Dyspepsia (dyspepsia) is the feeling of pain and swelling in the upper part of the abdomen, which often develops due to eating, but in some cases can also occur due to infections or some medications used. In addition to these negativities, patients with indigestion problems generally experience symptoms such as discomfort, nausea and vomiting, and flatulence (burping). In some patients, the feeling of pain in the abdomen may spread to the chest area and may feel like chest pain. These symptoms, which usually occur immediately after eating and drinking, cause the person to feel as if they have eaten excessively even if they have eaten a small amount of food. Indigestion is not a disease in itself, it is the general name given to a group of symptoms related to abdominal discomfort that occurs due to various reasons. For this reason, although symptomatic drug treatments may be preferred for these symptoms in people with indigestion complaints, the main part of the treatment is to investigate possible causes that may cause the problem.
What are the Symptoms of İndigestion ?
As mentioned above, indigestion is not a disease but a collection of symptoms. People can easily distinguish that these symptoms are a sign of indigestion. Although the symptoms are quite common and can vary in severity, they are seen in the same way in almost everyone. The most common symptoms of indigestion can be listed as follows:
-excessive feeling of fullness
-Swelling in the upper abdominal region (upper abdomen)
-Oral flatulence (burping)
-Feeling of excessive fullness in the stomach
-Reflux (acid from stomach to mouth)
-Nausea and vomiting
The symptoms seen above are the most common symptoms of indigestion. As can be understood from these symptoms, indigestion is a problem that many people experience at some point in their life, and it cannot always be said to indicate a serious illness. In individuals with mild indigestion problems, this situation can be resolved with some precautions regarding the nutrition plan and regular exercise without requiring any additional treatment. However, people who have very severe indigestion problems should apply to a health institution, undergo a detailed examination and receive treatment for underlying diseases.
What are the Causes of indigestion ?
Mild dyspepsia is usually seen after meals containing foods high in fat or difficult to digest, or after meals in sedentary people. In cases of dyspepsia seen in this way, the symptoms are not very severe and detailed investigations of the disease are not required unless the symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks. The symptoms seen in indigestion generally begin to appear when the stomach acid comes into contact with the mucosa on the inner surface of the stomach. The most common causes of indigestion are:
-Eating too fast or too much food
-Excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages and alcohol
-Consumption of oily and spicy foods
-Stress and emotional trauma
-Excessive consumption of foods such as chocolate and soda
-Gastritis or other infections of the digestive system (especially the infection of the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori)
-Hiatal hernia (stomach hernia)
-Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
-Use of cigarettes and other tobacco products
-Use of antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
In addition to the common causes of indigestion given above, despite all medical research in some patients, no cause for long-lasting indigestion problems may be found. In this case, which is called functional dyspepsia, although there is no structural or metabolic disease, the stomach does not accept food normally and cannot digest it as it should. In this case, a suitable treatment plan that helps to control the symptoms experienced can be determined as a result of the evaluations to be made by the physician and can be started to be implemented.
How is indigestion diagnosed ?
People with very mild indigestion do not need any treatment. These patients can overcome these problems by eating little and often, avoiding excessively fatty and spicy foods, avoiding alcohol and smoking, reducing foods such as tea and coffee, and exercising regularly. Patients who have mild indigestion symptoms for 2 weeks or more, but do not have any relief or have severe indigestion complaints should apply to a health institution without delay and undergo an examination. Primary health care institutions may be preferred primarily for examination. In this case, if the physicians deem it necessary, necessary referrals will be made to higher-level health institutions. During the examination, first of all, the patient's detailed medical history is taken. After learning the histories of other diseases in the patient and his family, the throat, abdomen and chest areas are checked by physical examination. If any underlying disease is suspected, some diagnostic tests will be requested by the physician. These generally include blood tests, endoscopy to view the gastrointestinal tract, biopsy, diagnostic tests to investigate the presence of H. Pylori bacteria, abdominal ultrasound, x-ray, computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen, and liver function tests. In more severe cases, further diagnostic tests may be requested. After the results of such diagnostic tests are evaluated by the physician, the definitive diagnosis of the disease can be made and the treatment process can be started.
How is indigestion treated ?
Since indigestion is a symptom, not a disease, the treatment of indigestion can be determined after the diagnosis of the underlying diseases with the above-mentioned diagnostic methods. Questions such as what is good for indigestion, what is good for stomach indigestion are questions that many people who have indigestion problems wonder about the answer. The most important part of the treatment in dyspepsia is the planning of the diet. People struggling with indigestion problem should get used to making smaller meals than usual by making a habit of eating little and often. These meals should be consumed as slowly as possible and the foods should be chewed very well. Consumption of high-fat and spice-containing foods, acidic and caffeine-containing beverages should be completely avoided. Tomatoes and citrus fruits should also be consumed as little as possible as they contain high levels of acid. Probiotic foods that help regulate the digestive system and foods containing high fiber should be included in the diet in sufficient quantities. After eating, one should not lie down for a few hours until the feeling of fullness in the stomach is gone. If there is a reflux complaint, a reflux pillow should be used. One of the triggers of indigestion is stress. For this reason, it will also help to prevent indigestion by patients staying away from stress, acquiring hobbies that help to relax themselves, and taking time for themselves. Smoking and alcohol use should be stopped. Regular exercise should be made a habit, these exercises should be done before meals and 1 hour after. Exercising with a full stomach is a behavior that should be avoided as it will increase indigestion more. The use of tight trousers, tight clothes and corsets that will create pressure on the stomach should be avoided.
In addition to the above measures, if deemed necessary by your physician, medications to help reduce symptoms or treat your underlying disease may also be recommended. When these drugs are used regularly, the problem of indigestion can be prevented by close to one hundred percent. If you are also suffering from indigestion and you have not been able to overcome these problems despite taking the necessary precautions regarding your diet, you should immediately apply to a health institution and undergo an examination. After the examination and diagnostic tests, you can diagnose and treat your existing diseases as soon as possible, so you can lead a healthier life.