acid. This acid can sometimes irritate the stomach. An irritation of the stomach then causes pain and burning sensations.

Other factors may cause indigestion:

  • Taking certain drugs: nitrates for example, used as a vasodilator. But also nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Obesity. Indeed, such a condition causes pressure on the stomach and therefore an increased risk of acid reflux.
  • Pregnancy and hormonal changes.
  • Consumption of tobacco and / or alcohol, resulting in increased acid production in the stomach.
  • stress and anxiety
  • The hiatal hernia (passing a portion of the stomach into the esophagus).
  • H. pylori infection, an infectious bacterium of the digestive tract.
  • The disease of gastroesophageal reflux .
  • A gastric ulcer (stomach), a loss of some of the tissue covering the stomach.
  • Stomach cancer.

The symptoms of indigestion

The main symptoms of indigestion are: pain and heartburn.

Other clinical signs may be significant for indigestion:

  • a feeling of being heavy and bloated
  • to not feel good over a short period
  • Have food gone up after a meal.

These symptoms usually appear as a result of taking a meal. However, a delay between taking a meal and the appearance of such clinical signs is also possible.

The diagnosis of indigestion

The diagnosis is previously clinical. When the doctor suspects indigestion, additional tests should be performed: an antigen test for stool, a breath test or a blood test. And this to determine the possible presence of an infectious agent.

Treatment of food indigestion

The treatment of indigestion varies depending on the cause of the symptoms. Most patients with indigestion are able to reduce their symptoms by simply changing the diet and other bad habits (smoking, alcoholism, sedentary lifestyle, etc.).

The prescription of antacids also helps alleviate the symptoms associated with indigestion.

Weight loss, regular physical exercise or a healthy and balanced diet help to reduce the risk of indigestion.

The removal of spicy foods, very fatty, coffee, tea, soda, cigarettes or alcohol, is also recommended.

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