Indigestion and you

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What is indigestion?

Indigestion, also called dyspepsia, is a term used to describe general digestive discomfort. It typically involves one or more symptoms including a feeling of fullness during a meal and uncomfortable fullness after a meal.1 It may also be accompanied by burning or pain in the upper abdomen.1 Indigestion is very common and people of all ages and sexes can be affected.2 Symptoms may be felt occasionally or on a daily basis.

Why does indigestion occur?

Indigestion has many causes including lifestyle choices; eating too much, eating too fast, eating fatty foods, stress and fatigue, smoking and drinking too much alcohol, have all been linked with symptoms of indigestion.2

What are the symptoms of indigestion?

If you have indigestion you’ll usually experience more than one of the following symptoms:3

  • Early fullness during a meal – you may feel overly full soon after starting your meal and may not be able to finish eating.
  • Uncomfortable fullness after a meal – you may feel overly full after a meal and feel like the food is staying in your stomach longer than it should.
  • Discomfort or burning in your upper abdomen
  • Bloating – an unpleasant tightness in your stomach or abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Sometimes vomiting and belching may also occur

How can I relieve symptoms of indigestion?

If you experience indigestion on a regular basis and it’s affecting your daily life, make an appointment to see your doctor to rule out any underlying problems. To alleviate mild indigestion:

  • Try not to chew with your mouth open, talk while chewing or eat too fast2.
  • Eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than large meals, and avoid eating late at night.
  • Drink fluids after meals rather than during them2
  • Don’t smoke
  • Find ways to manage daily stress such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing.
  • Avoid wearing tight‐fitting clothes as they may compress the stomach pushing the food upward into the esophagus2.
  • Consider a digestive support supplement with digestive enzymes and ginger.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.

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Published May 7, 2014
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