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Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia is also known as indigestion. It describes an upset stomach that causes painful and burning feelings in your abdomen. Dyspepsia is also called sour stomach which occurs once in a while or often. This condition is sometimes confused with heartburn.

Symptoms of Dyspepsia may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gurgling sound in your stomach
  • Gas
  • Burping
  • Pain or burning in your stomach or upper abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Acidic taste in your mouth 

People of all ages and of both sexes are affected by indigestion. It’s extremely common. An individual’s risk increases with:

  • Conditions where there is an abnormality in the digestive tract, such as an ulcer
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Use of drugs that may irritate the stomach, such as aspirin and other pain relievers
  • Emotional problems, such as anxiety or depression

Causes

Dyspepsia is usually caused by:

  • Experiencing stress or anxiety
  • Eating too much or too fast
  • Eating acidic, spicy, or fatty foods
  • Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol 
  • Taking medications such as aspirin when taken on an empty stomach 

Treatment

Most people find relief from Dyspepsia by making diet changes or taking medication. Your doctor may recommend a combination of both.

Diet changes may include:

  • Removing acidic, spicy, or fatty foods from your diet
  • Cutting down on caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks
  • Avoiding drinks or foods that trigger the condition 

Dyspepsia caused by another health condition may improve with medicine. Common medications for relief include:

  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
  • H2 Blockers
  • Antibiotics
  • Antacids 

Prevention 

The best way to prevent the condition is to avoid the foods and situations that seem to cause it. Keeping a food diary is helpful in identifying foods that cause indigestion. 

  • Avoid foods that contain high amounts of acids such as citrus fruits and tomatoes.
  • Eat small meals so the stomach does not have to work as hard or as long.
  • Reduce or avoid foods and beverages that have caffeine.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking can irritate the lining of the stomach.
  • If stress is a trigger for your indigestion, learn new methods for managing stress.
  • Cut back on alcohol consumption, because alcohol can also irritate the stomach lining.
  • Don’t exercise with a full stomach. Rather, exercise before a meal or at least one hour after eating a meal.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting garments, because they tend to compress the stomach, which can cause its contents to enter the esophagus.
  • Don’t lie down right after eating.
  • Wait at least three hours after your last meal of the day before going to bed.
  • Sleep with your head elevated above your feet and use pillows to prop yourself up. This will help allow digestive juices to flow into the intestines rather than to the esophagus.