Indigestion

What is Indigestion

Indigestion is a feeling of pain, discomfort, burning, or fullness in the upper part of your belly (abdomen).

It can come and go. It may occur often or rarely. Indigestion tends to happen while you are eating or right after you have finished eating. It may be worse at night and while bending over or lying down.

Follow these instructions at home:

Take these actions to lessen your pain or discomfort and to help avoid problems.

Diet

  • Follow a diet as told by your doctor. You may need to avoid foods and drinks such as:
    • Coffee and tea (with or without caffeine).
    • Drinks that contain alcohol.
    • Energy drinks and sports drinks.
    • Carbonated drinks or sodas.
    • Chocolate and cocoa.
    • Peppermint and mint flavorings.
    • Garlic and onions.
    • Horseradish.
    • Spicy and acidic foods, such as peppers, chili powder, curry powder, vinegar, hot sauces, and BBQ sauce.
    • Citrus fruit juices and citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and limes.
    • Tomato-based foods, such as red sauce, chili, salsa, and pizza with red sauce.
    • Fried and fatty foods, such as donuts, french fries, potato chips, and high-fat dressings.
    • High-fat meats, such as hot dogs, rib eye steak, sausage, ham, and bacon.
    • High-fat dairy items, such as whole milk, butter, and cream cheese.
  • Eat small meals often. Avoid eating large meals.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of liquid with your meals.
  • Avoid eating meals during the 2–3 hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid lying down right after you eat.
  • Do not exercise right after you eat.

General instructions

  • Pay attention to any changes in your symptoms.
  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your doctor. Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDs unless your doctor says it is okay.
  • Do not use any tobacco products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and e-cigarettes. If you need help quitting, ask your doctor.
  • Wear loose clothes. Do not wear anything tight around your waist.
  • Raise (elevate) the head of your bed about 6 inches (15 cm).
  • Try to lower your stress. If you need help doing this, ask your doctor.
  • If you are overweight, lose an amount of weight that is healthy for you. Ask your doctor about a safe weight loss goal.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your doctor. This is important.

Contact a doctor if:

  • You have new symptoms.
  • You lose weight and you do not know why it is happening.
  • You have trouble swallowing, or it hurts to swallow.
  • Your symptoms do not get better with treatment.
  • Your symptoms last for more than two days.
  • You have a fever.
  • You throw up (vomit).

Get help right away if:

  • You have pain in your arms, neck, jaw, teeth, or back.
  • You feel sweaty, dizzy, or light-headed.
  • You pass out (faint).
  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • You cannot stop throwing up, or you throw up blood.
  • Your poop (stool) is bloody or black.
  • You have very bad pain in your belly.

 

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