What Are The Symptoms of Acid Indigestion?
Most people suffer from acid indigestion from time to time. It is commonly used to describe a feeling of fullness after eating. In more severe cases, pain in the stomach or even a burning sensation (otherwise known as heartburn), may also be present.
When felt occasionally, acid indigestion is not usually something to worry much about. But when these symptoms crop up more often – or are accompanied by other symptoms, then something more serious like gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) or even an ulcer may be present.
What Does Indigestion Feel Like?
Acid indigestion is sometimes called dyspepsia. It is usually caused when the stomach begins to produce too much acid after a large meal, making you feel uncomfortable for a time – or until the digestive system can process it (and the food you have eaten).
So how do you know that what you are feeling is just acid indigestion and not something more serious? Some of the most common signs and symptoms of acid indigestion include:
- Bloating – your stomach and abdomen may look physically bloated after eating or you may just have a full feeling that won’t go away.
- Burping (or gas) – this is temporarily caused by the influx of stomach acid in the digestive tract that is working its way through the body. While it may be embarrassing, allowing yourself to burp (or worse) can offer real relief.
- Nausea or Vomiting – in severe cases of acid indigestion, the acid production in the stomach may be so heavy that it actually causes purging by the body to get rid of it.
- A sour taste in the back of the throat – when acid production is high, you may actually be able to taste it in the back of your throat; especially when acid reflux or GERD is also present.
- Stomach growling – this is a sign from your stomach that there’s more going on in there than normal digestion.
- Pain or Burning in the stomach – Some people experience a burning sensation in the stomach with indigestion; while others get an actual stomachache. Note : heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest is another problem altogether although it does begin with acid indigestion. When heartburn occurs those stomach acids are actually beginning to back up into the esophagus.
Danger Signs of Acid Indigestion
In most cases acid indigestion comes and goes without causing any real serious medical trouble. However, in some rare cases, ulcers, infections and even thyroid disease could be an underlying cause of your tummy troubles and need to be treated by a doctor.
If you are experiencing any of the following danger signs with acid indigestion, call your doctor right away:
- Vomiting that resembles coffee grounds
- Bloody vomit
- Weight loss
- Black, tarry stools
- Severe pain (especially in the upper or lower right side of the abdomen)
- Stomach discomfort that is not related to eating
How to Avoid Acid Indigestion?
If you find that acid indigestion is becoming more common, you may need to make a few alterations to your eating habits and lifestyle in order to relieve your symptoms. Here are some common things you can do right away to help stop acid indigestion from forming.
Eat Smaller Meals
The less food you give your stomach at one sitting, the less it has to work and this is a good way to keep it from going into overdrive when it comes to producing digestive juices. Most doctors recommend eating smaller amounts of food more often throughout the day when experiencing bouts of acid indigestion.
When you eat too quickly (or on the run) you tend to swallow more air and this can lead to higher acid production in the stomach.
Take a Break After Meals
Take time out to relax after meals. Not only can it relieve stress but it can help aid digestion and keep you from feeling full and uncomfortable.
Don’t Drink During Meals
Take fluids after meals; not while eating. This too will help aid proper digestion.
Avoid Alcohol and Spicy Foods
Both can bolster acid production in the stomach which causes indigestion and reflux.
Acid indigestion is so common that most of us will experience its painful side effects some time in the next few months. But knowing its regular symptoms and comparing them to how we are feeling can help each of us make a determination in regards to whether or not to seek medical help for our discomfort.
When handled correctly, acid indigestion can be nothing more than an occasional nuisance that needs rest and antacids. But if left untreated for long periods of time, it can become a real medical problem that needs to be dealt with before it causes serious risks to your well being.