Dyspepsia: Causes, Sypmtoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
People with Dyspepsia (indigestion) complain a number of different symptoms, such as nausea, heartburn, upper abdominal pain, and flatulence, or a sense of fullness in the abdomen after eating food.
This feelings of discomfort often come on after eating too rapidly or not chewing properly. The trouble is sometimes due to lack of teeth. Emotional upset and severe mental strain are also common causes of gas indigestion. Constipation may interfere with the normal flow through the gastrointestinal tract, and often cause gas and abdominal pain.
Certain foods, especially if they are poorly cooked, may also cause trouble. Some people react unfavorably to beans, cabbage, onions, cucumber, radishes strawberries, and various sea foods. Fried eggs often cause gas and abdominal discomfort. Excessively smoking is another cause of trouble.
Many nervous individuals rapidly gulp down their food and often swallow excessive amounts of air as well. Soft drinks also release a lot of carbon dioxide gas and this may produce a sense of fullness in the stomach. This in turn can produce a sense of smothering and palpitation, leading folks to think they are having a heart attack. Gas within the intestines may be due to fermentation and actual decay of food within the intestines. In all such cases it is advisable to have a complete X-ray of the stomach and bowel to be sure nothing more serious, such as an ulcer, tumor, or infection, is present.
Begin by choosing a well-balance diet. Be sure the food is well prepared and thoroughly chewed. If at all possible, allow a full hour for a meal. Avoid all haste while eating. Meals should be served in a pleasant, relaxing environment, free from undue excitement and excessive smoking. Constipation should be corrected by using enough bulk in the diet, and slow by some suitable laxative, such as milk of magnesia or a small quantity of cascara. Belladonna products, such as Donnatal, are of value in relieving this condition.
In few patients they are may not be sufficient hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This can only be demonstrated by the use of gastric analysis. If no acid is found, the condition may be relieved by the use of hydrochloric acid in the form of capsules (Acidulin) given before each meal. Simple antacids, such as Gelusil and Maalox, can be given to relieve stomach distress, particularly in there is too much acid.