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What is Indigestion?
Indigestion is very common. About one in 3 people get heartburn every month and one in ten suffer every week. No wonder that indigestion remedies are the most popularly prescribed group of medicines in the UK!
For most people, indigestion is a nuisance but is not dangerous. In only a small minority does it cause more serious problems, but there are a variety of indigestion treatments available.
The main symptom of indigestion is heartburn. This is a burning feeling which rises from the pit of the stomach into the chest.
Other common symptoms include:
• feeling uncomfortably full or bloated
• feeling nauseous or sick
• belching (burping) or passing wind (flatulence)
• regurgitating – bringing up food or fluid from your stomach
In patients whose indigestion is related to acid reflux, the symptoms often start within seconds of eating, although they can also come on later. For other causes of indigestion, the symptoms may occur after some considerable delay.
Over the counter medicines such as Gaviscon Advance can help immediately when you get an attack of heartburn, chest pain, coughing or choking. They do not help prevent acid reflux happening though.
More powerful medicines to prevent reflux need to be taken regularly. The most commonly used ones are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantorpazole, rabeprazole or the most powerful one on the market which is currently esomeprazole. These are best taken before meals and can be taken twice a day for more potent effect.
Ranitidine or similar drugs may be taken at night to minimise the risk of night-time reflux.
To find out more about indigestion treatments, or to speak to one of our specialists at our London clinic, please get in touch using the form below.
Tips to avoid Indigestion
Helping Yourself with Indigestion Treatment
There are some simple things you can do to minimise your indigestion symptoms:
- Don’t eat late at night. Leave at least 2 hours between eating and going to bed
- Avoid large meals
- Avoid COFFEE, CHOCOLATE, ALCOHOL, FIZZY DRINKS, CITRUS and FATTY FOODS. Some people say that they need to avoid tomatoes also