Indigestion

Most people will experience indigestion at some point in their lives. It is caused by acid breaking down the lining of the stomach wall, which leads to irritation.

Indigestion causes & symptoms

Indigestion, or dyspepsia (sometimes called functional dyspepsia) is a pain or uncomfortable feeling in the upper middle part of your abdomen. The exact cause of indigestion is not known, but it could develop in response to an infection, stress or changed function of the cells in your digestive system.

What Does Indigestion Feel Like?

Indigestion can feel like:

  • Feeling too full after eating or unable to finish a meal because you feel full
  • Pain or burning in the upper region of your stomach
  • Nausea or heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Burping

What Causes Indigestion?

Triggers for indigestion may differ from person to person and can include:

  • Eating big meals and overfilling your stomach
  • Pregnancy - hormonal changes and/or the pressure put on the stomach and
    digestive tract by a growing baby
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications
  • Stress

Foods That Can Trigger Indigestion

Possible triggers of indigestion include:

  • Eating fatty foods, spicy foods, chocolate, mint or tomato products
  • Drinking caffeinated drinks, alcohol, very hot drinks or citrus juices

The Way You Eat

Ways you can help relieve or prevent indigestion include making changes to the way you
eat, such as:

  • Avoiding or limiting food and drinks that can trigger symptoms
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Waiting 2 to 3 hours after eating or drinking before lying down

How Can I Help Relieve Indigestion At Home?

Aside from eating a healthy, balanced diet and minimising trigger foods as well as altering
how much and when you eat, there are also some over-the-counter products that may
help.

Medication like Gaviscon Dual Action contains both an antacid and alginate to help relieve
indigestion in two ways.

  • The antacid – the antacid in Gaviscon Dual Action neutralises excess
    stomach acid to relieve the pain and discomfort of indigestion.
  • The raft – the sodium alginate in Gaviscon Dual Action forms a thick layer
    (think of it like a ‘raft’) on top of your stomach contents. The ‘raft’ then acts as
    a physical barrier that helps keep your stomach contents where they belong–
    in your stomach – and not in your food pipe where they can cause discomfort
    and burning pain.

If your symptoms do not resolve or if your symptoms are troubling or concern you, speak to
your doctor.


This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the
directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health care professional.

FAQs

Indigestion, or dyspepsia, is discomfort or pain in the middle to upper part of your stomach area (abdomen) that can occur during or after eating or drinking. It is often associated with feeling too full after eating a meal or too full to even finish eating a meal.

Medications that reduce the amount of acid in your stomach can help relieve indigestion. Gaviscon Dual Action contains an antacid that neutralises excess stomach acid and sodium alginate to form a protective layer over the acidic stomach contents – helping to relieve the pain and discomfort of indigestion.

Indigestion can feel like an upset stomach – giving you pain, discomfort, or a burning sensation in your upper abdomen. It can also make you feel full too quickly while you are eating or uncomfortably full after you finish eating your meal. You may also feel bloated and gassy, have a gurgling stomach, or burp a lot.

You can help avoid indigestion by watching what you eat and drink – limiting those things that you know can trigger your symptoms. Foods that commonly cause indigestion include fatty, spicy, or acidic foods, alcohol, caffeine, and soft drinks. Eating smaller meals more slowly and waiting a few hours after eating before exercising or lying down can also help reduce indigestion. Other lifestyle changes to help prevent indigestion include maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, reducing stress, and talking to your doctor about medications that may cause indigestion.

Indigestion may occur once in a while or happen more regularly for weeks or even months. You should speak with your doctor if your indigestion lasts longer than 2 weeks or you have any concerns about your symptoms at any time.

For some people, drinking too much coffee or other drinks that contain caffeine can cause indigestion. In fact, coffee has been shown to stimulate the production of stomach acid regardless of how much caffeine it contains. Everyone is different though – so it’s important to figure out whether that latte is one of your indigestion triggers or not!

The common symptoms of indigestion generally don’t include diarrhoea and indigestion is not typically associated with changes in bowel habits. However, each person’s experience of indigestion is different, so it’s a good idea to discuss your symptoms with your doctor if you are unsure.

People of all ages can get indigestion. So if your child complains of an upset stomach, it could be indigestion – but if you have any concerns or questions about their symptoms, consult your doctor.

This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

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