Indigestion (Dyspepsia)

Indigestion is stomach pain or discomfort after a meal.  It is common, affecting up to 40% of adults in New Zealand.  Symptoms can be mild and occasional, or they can be severe and cause much distress.

 

What are the Symptoms of Indigestion?

  • Early fullness during a meal or uncomfortable fullness after eating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Burping

 

What causes Indigestion?

  • Eating too much or too quickly
  • Fatty, greasy or spicy foods
  • Too much caffeine, alcohol, chocolate or carbonated drinks
  • Taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Stomach ulcers account for 15 to 20% of cases
  • Reflux is the cause in 5 to 15% of cases
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Disease of the digestive tract e.g. Helicobacter pylori

 

How is Indigestion Diagnosed?

 

How can I treat Mild Indigestion?

  • Antacids
  • Reduce the intake of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Cut down on coffee
  • Drink less fizzy drinks
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid large meals in the evening
  • Avoid spicy foods
  • Reduce your weight if you are overweight
  • Relaxation, meditation, stress reduction

 

How would the Doctor treat more Severe Indigestion?

If your indigestion is more severe then the underlying cause needs to be determined and treated.
The most common cause is reflux which can be very successfully treated.