Indigestion is a condition that causes discomfort in your abdomen. Every person experience indigestion differently. Also called dyspepsia, symptoms can include pain, a feeling of fullness soon after eating, vomiting, issues that affect the frequency of going to the bathroom, and weight loss.
Indigestion is either occasional or chronic. And while indigestion is common, the condition is not normal. If you experience indigestion once in a while, over-the-counter treatments will work just fine. However, if you experience symptoms of indigestion for more than two weeks, please see a gastroenterologist. For a lot of patients, indigestion is a symptom of a more serious condition.
Treatment for Indigestion
Indigestion treatment typically includes a combination of over-the-counter medication, prescription medication, and dietary changes. Your treatment will depend on the severity of your condition and its cause.
A few examples of medications used to treat indigestion are antacids, antibiotics, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Antacids can be purchased over-the-counter and are usually the first line of treatment for mild indigestion. Antacids work to neutralize your stomach acids. If after some tests, your doctor confirms the presence of the H.pylori bacteria, which is what could be causing your indigestion symptoms, you may be prescribed antibiotics. The antibiotics will kill the H.pylori bacteria responsible for producing symptoms of indigestion.
H2 blockers decrease acid production in your stomach. H2 blockers are effective for immediate relief, but they are a short-term solution that don’t target the root cause of your symptoms. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are usually prescribed by doctors if you also suffer from heartburn due to indigestion.
If you have indigestion, treatment usually includes making changes in your food and drink intake. Pay attention to what triggers your symptoms or exacerbates your indigestion and avoid them. Common triggers of indigestion include alcohol, soda, caffeinated drinks, lemons, tomatoes, and oranges. Spicy, greasy, and fatty foods can also exacerbate indigestion.
Preventing Indigestion Through Lifestyle Changes
Indigestion treatment also includes prevention. After avoiding certain foods and drinks, try making changes to your lifestyle. You should quit smoking and drinking excessive alcohol. Aim to keep trim or lose excess pounds if you are overweight.
Avoid exercising or any other intense physical activity after a meal. When you eat, chew food carefully and avoid rushing to finish. Also, try to limit late-night snacking. If you’re sleeping in a few hours, it’s best not to snack.
Some drugs may cause indigestion. Check with your doctor to find out if your drugs contain ingredients that may cause indigestion. If you’re taking over-the-counter medications, find out the potential side effects of the medications.
Lastly, if you live a particularly stressful lifestyle, indigestion may just be one of a long list of health problems you are at risk of developing. Talk to a professional about ways to reduce your stress levels.
Indigestion Treatment in Pennsylvania
If you are suffering from symptoms of indigestion, see a gastroenterologist for a proper diagnosis. A gastroenterologist can help find the root cause of your indigestion and recommend a treatment plan that will get you the best results.
Carlisle Digestive Disease Associates is a leading gastroenterology practice in central Pennsylvania. For over 25 years, we have treated the gastroenterology conditions and diseases of our community, from upper GI tract disorders to lower GI tract disorders.
To schedule an appointment, call us at (717) 245-2228 or request one now. We look forward to serving you!