Do you have a strange feeling in the stomach after eating? Very often people experience gases, flatulence, bloating or even pain after the consumption of food. The scientific term for the above symptoms is indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, which is a Greek word and 30-40% of the population suffer from it.
What is indigestion?
Dyspepsia or indigestion refers to a series of symptoms observed in the middle and upper stomach, usually after eating. Even if dyspepsia is not a disease, it is often the result of other digestive disorders and conditions.
Which are the symptoms of indigestion?
The most common symptoms of dyspepsia are pain and discomfort in the stomach. The symptoms are not always of the same intensity, as there may be fluctuations from person to person. People with dyspepsia may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain – upper abdomen
- Bloating – flatulence due to increased gas production
- Stomach heartburn
- Early satiety and feeling of fullness during or after a meal
- Nausea – vomiting (more rarely)
Sometimes people with indigestion also have chest heartburn because of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, even if the symptoms can somehow resemble, indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux disease are two separate conditions and require different treatment.
What causes indigestion?
The causes of indigestion are not easy to identify, as indigestion has many possible causes. Most of the time is due to lifestyle and diet. However, there are certain conditions and medications that can cause indigestion. In any case, if the symptoms are intense and do not recede with lifestyle changes, then you should advise your doctor. The most common causes are:
- Very fast food consumption
- Fatty or spicy foods
- High consumption of caffeine, alcohol, chocolate or carbonated soft drinks
- Some antibiotics and analgesic drugs
- Gastric inflammation (gastritis)
- Digestive ulcers
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Treatment of dyspepsia
Diet and lifestyle
Mild dyspepsia can often be improved by small lifestyle changes such as eating smaller and more frequent meals, avoiding food that can aggravate dyspepsia such as fatty, spicy food, carbonated drinks and coffees. In addition, it is very important to have a healthy body weight, to start exercise daily, to manage stress and also quit smoking.
Dietary supplements can help improve digestion’s symptoms. In any case, dietary supplements can not eliminate the cause of indigestion, so it is advised to inform your doctor if the symptoms do not recede.
- Digestive enzymes. Enzymes involved in digestion and break down of proteins, fat and carbohydrates.
- Simethicone and Activated Charcoal (Vegetable Charcoal). They help to absorb intestinal gases. They reduce flatulence and bloating, relieving the symptoms of indigestion and stomach upsets.
- Probiotics. Bacteria that improve gut health and bowel function, enhancing digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
- Chios Mastic. Natural ingredient with antimicrobial properties, which is used for digestive disorders as well as for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori.
- Herbs and spices (Mint, Cumin or Caraway, Artichoke, Ginger). They help in food digestion and relieve unpleasant symptoms such as burning, bloating and abdominal pain.