Have you ever felt that discomfort in your upper abdomen after one too many drinks, or after a “cheat day” where you may have overindulged in too many fatty foods and sweets?

Well, this unpleasant sensation is known as indigestion and it can be experienced by most anyone. According to studies by Buba, indigestion affects just about four in every 10 people in the UK every year.

Defining indigestion 

Dyspepsia, also known as indigestion, describes the discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen usually experienced after consuming food.

This often results in bloating, discomfort, burping and nausea.

It is a common condition, especially in western culture countries such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom. This is because of the overeating, and the consumption of greasy or spicy foods in these countries.

Having said that, indigestion is quite normal, and most people will experience it from time to time. The discomfort or pain of indigestion be quite severe and can usually last anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours.

In some very rare instances, indigestion may be a sign of stomach cancer, but this may only be the case if you experience intense indigestion for a period of three weeks or more.

Mild dyspepsia or indigestion hardly ever needs further analysis and should not worry you too much as a visit to your doctor is only needed if symptoms are severe and are experienced for a sustained time span.

Heartburn and indigestion are regularly confused for one another, but they are separate even though they often occur simultaneously.

It’s important not to confuse the two as heartburn is a result of acid reflux. It also usually occurs after eating but is felt just behind the breastbone in the chest. It is also a burning sensation but the two can be differentiated by where they are felt.

It is also worth noting that indigestion is inevitable during pregnancy. According to the same research by Bupa, between 3 and 8 in every 10 women in the UK get indigestion at some point during their pregnancy.

Primary symptoms of indigestion

Signs and symptoms of indigestion include the following sensations:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Excessive burping
  • A burning feeling in your stomach
  • Acidic taste in your mouth
  • Discomfort in or around the stomach area
  • Constipation and diarrhoea
  • Little to no appetite

What causes indigestion?

The stomach produces acid when we consume food and indigestion is a result of excess stomach acid encountering the protective lining of our stomachs, the top part of the bowel, or the oesophagus, which causes that painful, burning sensation.

This differs from person to person as some people have more sensitive stomach linings than others. In short, indigestion is when you have difficulty processing food or stomach acids.

Stress and anxiety may also exacerbate symptoms of indigestion. If you suffer from anxiety, we recommend seeing a doctor to find out if it is aggravating your indigestion.

woman holding stomach due to indigestionWhat conditions cause indigestion?

There are some conditions that may also exacerbate or cause indigestion, but again consulting a doctor is your best option. These conditions may include the following:

  • Food poisoning
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Gastroparesis (especially common in people with diabetes)
  • Food allergies
  • Heart disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Depression
  • Stomach cancer
  • Ulcers
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Esophagitis
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gallstones
  • Pregnancy (all terms)
  • Inflammation of the pancreas such as acute or chronic pancreatitis
  • Inflammation of the stomach (gastritis)
  • Stomach infections

 

a unique 3D depiction of indigestionLifestyles and habits that may cause indigestion

1.    Smoking

When one smokes, the chemicals they inhale in cigarette smoke can possibly contribute to indigestion. These chemicals can cause the ring of muscle that separates the oesophagus from the stomach to soften, resulting in acid reflux.

smoking cigarettes are linked to indigestion2.    Alcohol

Drinking makes your stomach produce more acid than usual, which may cause gastritis resulting in an inflamed stomach lining. This could result in stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.

regular alcohol consumption can cause indigestion3.    Stress

Stress can cause several digestive issues from indigestion to heartburn because of the accumulation of acid in the stomach. Food and drinks that commonly trigger heartburn and indigestion include the following:

  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Peppermint
  • Tomatoes
  • Red wine (most alcohol)
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Raw onions
  • Most spicy foods
  • Chocolate

As mentioned earlier, if the pain persists for an extended period of time, coupled with the following symptoms, the seek medical assistance immediately:

  • Chest pain during exercise or activity
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that spreads to the jaw, limbs or neck
  • Rapid loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Incapable of swallowing
  • Black stool
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Floraphage for indigestion

The human digestive tract contains a multitude of microorganisms that are constantly competing for space and nutrients. This system can is extremely vulnerable to attacks from harmful bacteria, which may result in digestive discomfort and a weakened immune system.

To fight these intestinal imbalances and their potentially damaging effects, Floraphage has been developed to support the restoration and maintenance of our highly sensitive digestive ecosystems.

Maintaining digestive health is important, but it isn’t always easy in the modern age where lifestyles are unforgiving in terms of diet, and responsibility towards making a living. That is why supplemental support is a great option with Floraphage in particular, being completely natural.