Dyspepsia, also known as chronic indigestion, refers to many different symptoms that cause discomfort or pain in the upper abdominal regions, such as your duodenum (the top part of your bowel) or your oesphagus.
The most common cause of dyspepsia is an excessive production of stomach acid or an over-sensitivity to this acid. Symptoms can include:
- Excessive belching
- Stomach pains
- Nausea, or even vomiting after eating
There are a number of factors that are thought to make the symptoms of indigestion worse, including: increased air swallowing, poor relaxation of the stomach after eating, high-fat diest, consumption of alcohol or fizzy drinks, obesity, stress, helicobactor pylori infection, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, stomach ulcers, hiatus hernia, and some medications (such as those that irritate the stomach lining or relax the lower oesophageal sphincter).
Simple steps may be tried first to treat dyspepsia, such as altering your diet or losing weight. If these do not work then over-the-counter medications, for example, antacids, may be recommended in order to reduce the amount of stomach acid and thus the frequency of symptoms. If the indigestion is being caused by a bacterial infection then stronger antacids or antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor.