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Indigestion and symptoms that help in recognizing it

Indigestion or dyspepsia is a condition that ischaracterized mostly by feeling of fullness while eating, which becomes evenmore uncomfortable after a meal and which is very likely accompanied by pain andburning sensation in the upper part of the abdomen. Nausea and bloating mayalso be present, as well as heartburn, but the fact is that mild cases are nota reason for concern. However, if the symptoms are present for more than 2weeks, if pain becomes more severe, if vomiting, signs of jaundice, loss ofweight and appetite are present, the doctor should be contacted. Shortness ofbreath and pain in the chest that may radiate to the arm, neck or jaw indicatethat immediate medical attention is more than necessary. Indigestion is a rathercommon problem of a great number of people, including children, but the symptomstend to differ from case to case. Various problems of the digestive tract may haveindigestion as one of the symptoms, but the fact is that there are cases inwhich the cause of it cannot be identified.

How to deal with indigestion?

Besides physical examination, to find the cause, the doctor inquires about the symptomsthat the patient feels, then checks medical history, and in some cases requiresupper endoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, CT scan of the abdomen, or X-rays of thestomach, esophagus or small intestine. Once the cause has been determined, the treatment is the nextstep. Besides serious changes in eating habits, which usually consist ofavoiding spicy, greasy and fatty foods, as well as excessive consumption ofalcohol, caffeine, and carbonated beverages, there are medications that reduce stomachacid and aid in moving the food to the small intestine. These medications areantacids, H-2 receptor antagonists, prokinetics and those that are known asproton pump inhibitors. Antibiotics may be suggested in cases when peptic ulceris caused by bacteria, while antidepressants may also be prescribed in somecases.

It is also desirable to maintain a healthy weight, eatsmaller portions and have at least five meals a day, quit smoking and beginwith exercising. Most people find these measures helpful enough and they do notneed any medications. Alternative medicine offers various psychologicalmethods, relaxation techniques and hypnotherapy as ways to relieve thesymptoms, while drinking herbal tea with peppermint may also help in mildercases.

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