Read about some of the main symptoms of indigestion, causes and ways to treat it.
Wednesday 15th January
If you’re suffering with indigestion, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- stomach pain
- feeling uncomfortably full
- feeling sick
- being sick
The main causes
Generally, indigestion is related to overeating, eating too quickly or eating foods that are difficult to digest. It is a relatively common problem, and with a tendency to eating more food, and possibly different foods to what we’re used to at this time of year, we’re more likely to suffer during the festive period.
Symptoms occur when the stomach acid comes into contact with the protective lining of the digestive system, which causes irritation and inflammation.
Occasionally, indigestion can be a side effect of certain prescription medicines or due to an underlying infection. Sometimes, indigestion can be indicative of a more serious problem with either the stomach or oesophagus. If your indigestion is especially painful, occurs regularly, or comes on very suddenly, and you experience symptoms you have not had before, you should visit your doctor.
There are many over-the-counter remedies available, such as antacids in both tablet and liquid form. If you’re unsure about what might be best for you, then speak to a pharmacist. There are also lifestyle changes you can make which can ease or prevent the symptoms altogether, such as avoiding foods or drinks you know cause you indigestion, and refraining from eating late at night or going to bed on a full stomach.
Maintaining a healthy weight for your height is important, as being overweight puts more pressure on your digestive system. Smoking can also aggravate indigestion, so now there is even more reason to quit. Try and keep a diary of what you’ve eaten so you can spot any patterns or potential “trigger” foods.
If you are concerned about severe or recurrent indigestion, see your GP. Alternatively, members can call the 24/7 GP helpline on 0800 414 8274*.