Acid Indigestion: What It Is and What You Can Do About It

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Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). These medications, which include Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, block acid production and aid in healing damaged esophageal tissue, so they should be taken by people who are having more frequent, severe symptoms. Oral suspension medicines. These medications, like Pepto Bismol and Carafate, are sometimes used to treat heartburn and indigestion as well as nausea, diarrhea and ulcers in the throat, stomach and intestines. Antacids.

They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually can’t stop heartburn. A health care professional will probably recommend that the patient make lifestyle changes in addition to other treatments. Many substances directly irritate the lining of the esophagus and can contribute to heartburn.

The nerves that control the organs include not only the nerves that lie within the muscles of the organs but also the nerves of the spinal cord and brain. Ranitidine helps relieve indigestion symptoms that are caused by excess stomach acid.

If there is no clear response of symptoms, the options then are to discontinue the PPI or confirm its effectiveness in suppressing acid with 24 hour acid testing. If there is a clear and substantial decrease in symptoms with the PPI, then decisions need to be made about continuing acid suppression and which drugs to use. On the other hand, if the symptoms are of recent onset (weeks or months), progressively worsening, severe, or associated with “warning” signs, then early, more extensive testing is appropriate. Warning signs include loss of weight, nighttime awakening, blood in the stool or the material that is vomited (vomitus), and signs of inflammation, such as fever or abdominal tenderness. Testing also is appropriate if, in addition to symptoms of dyspepsia, there are other prominent symptoms that are not commonly associated with dyspepsia.

How to get rid of heartburn – 10 top tips on how to stop acid reflux

Don’t fool yourself into thinking medication allows you to frequently eat foods that once caused heartburn. “If medication controls your symptoms, then it’s probably okay to have a ‘trigger’ food occasionally. But if you do that too often, the heartburn will return,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. You may not have to take a medication to control GERD symptoms. Eating smaller meals and avoiding food triggers can help (see accompanying article).

Nausea, heartburn, vomiting or feeling full fast are symptoms of a rare but serious condition called gastroparesis. The exact cause of gastroparesis is often unknown but can sometimes be caused by uncontrolled type 1 and 2 diabetes, narcotics or antidepressants, multiple sclerosis or an injury to a major nerve called the vagus nerve. When you have gastroparesis, the muscles in your stomach slow or stop emptying food properly into the intestine.

Unfortunately, fructose and FODMAPs are widespread among fruits and vegetables, and fructose is found in high concentrations in many food products sweetened with corn syrup. Thus, an elimination diet can be difficult to maintain. One of the food substances most commonly associated with the symptoms of indigestion is fat. The scientific evidence that fat causes indigestion is weak. Most of the support is anecdotal (not based on carefully done, scientific studies).

Those seeking more information about GERD can join the 750,000 people who in the last three years have called the American College of Gastroenterology’s hot line, (800) HRT-BURN (478-2876). Or you can write to the college at 4900 B South 31st Street, Arlington, Va. 22206, or fax your request to (703) 931-4520. The college offers a free fact sheet on heartburn, a brochure called ”Is It Just a Little Heartburn — or Something More Serious?

GERD, when left untreated, can result in serious life-threatening complications, including esophageal cancer. More often than not, when you continue experiencing acidity symptoms on a regular basis, it turns out to be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

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The goal would be to develop a set of lifestyle and eating behaviors, along with a balanced diet of primary, secondary and tertiary foods in proper portions, which would contribute to overall health and support the digestive system so that the body can be given the opportunity to heal itself and make the necessary corrections to inhibit acid indigestion. To help prevent acid indigestion and its symptoms, especially the burning pain in the pit of the stomach, there are a number of things which can be done involving lifestyle, eating behaviors, daily diet, nutritional supplementation (i.e., vitamins and minerals), kitchen spices when cooking, herbs supporting the digestive system and how best to take those herbs. Beyond it being caused by disease or an ulcer, most people experience acid indigestion because of eating too much, eating too fast, eating foods high in fat or eating foods during stressful times. Other factors causing acid indigestion or making it worse include eating too large a meal, eating a lot of spicy foods, consuming too much caffeine or carbonated soft drinks on a regular basis, eating irregularly, allowing long intervals of time between meals, drinking too much alcohol, smoking too much, suffering from fatigue, experiencing chronic stress or anxiety, taking medications irritating to the stomach lining and exercising on a full stomach (see NIDDK, 2004; Protocare Corporation, 1997). Acid indigestion is digestive fact of modern life.

Some adults and most children under age 12 with GERD don’t experience heartburn, the most common symptom of acid reflux. Instead, they experience other reflux symptoms. Frequent acid reflux may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic, more severe form of acid reflux that can lead to serious health complications if it goes untreated. Heartburn can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Barrett’s Esophagus and, in a very small number of individuals, esophageal cancer.

Sometimes a person can’t tell the difference. Just like chest pain from the heart, heartburn sometimes spreads from the chest to the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back. If a person has chest pain for any reason, seek medical care immediately. That depends. If a person has heartburn more than three times a week for at least two weeks, he or she should see a health care professional.

Instead, heartburn is caused by the upward movement of stomach acid into the esophagus. Heartburn is sometimes called acid indigestion. Boost Digestive HealthUpset stomach? Some foods may be the culprits, and bad habits may be to blame. Treat your body right with these simple nutrition tips on how to deal with with diarrhea, gas, reflux, and more digestive ailments.

Sometimes people have persistent indigestion that is not related to any of these factors. This type of indigestion is called functional, or non-ulcer dyspepsia. Swallowing excessive air when eating may increase the symptoms of belching and bloating, which are often associated with indigestion.

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