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Overview

Indigestion: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Indigestion is basically a problem related to eating and it manifests itself as an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, pain or a burning sensation in the upper abdomen. Indigestion is often a symptom of any other serious problem that a person can be suffering from like gastroesophagael reflux disease, ulcers or gallbladder disease. The treatment for indigestion will definitely depend on the underlying cause. But a person can take medications to avoid experiencing this or to at least get relief from the symptoms.

Indigestion can be caused due to a number of lifestyle excesses like drinking too much alcohol, smoking, eating too fast or not chewing the food properly before ingesting it, stress and fatigue. Sometimes people may suffer from indigestion that is not related to any underlying cause or some lifestyle disorder. This type of indigestion is called functional or non-ulcer dyspepsia.

If lifestyle problems cause indigestion, a person may not require any medications at all. He can get over this problem by sorting out his/her lifestyle issues. However, antacids and acid blockers may be used to treat indigestion. A person suffering from stomach indigestion due to excessive stomach acid, GERD, gastritis or esophagitis may be recommended powerful acid-blockers like omeprazole, dexlansoprazole, esomaprazole, pantoprazol, rabeprazole and lansoprazole. There are some natural remedies that a person can adopt to treat indigestion.

How is the treatment done?

A person generally does not require to go to a doctor if he/she suffers from indigestion. However, a person needs to go to a doctor if he/she is above 55 years, if he/she has lost a lot of weight without any reason, if he/she has difficulty in swallowing food or if he/she suffers from persistent vomiting. He/she may also have to visit a doctor if he/she suffers from anemia due to deficiency of iron, if the person has a lump in the stomach or if they have blood in their vomit or in their stools.

Some ways how a person can reduce the symptoms of indigestion include: not eating with the mouth open or not eating too fast, not drinking beverages during meals, avoiding spicy foods and alcohol. A person should also avoid eating late at night and should also try to relax after a meal. Anybody suffering from indigestion should avoid exercising with a full stomach, should not lie down immediately after eating and wait for at least 3 hours after the last meal of the day and then go to bed.

A person suffering from indigestion due to Helicobacter pylori might be prescribed a combination of antibiotic and acid-blockers. Again, a person suffering from indigestion due to depression may be prescribed anti-depressants. Antacids provide immediate relief from indigestion by neutralizing the acid in the stomach. Other medications include antacids containing alginates, proton-pump inhibitors like warfarin and phenytoin, H2-receptor antagonists like ranitidine, nizatidine, ranitidine and famotidine.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person feeling uncomfortably full or bloated, if he/she is belching or passing wind, if he/she is bringing up food or fluid from the stomach and if he/she feeling really sick is eligible for treatment. People experiencing indigestion problems due to consumption of NSAIDs, or due to obesity, pregnancy, stress or anxiety, hiatus hernia or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is eligible for treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person suffering from indigestion due to lifestyle disorders generally do not require any treatment. Such a person can get relief from the symptoms of indigestion by taking care of his/her problem/s like smoking, drinking, eating late at night or consuming their food too fast. Proton-pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists may produce some serious side-effects on some people. Such people should avoid taking such medications.

Are there any side effects?

Some of the problems associated with the consumption of proton pump inhibitors include headache, vomiting, stomach pain, flatulence, dizziness, skin rash, constipation and diarrhea. H2 receptor blockers generally provide mild side-effects that generally go away within a few days. However, it may cause constipation. Antacids may cause milk-alkali syndrome and dose-dependent rebound hyperacidity. If a person consumes antacids containing aluminium hydroxide, he/she can suffer from constipation, osteomalacia, hypophosphatemia and aluminium-intoxication. Consuption of sodium alginate may cause nausea,bloating and diarrhea.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Indigestion due to lifestyle disorders require a person to change his/her habits and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Such a person may use antacids to reduce the symptoms of indigestion. But to avoid experiencing it again he/she will have to improve their eating habits and also cut down on smoking and consumption of liquor. If a person suffers from persistent indigestion, he/she should avoid acidic foods, reduce intake of caffeine, use relaxation techniques and biofeedback mechanisms to reduce stress and should also avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes that can put pressure on the stomach.

How long does it take to recover?

How long a person will take to recover from indigestion will depend on the cause of this ailment. Life-style related indigestion may go away when the person improves his/her lifestyle. Indigestion due to such causes may cause a person to suffer for about 2 hours after he/ahe has excreted. Similarly, a person suffering from indigestion due to some medication can be cured of the condition if he/she changes or altogether stops having that medicine. Symptoms of indigestion may last for up to 4 hours if a person is pregnant or if the person is suffering from diseases like Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease and peptic ulcer.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Antacids are available in both tablet and liquid form. It can be purchased within Rs 100 in our country. Proton-pump inhibitors are available within a price range of Rs 500 – Rs 2000. Anti-depressants can be purchased within a price range of Rs 25- Rs 1650. Ranitidine, which is a type of H2-receptor antagonist is available for a price of Rs 250.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results are not permanent as a person can again suffer from indigestion if he/she again reverts back to a bad lifestyle. If the indigestion is due to some other disease like stomach ulcer or GERD, the person needs to ensure that he/she does not suffer from such disease so as to avoid suffering from indigestion. A woman who gets pregnant or a person suffering stress can again experience indigestion.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Baking soda has sodium bicarbonate that help a person to deal with heartburn and indigestion. Other things that can help prevent indigestion include apple cedar vinegar, ginger, fennel seeds, carom seeds, coriander seeds and Indian gooseberry. These are natural foods that help to reduce acidity and also cure indigestion.

Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Low Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs 25 - Rs 2000

Popular Health Tips

Dyspepsia - 4 Best Ways It Can Be Treated!

MBBS, M.S (Gen Surg), M.Ch ( Surgical Gastro)
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
Dyspepsia - 4 Best Ways It Can Be Treated!

From time to time each person tends to get dyspepsia which is basically a mild discomfort in the upper belly or abdomen. Dyspepsia which is also known as indigestion affects millions of people on a daily basis. It’s mostly caused by over eating, eating greedily or worse conditions such as stomach ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome or gastrointestinal disease.

Medically dyspepsia is defined as difficult digestion that is sometimes accompanied with symptoms such as vomiting, heartburn, nausea and bloating. A treatment plan for the patient is usually determined by what causes the indigestion. Below are some of the treatment options available to patients.
Antacids, h-2-receptor antagonists and ppls (proton pump inhibitors)

These three type of drugs all work to reduce the levels of acid in the stomach. Doctors tend to prescribe antacids as the first drug which are usually over the counter and require no prescription. In spite of antacids working fast, h-2-receptor antagonists tend to last longer. However, h-2-receptor antagonists tend to have side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. The other drug option is ppls which is very effective for patients with dyspepsia and also suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease.

They are stronger than h-2-receptor antagonists.

  1. Prokinetics and antibiotics: This medication is usually prescribed to treat indigestion and works if the stomach empties slowly. Antibiotics on the other hand are used when indigestion is a result of peptic ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori.
  2. Antidepressants: There are a lot of factorsthat cause dyspepsia. However, if the doctors cannot find any cause of a patient’s indigestion and no other drug has been effective, they tend to prescribe antidepressants. This medication is used to lessen the level of discomfort that comes with dyspepsia thereby reducing pain.
  3. Home remedies: There are a few studies on natural remedies that can help treat dyspepsia. One of the remedies is to use baking soda to neutralize the stomach acid. This remedy is said to be more effective than antacids. Then there is ginger which while not mentioned to be effective in treating indigestion, helps in relieving nausea and has no side effects. Also peppermint has an effect on how the gastrointestinal tract works and helps with irritable bowel syndrome. However, it does not have a large effect on dyspepsia.
  4. Diet and lifestyle changes: Indigestion is mostly caused by what we put into our bodies or eat and one way of treating it is by controlling our diet. This will especially work if you have mild symptoms that do not occur often. It’s advisable to consume foods that are low or reduced in fat content and to, avoid or limit alcohol, chocolates and caffeine. You should also get enough sleep.

A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in helping to relieve indigestion. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1933 people found this helpful

Gas & Indigestion - 4 Things That Can Help Ease It!

MD - Medicine, MRCP - Gastroenterology, MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Chandigarh
Gas & Indigestion - 4 Things That Can Help Ease It!

Feeling bloated or acidic after a heavy meal can take away all the satisfaction the taste of food gave you. Indigestion and gas are some of the most common gastrointestinal problems faced by people around the world. In most cases, indigestion is a result of bad food choices and unhealthy lifestyles. Thus they can simply be relieved at home and do not necessarily need medication. Here are 4 easy steps to lower heartburn, gas and indigestion.

  1. Add more fiber to your food: Fiber is crucial to healthy digestion. It is easy to digest and help push waste out of the system by adding bulk. In this way, fiber helps detoxify the system as well. It also prevents diabetes, heart disease, hemorrhoids and other diseases. Add fiber to your diet in the form of whole grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts and plenty of water. Ideally, a woman should have 25gms of fiber a day and men should have 38 grams of fiber a day.
  2. Healthy food eating habits: How you eat also makes a difference to your digestion. Instead of eating on the move, eat mindfully. Chew your food carefully to begin the digestive system. Eating smaller portions can also help improve stomach functioning. Avoid fast foods that are difficult to digest. Ensure that you do not eat anything for at least an hour before going to bed. Lying down immediately after a meal is one of the leading causes of indigestion.
  3. Probiotics: Gut bacteria is essential for healthy digestion. This bacteria helps maintain a healthy inner ecosystem and help fight harmful viruses, yeast and other such microorganisms. This balance of gut bacteria can be affected by an unhealthy lifestyle like excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, stress and certain prescription drugs. Supplementing your natural probiotic enzymes with food rich in probiotics like yogurt or probiotic supplements can help make your digestion better.
  4. Exercise Regularly: Exercise is necessary not only for a fit body but also for healthy digestion. Exercising also helps fight stress that is one of the leading causes of indigestion. Taking a walk after meals can help regulate the passage of food and gases in your digestive system. This prevents bloating and heartburn. Physical activity also helps stimulate your bowels to prevent constipation and prevent gaseous build up. Some forms of exercise you could try are yoga, swimming and cycling. A word of caution; always ensure that there is at least an hour's gap between exercising and your last meal. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gastroenterologist.
1888 people found this helpful

Intestinal Gas - How It Can Be Treated?

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine , DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Bangalore
Intestinal Gas - How It Can Be Treated?

The production of gas in the body is a natural process as long as it is within normal limits. Whether it makes you burp or causes flatulence, excessive gas can be embarrassing. Gas can also make you uncomfortable and cause bloating. This is simply the buildup of excessive gas in the stomach before it is ready to be released. Here are a few simple tips that can help you prevent the buildup of excessive gas.

  1. Avoid eating gaseous foods: Beans, broccoli, milk, cheese and fruits like pears and apples; these are some of the foods to avoid if you suffer from frequent bouts of gaseousness. This is because they contain fiber and sugar that is difficult to digest and creates gas. If you cannot avoid them completely, try steaming them instead of frying or baking them. Some people may also react to certain food combinations such as fruits and proteins by producing gas. Keeping a food diary may help identify such combinations.
  2. Drink a glass of water before meals: Drinking water while you are eating can hinder digestion. When water mixes with solid food, it interferes with the way stomach acid breaks down food. Instead, drink a glass of water half an hour before your meals. In this way, the water flushes your system and prepares it for the digestion process.
  3. Eat slowly: Grabbing a bite on the go is one of the leading causes of indigestion. When you eat anything, ensure that you chew it properly and do not swallow large bites of food. This prevents air from collecting in your stomach and thus prevents gaseousness.
  4. Probiotics: Probiotics boost the production of ‘good gut bacteria’ that is essential for digestion. Probiotics can also help ease bloating. If you suffer from gas, try including probiotics like yogurt, pickles, kimchi and buttermilk in your diet or get yourself a probiotic supplement.
  5. A cup of chamomile teaChamomile not only calms the body but can also fight indigestion and gas. A cup of chamomile tea after a heavy meal helps speed up the digestion process. This helps relieve bloating, as the faster the stomach is emptied, the faster gas can move out of the stomach and into the intestines. Fennel, dill, peppermint and ginger can also be used as alternatives to chamomile.
  6. Digestive aids: Gas is a fairly common problem faced by a number of people and hence digestive aids are easily available over the counter. Look for medication that contains activated charcoal or digestive enzymes.

If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gastroenterologist.

3335 people found this helpful

10 Worst Foods for Digestive Health

MBBS, MS - General Surgery , DNB (General Surgery), MNAMS (Membership of the National Academy), Fellow HPB Surgery & Liver Transplant (Singapore) , FICS - RPSLH - RPSLH
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
10 Worst Foods for Digestive Health

Taking a balanced diet not only helps in maintaining overall health also helps in curing indigestion. The right mix of carbohydrate, protein, water, fat, vitamin, salt and fiber is important for the body to function well. Apart from maintaining a healthy diet, it is also essential to refrain from food that triggers indigestion. 

Here is a list of worst food for digestive health:

  1. Dairy Products: Dairy Products contain a protein called the casein. This protein can be highly allergic and inflammatory. Its strong insulin response can hold up fat and makes someone look fatter than his usual self. Lactose, the carbohydrate found in milk is extremely difficult to digest. If you are lactose intolerant, you should make it a point to stay away from dairy products such as kefir and yogurt to ensure smooth digestion.
  2. Gluten: This protein molecule is found in barley and wheat. Gluten is extremely difficult to break and has the capability to create a lot of damage. The unbroken molecules of gluten cause inflammation and bloating. People, who have GI issues, should definitely eschew gluten to ensure food digestion.
  3. Sugar: Patients suffering from indigestion should stay away from sugar related products such as candy, cake and crackers. Intake of sugar product increases the rate of inflammation, feeds harmful bacteria and suppresses the immune system. No wonder it is one of the worst food to consume if you are suffering from indigestion.
  4. Fake fats: Fake fats are extremely difficult to digest and make the cell membranes more rigid. It can also show symptoms such as cramps, loose stools and bloating.
  5. Gums: Guar and xanthan gum are proved to be responsible for causing colitis. People with bowel disease are strongly suggested to stay away from gums and thickeners in order to avoid indigestion.
  6. Soy: Soy possesses protein inhibitors. It is an enzyme that restricts digestion. The carbohydrate content of the soy does not get recognized by the GI system. This leads to bloating, cramps and gas.
  7. Nightshade vegetables: Vegetables such as potato, bell pepper and tomatoes contain a compound called solanine. The latter is known to be responsible for indigestion. People with a compromised GI should not consume these vegetables at all.
  8. Red Dye: May fast food item contain a red dye which is known to decrease the production of energy, disturb nerve signaling and is an inflammatory agent.
  9. Sweeteners: Fake sweeteners show GI symptoms such as bloating and gas. Replacing this with sugar is not at all a good idea since it causes indigestion over a period of time.
  10. Legumes and beans: Legumes and beans contain compounds called saponins and lectins respectively. They are a major cause of a leaky gut and inflammation. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gastroenterologist.
8445 people found this helpful

Stress & Its Effects on Gastroenterology

MBBS, MS - General Surgery , DNB (General Surgery), MNAMS (Membership of the National Academy), Fellow HPB Surgery & Liver Transplant (Singapore) , FICS - RPSLH - RPSLH
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
Stress & Its Effects on Gastroenterology

A stressful event like speaking in public, going to a job interview can give you butterflies in your stomach that may literally make you want to run to the bathroom. Stress affects every aspect of our lives including digestion. This includes indigestion, heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome. When put in a stressful situation, the body releases hormones known as corticotropin-releasing hormone or CRH. This, in turn, signals the adrenal gland to pump out adrenaline and steroids that help with the body's flight or fight response. Here are a few ways stress affects the gastrointestinal system.Here are a few ways stress affects the gastrointestinal system.

  1. Stress kills appetite: Stress eating is a real problem that results from the contradictory reactions of hormones. The hormones released by stress kill a person's appetite, but at the same time, the steroids released by these hormones make the person crave unhealthy foods like ice-cream, chocolate or potato chips. These foods aren't easy to digest and can cause indigestion, gas buildup and heart burn.
  2. Stress leads to ulcers: Ulcers are caused by bacteria, but stress strengthens the infection and disturbs the balance of hydrochloric acid and protective secretions in the stomach. This increases the risk of ulcer formation in the stomach. Once the ulcers are present in the stomach, stress can worsen the symptoms.
  3. Stress alters the gastrointestinal pathophysiology: Stress can cause changes in gastrointestinal secretions and reduce the amount of oxygen available to the digestive system. It also impairs gastroduodenal motility and amount of enzymes being secreted by the pancreas. Additionally, it interferes with the passage of food through the intestinal tract and alters colonic motility. Stress also affects the absorption of nutrients from the stomach and increases the blood flow to the digestive system by four times the normal amount thus decreasing metabolism rates.
  4. Stress affects irritable bowel syndrome: Stress in itself does not cause irritable bowel syndrome but can worsen the situation. This is because stress can make the colon contract and cause abdominal pain. These contractions are usually uncoordinated and can lead to constipation. It also makes the body more sensitive to pain thus increasing discomfort.
  5. Stress lowers immunity: A large part of the immune system is housed in the gut. Stress reduces the secretion of enzymes in the gut and leaves the digestive system vulnerable to bacterial infections. By weakening the immune system in the gut, stress also increases the risk of suffering from infections in other parts of the body.
20 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi. I got married in june From july I am not having continuous food means I am skyping bf lunch dinner all the times daily and sometimes having only dinner or only lunch. I am not feeling hungry now. My stomach is full upset. Is it because of gas trouble. Please reply asap. I am worried a lot.

MBBS, MD psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Gulbarga
you commit on having depression , have you been diagnosed with depression or its just symptom. hunger can be affected by depression and various other factors also effect like recent marriage.

My wife have pregnancy in 3 months but she have problems to clear his stomach. Stool is very hard so she had pain for do. Pls suggest.

MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Dear Chandrakant, Thanks for your enquiry, Syrup Duphalac 2 teaspoon in the night and take plenty of Greens and fibre rich food.
2 people found this helpful

I have high triglyceride level (390) and usually I suffer from indigestion. Whenever I eat meals I involuntary vomit it back in the mouth.

DM - Cardiology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS
Cardiologist, Bangalore
If you are vommiting you may have Gastrointestinal problem. People with Diabetes will have high ttiglyceride level if Disbetes id not under control. People who are taking alcohol have high triglyceride level So avoid alcohol if you are taking. Uncontrolef Diabetic people and people taking alcohol can have nausea and vomitting. You may be taking heavy carbohydrate diet. Avoid taking a heavy diet. You have to take only food sufficient to meet your calary requirement. If you take food in the morning you should become hungry at 12: 30 pm and if you eat your lunch at 01: 30 pm you should become hungry at 6: 30 pm.you should eat less at night also. Balanced carbohydrte food is okay. This will reduce your weight if you are overweight. Protein rich food is Body building. Food containing Fat (lipids) are not not spent easily as Carbohydrate metabolism always overtakes Fat metsbolism and gets stored in the body. (causing overweight). This should be remembered. Physical Exercises and Drug as Atorvastain and Fenofibrate reduce Triglyceride levels. For vomiting you should consult Gastroenterologist.
1 person found this helpful

I have suffered indigestion, gastric problem for a period of time where my stomach got bloated (bulged). Its been 1 and half year and I got cured from all issues then itself. But my stomach bulge didn't reduced till now. Any help from your side?

MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Pune
Patients with Gastritis, acid peptic disease will have the feeling of fullness in upper abdomen when they are having the disease. Though there won't be much of visible distension of the abdomen. Fluid, flatus, faeces, fat and in female patients the fetus are the common reasons for gross distension of abdomen. Localised distension could be because of one of the enlarged abdominal organs like liver, spleen or others. Get examined by a surgeon. He will reassure you if he finds nothing abnormal on clinical examination. Or may advise you USG abdomen, endoscopy or CT scan depending on his provisional opinion. Good luck.
2 people found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Indigestion
Briefing on Indigestion
Play video
Watch What Happens When You Drink Water Along With Your Food. It'll Leave You Thinking!
Sit at the dinner table, and you'd find yourself invariably extending your hand to the glass of water on the side of your plate. While you may think it's absolutely necessary to have a glass of water during your meals, the truth is this habit of yours might be damaging your health. Read on to find out how.

1. It dilutes your gastric juices -
When the digestive acids (acids responsible for the digestion and breakdown of food as well as for killing infectious agents ingested with food) present in your stomach are diluted with water, they bring about a slowdown in the functioning of your entire digestive system. This slowdown results in food remaining lodged in your stomach for a longer period than normal, thereby causing indigestion.

Additionally, the reaction caused by the dilution of water and stomach acids can give rise to cramps in your tummy.

2. It reduces the saliva in your mouth -
The same thing that happens to the acids in your stomach, happens to your saliva as well. Water dilutes the saliva, which stops the breakdown of food in your mouth. Also, your saliva is responsible for stimulating your stomach to release digestive enzymes and prepare itself for the process of digestion. By drinking water with your meals, such signals sent by your saliva to your stomach become much weaker. All these together can make digestion very difficult.

3. It causes acidity -
Studies show that drinking water with your meals not only leads to the dilution of digestive enzymes, but also brings about a reduction in the secretion of digestive enzymes. This causes the undigested food in your stomach to leak into the lower part of your oesophagus (food pipe), causing acidity and heart burn.

4. It increases insulin production -
Sipping on water in the middle of lunch (or any other meal for that matter) causes a spike in your insulin levels just as glycaemic foods (foods with high starch or sugar content such as honey, potatoes, white bread, rice to name a few) would. When your body is unable to digest food properly, it usually tends to convert the glucose filled part of that food into fat and stores it, reason why your blood sugar levels see an upsurge.

5. It adds to your weight -
Since drinking water causes an increase in insulin levels in your body (as the food you eat is converted to fat), it can result in the piling of extra weight on your body. This is because a weak digestive system is one of the major causes behind obesity.

Try having your meals with less salt and drink water 30 minutes before each meal to control your thirst when you're eating. This can help you in controlling the negative effects that drinking water with your meals can have on your health.

Make a wise choice and stay healthy. Feel free to ask me more questions you might have.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice