What are the symptoms of dyspepsia?
Dyspepsia, otherwise known as “indigestion” or “upset stomach”, is characterized by discomfort or pain in your abdomen. It is not an illness or disease, but a group of symptoms that can have several causes; for example, acid reflux is a common cause of dyspepsia. When you experience acid reflux, your stomach acid comes into contact with the sensitive lining of the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. The symptoms of dyspepsia manifest shortly thereafter.
There are ten common symptoms of dyspepsia, which include: abdominal pain, which may start out as generalized discomfort before it turns to pain; bloating, or a feeling of abdominal fullness; an acidic taste in the mouth; burping and excessive gas; heartburn; shortness of breath or coughing; visibly distended abdomen; nausea and vomiting; and a loss of appetite . If you do experience any of the above listed symptoms, your doctor may recommend an upper endoscopy to establish a diagnosis and determine which treatment will work best for you. If you experience frequent indigestion, see your gastroenterologist to determine what can be done to treat your dyspepsia.
How do you get rid of dyspepsia?
Usually, your doctor will recommend an antacid medication as one of the first treatment options for dyspepsia. Some examples of antacids include Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid, and Axid. More powerful anti-acids may also be used such as Prilosec, Nexium or Prevacid. Other options for avoiding or treating dyspepsia include avoiding eating late at night, relaxing after your meals, avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, or avoiding spicy foods. Depending on how you respond to antacids, your doctor may continue to recommend you use them, as they are fast-acting, or may place you on a different medication altogether that is more effective for you.
How long can dyspepsia last?
Dyspepsia, or indigestion, is a chronic condition that can last for years, but it usually occurs periodically – meaning that the symptoms may present frequently and/or severely for days, weeks, or months, and then be less frequent or disappear altogether for a length of time before presenting once more.
Typically, dyspepsia will go away on its own after a few hours, but you should let your doctor know if your symptoms increase in severity or frequency, or if you experience dyspepsia on a frequent basis. Treatment of your dyspepsia will depend on what is causing it and what you respond best to.
What foods to avoid if you have dyspepsia?
There are several foods which may trigger dyspepsia or make the symptoms worse, so it is recommended that you avoid these foods. The foods and drinks that commonly trigger or can aggravate dyspepsia include alcohol, red wine; black pepper, garlic, raw onions, and other spicy foods; chocolate; citrus fruits and citrus products; coffee and other caffeinated drinks, such as tea or soda; peppermint; and tomatoes.