My baby daughter was diagnosed as lactose intolerant, and I thought I might be too, so cut out the dairy. Much better! At menopause I started to get constant indigestion, and have just started on a proton pump inhibitor.

This is known as acid reflux, and is one of the most common causes of indigestion. This irritation can be painful and often causes a burning sensation. Indigestion may also be due to the lining of your digestive system being overly sensitive to acid, or the “stretching” caused by eating. The majority of people with indigestion don’t have inflammation in their digestive system.

My surgeon prescribed a PPI every day, which I have done faithfully. Shortly after starting this treatment all of my GERD symptoms disappeared and I reduced my intake of Tums to one or two tablets a week. After 5 years on this program I recently had a follow-up endoscopy which revealed that I still had some esophageal erosions, although somewhat less than at the time of the first exam. The surgeon described it as a grade one (the lowest of 4 grades, I believe).

Most people are able to treat indigestion with simple changes to their diet and lifestyle, or with a number of different medications, such as antacids. Don’t eat things like broccoli, cabbage, beans, or dairy products. They can lead to gas in your stomach or intestines and make you burp.

Modification of diet (such as avoiding foods that provoke symptoms and adopting a low fat diet because high fat foods may impair gastric emptying) and stopping medications can be helpful. Antacids are no better than placebo in functional dyspepsia, but notably the placebo response ranges between 20% and 60%. In functional dyspepsia gastric (and duodenal) sensation is disturbed (the “irritable stomach”), and in about half of patients distension induces symptoms at lower pressures or volumes than it does in healthy people. Delayed gastric emptying can be detected in a quarter to a half of patients with functional dyspepsia. In addition, a subset of patients have altered intragastric distribution of food, which reflects abnormal proximal gastric relaxation (a “stiff” fundus).

Stomach acids break down the mucosa, causing irritation and inflammation. This triggers the uncomfortable symptoms of indigestion.

Inside Cancer:

Hernias and gallstones, for example, usually require surgery, and the associated indigestion should resolve post-operatively. Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can sometimes cause excessive belching by promoting increased swallowing. Chronic belching may be related to inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis) or to an infection with Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium responsible for some stomach ulcers. In these cases, the belching is accompanied by other symptoms, such as heartburn or abdominal pain.

I had a barium swallow which diagnosed the acid reflux which has now been constant for almost 3 months now. I have no idea what triggered it off but it is awful all day apart from first thing in the morning.

This sugar occurs naturally in garlic, onions, honey, and certain kinds of fruits like cherries, apples, mangoes, pears, and watermelon. A form called high-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener found in many foods and beverages. People who do not tolerate the sugar will get a bloated stomach and will feel gassy and have abdominal pain or diarrhea after ingesting it. If you’re not sure whether or not you tolerate the sugar, keep a food diary logging what you eat and drink as well as your symptoms.

GERD implies a much different condition. Infants and children with GERD often experience distress because of their reflux even if the refluxed stomach contents are not completely ejected from the mouth. Infants and young children may lose so many calories by expulsion that growth is compromised. Some infants or children with GERD may even become averse to feeding due to repeated associations with feeding and pain.

Despite reporting moderate to severe symptoms, those with GERD do not adhere to GERD dietary guidelines. They are more likely to consume triggering foods such as soda, liquor, and fried foods, compared to GERD-free controls. GERD is the most common gastrointestinal disease in the United States. The heavy use of acid-suppressing drugs and lost work productivity instigated by GERD contribute a massive financial burden of over $24 billion in the U.S. alone.

However, frequent or regular heartburn or gas may indicate the presence of an underlying condition that may need treating. A doctor can help determine whether another condition is responsible for the symptoms. People should also not worry about experiencing heartburn occasionally, especially after eating trigger foods.

Try to make meals relaxed occasions; eating when you’re stressed or on the run increases the air you swallow. You may swallow excess air if you eat or drink too fast, talk while you eat, chew gum or suck on hard candies, drink carbonated beverages, or smoke. Some people swallow air as a nervous habit – even when they’re not eating or drinking. This is called aerophagia.

If mild heartburn persists, your primary care doctor may prescribe a stronger medication. I first started experiencing symptoms many years ago. I had constant heartburn, burning stomach aches, burning mouth; I always felt nauseous and I was constantly chewing on antacids, which did not help.

Again, this continual cycle of eating can lead to weight gain. People with stomach ulcers can also find that eating improves their symptoms.

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