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What is indigestion?

Most people have probably experienced indigestion at some point in their life. When you eat or drink, it's that pain you sometimes feel in your stomach, your throat or behind your chest bone.

It can affect people of all ages, it is pretty common and there are often things that you can do at home to treat it.

While indigestion is usually nothing to be concerned about, if it is constant or reoccurring, it may be an indication of another underlying issue. Our online doctors are available to discuss your situation with you – they can identify what is causing your indigestion and recommend the best treatment.

Indigestion symptoms

The symptoms of indigestion can be slightly uncomfortable or cause severe pain – it varies from person to person. They usually appear soon after eating or drinking, but not always.

Symptoms include:

  • Heartburn – this is a burning sensation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bringing up bitter, acidic tasting fluid (acid reflux)
  • Feeling full and heavy after eating
  • Feeling sick
  • Burping
  • Bloating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Growling stomach
  • Passing wind
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry cough, worse when lying down

Read more information on the symptoms of indigestion.

Indigestion diagnosis

You may be able to treat your indigestion with over-the-counter medication, without seeing a doctor, or there are other techniques you can try before turning to stronger medication, like dietary changes.

However, if you have tried these and they have not worked, or if your indigestion is reoccurring or severe, it is best to speak to a GP. At Push Doctor, you can speak to a one over video consultation in minutes.

In most cases, a consultation is all that is needed to make a diagnosis. However, sometimes, further tests may be required to determine the exact cause for your indigestion, and to rule out other conditions, to make sure you get the right treatment. Our doctors can refer you for these if they need to.

For more information about what will happen during your consultation, click here.

Indigestion causes

There are many different things that can cause indigestion, including:

  • Eating too quickly
  • Eating too much
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • GORD
  • Gastritis
  • Certain medications

Read more about the possible causes of indigestion.

Indigestion treatment

There are a number of different ways to treat indigestion, and it will really depend on what is causing it. If it is only mild, you may not need to see a doctor, as lifestyle and dietary changes could be all that is needed.

In some cases, over-the-counter indigestion medication may also help treat the problem, which include antacids and alginates.

If this does not work, or if your indigestion is severe or persistent, a doctor may prescribe stronger medications that aim to lower the amount of acid in your stomach.

If your indigestion is found to be due to an underlying cause, the treatment will be focused on fixing the underlying problem.

To make sure it is most effective, your treatment will be tailored to your circumstances. Find out more about how indigestion can be treated.

Indigestion in pregnancy

Experiencing indigestion during pregnancy is very common and it is usually nothing to worry about.

Often, the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can lead to indigestion, and your growing womb can press into your stomach, meaning stomach acid can move into the oesophagus, causing burning or pain.

It will often go away with some simple changes to your diet or lifestyle, or with over-the-counter medication, but indigestion in pregnancy should be discussed with a doctor if it is long-lasting or causes severe pain.

If you are worried about the indigestion symptoms you are having, our doctors are here to help. They can provide the reassurance and advice you need.

Find out further information about indigestion in pregnancy.

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