What treatments or lifestyle
changes are recommended to relieve indigestion?
Treatment of indigestion—also known as flatulent dyspepsia—is centred on addressing its symptoms. Those symptoms can include upper abdominal pain, a feeling of fullness, a sensation of churning in the stomach, nausea, and frequent release of gas.
Dyspepsia usually passes within a few hours, sometimes without treatment. In some cases, it may be prevented or treated with a few lifestyle modifications:
1. Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day;
2. Avoid fatty or spicy foods, carbonated beverages, caffeine and alcohol;
3. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly;
4. Do not chew with the mouth open or talk while eating to avoid swallowing excessive air;
5. Limit stress and practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and yoga;
6. Exercise regularly (but not immediately after eating!); and
7. Maintain a healthy body weight.
Depending on the symptoms present, the following types of over-the-counter medications can be used to alleviate indigestion:
- A tonic containing peppermint oil, such as Fowler’s Digestive Tonic, can be used to relieve stomach gas and aid digestion;
- Antiflatulents help release air trapped in the stomach and relieve the discomfort or feeling of fullness;
- Antacids neutralize stomach acid;
- Acid blockers and proton-pump inhibitors decrease the amount of acid the stomach produces;
While many cases of flatulent dyspepsia or dyspepsia in general resolve on their own or can be treated with over-the-counter medications, consult a physician in the following cases:
- Symptoms are persistent or severe, or are accompanied by weight loss, loss of appetite, or vomiting;
- Presence of black or bloody stools;
- Severe pain in the upper right abdomen, which could indicate a more serious condition such as gallstones or pancreatitis;
- Symptoms are accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, pain in the jaw, neck or arm, which could indicate a heart attack; or
- The discomfort that is experienced that is unrelated to eating
- Dyspepsia can sometimes be triggered by underlying stress or anxiety, which+ should be addressed on an individual basis.
Next Question: Flatulent Dyspepsia
Wondering what causes indigestion? Read our next post on Flatulent Dyspepsia.
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