Indigestion can be caused by a condition in the digestive tract such as gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts.11
Sometimes a person has indigestion for which a cause cannot be found. This type of indigestion, called functional dyspepsia, is thought to occur in the area where the stomach meets the small intestine. 11
The indigestion may be related to abnormal motility—the squeezing or relaxing action— of the stomach muscle as it receives, digests, and moves food into the small intestine. 11
Some people may experience relief from symptoms of indigestion by: 11
- Eating several small, low-fat meals throughout the day at a slow pace
- Abstaining from consuming coffee, carbonated beverages, and alcohol
- Stopping use of medications that may irritate the stomach lining-such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs
- Finding ways to decrease emotional and physical stress, such as relaxation therapy or yoga
- Getting enough rest
- Refraining from smoking
If you suffer from indigestion, you doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medication such as: 11
- Prokinetic agents: Are helpful for people who have a problem with the stomach emptying too slowly. Also improves muscle action in the digestive tract.
- Antacids: They are usually different combinations of three basic salts—magnesium, calcium, and aluminum—with hydroxide or bicarbonate ions to neutralize the acid in the stomach.
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): Are stronger than H2RAs, also treat indigestion symptoms by reducing stomach acid. PPIs are most effective in treating symptoms of indigestion in people who also have GERD.
- H2 receptors antagonists: They treat symptoms of indigestion by reducing stomach acid. They work longer than but not as quickly as antacids.
Ask your doctor for more information.