Health

All you need to know about Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia, also known as Indigestion, is a common term which is described as distress and ache in the upper abdomen. In most of the cases, indigestion is referred to as an outcome of an unhealthy diet, however; it can also occur because of gastrointestinal infections or use of certain medicines.

Dyspepsia often damages the protective lining of the digestive system. This leads to irritation and inflammation which can be very severe and painful. Sometimes Hiatus Hernia can cause indigestion too. The patients of dyspepsia experience a constant and recurring pain in the upper abdomen. Dyspepsia is often a sign of an underlying problem such as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), ulcers or gallbladder-related diseases.

Severe Cases of Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia is not a disease or an infection to be too scared off. However, there are some severe cases of dyspepsia due to which the problem cannot be ignored completely. These are explained as follow,

Esophageal Stricture – Sometimes indigestion occurs due to Acid Reflux. In this situation, the stomach acids leak back into esophagus, damaging the sensitive lining of the stomach known as Mucosa. This leads to irritation in the esophagus which can result in narrowing and contraction of food pipe. People suffering with these complications may experience problems while eating. Due to narrowing, food may stuck in your esophagus leading to chest pain. In such cases, esophageal dilatation may help to open your esophagus wide.

Pyloric Stenosis – In this case, the stomach acids do not leak back but cause long-term irritation of the lining of the digestive system. There is a passage between stomach & small intestine which is called Pylorus. Due to irritation, the pylorus is narrowed and damaged. As a result, food is not completely digested. Surgery may be needed to widen the pylorus.

Symptoms of Dyspepsia

Following are some characteristic symptoms of Dyspepsia,

  • Burning stomach pain
  • Feeling too full
  • Bloating
  • Sickness
  • Bitter tasting fluids
  • Acidic taste
  • Abdominal pain
  • Eructing and gas
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Roaring stomach
Image from Health Jade

Causes of Dyspepsia

As mentioned above there are several causes of Dyspepsia some of them are as follows,

  • GERD
  • Stomach cancer (Rare)
  • Stomach contagions
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Ulcers
  • Cross bowel syndrome
  • Eating too much or eating fatty, greasy products
  • Intake of a lot of soda
  • A Hiatus Hernia
  • Obesity

Treatment

Dyspepsia can be treated using both natural remedies and medicines. Medicinal or remedial treatments for dyspepsia include,

Medicines

There are many medicines to use against dyspepsia such as antacids, H2 blockers, antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors (PPI), and prokinetics.

Antacids neutralize the acids in the stomach. They include Rolaids, Tums, Imodium, Maalox, Mylanta, and Alka-Seltzer etc.

Antibiotics are used to treat a bit severe infection. Many doctors prescribe antibiotics like Amoxil, Biaxin, Flagyl, Sumycin, and Tindamax for indigestion etc.

H2 Blockers are used to treat stomach, when it starts to produce acid more than the required amount. In addition, H2 blockers relief pain for a short period of time and include the following medicines,

  • Tagamet HB
  • Pepcid AC
  • Axid AR
  • Zantac 75

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are most effective to tackle situations where indigestion occurs due to conditions like heart burn. Following PPI’s are prescribed by doctors,

  • Nexium
  • Prevacid
  • Prilosec, Zegerid
  • Protonix
  • AcipHex

Prokinetics are such medicines which help the stomach to empty faster. These include Urecholine and Reglan etc.

How to treat Dyspepsia naturally?

Apart from medications and doctors’ prescriptions, there are many natural ways to treat and diagnose Dyspepsia. Some of the natural remedial measures against dyspepsia include,

Peppermint Tea

Mostly, people claim that peppermint is a breath freshener, but they do not know that it has an antispasmodic effect on the human body as well. This means that peppermint can help to relieve stomach problems like nausea and indigestion.

After finishing a meal, drink a cup of peppermint tea to quickly pacify the stomach and digest the food easily. It can also be used as a candy after eating. For this purpose, suck a few pieces of peppermint with a candy after eating.

One thing to be kept in mind is that peppermint tea should not be used when having indigestion due to acid reflux because it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter thus resulting the acid to move back into the esophagus, making the problem go worst.

Chamomile Tea

It is best used to induce sleep and calm anxiety. Chamomile tea cures indigestion by dropping the level of excessive stomach acid in the gastrointestinal tract. This herb is also used to relieve pain.

Chamomile can easily be prepared at home. Place two tea bags in hot boiling water for 5-10 minutes and add the desired amount of honey in it.

Apple Cider Vinegar

There are a lot of benefits of apple cider vinegar. It is used to improve skin, lose weight, and all of the above it is used to ease indigestion. A little amount of stomach acid can also cause indigestion and drinking apple cider vinegar can increase the production of stomach acid in the body.

It should be kept in mind that taking apple cider vinegar in large amount can lead to several body issues such as tooth erosion, nausea, throat burn and low sugar etc.

Ginger

It is one of the best natural remedies to get rid of indigestion and reduce stomach acid. Too little stomach acid causes indigestion and so does too much of stomach acid. Ginger can maintain healthy levels of stomach acid. It can be used in the form of ginger tea or sucking ginger as candy.

You can also make ginger water at home. Take 4 cups of water and boil 2 to 3 pieces of ginger roots in it, add honey and lemon before drinking.

Image from Food revolution.org

Lemon Water

This natural drink has an alkaline effect, which neutralizes the stomach acid and improves indigestion. Lemon water should be taken before having a meal.

The mixture is created by mixing one tablespoon of lemon juice in hot or warm water. Lemon water is also a major source of getting Vitamin C. it must be noted that too much intake of lemon can cause increased urination and erode tooth enamel.

General precautions

Safety measures to avoid dyspepsia include,

  • Quit smoking, if you smoke.
  • Try to avoid eating foods that make your stomach upset.
  • Do not eat before your bedtime, if you have acid reflux.
  • Stop taking anti-inflammatory medicines such as Ibuprofen, aspirin, ketoprofen, and naproxen.
  • Do not eat spicy, greasy, fatty foods.
  • Try to eat 3 to 4 hours before sleep.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Stop taking alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, carbonated, and foamy drinks.

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