Indigestion is a common problem and one that probably all of us are familiar with. Symptoms of indigestion arise when gastric acid starts to irritate the lining of our stomach. Normally the symptoms pass, however, if the feelings become a daily occurrence then this can lead to further complications. Here at A.Vogel Talks Indigestion, our digestive expert Ali Cullen describes the causes and symptoms of indigestion and suggests a range of herbal and home medicines to ease any discomfort.
Almost all of us will have experienced a bout of indigestion in the past. These episodes are usually transient and usually considered to be normal. Examples of ‘normal indigestion’ you might be familiar with include:
the feeling of fullness, bloating and discomfort after partaking enthusiastically in a large piece of cake
the need to burp repeatedly after a heavy or fatty meal.
However, there are times when indigestion symptoms become a regular or daily experience, after consuming our normal diet and usual amounts of food. This is when we have an ‘indigestion problem’.
It is estimated that around 40% of the population have experienced health problems with their digestion at some point in their lives.
The digestive system produces substances known as enzymes which are necessaryfor us to digest the food we eat.
In the stomach, gastric juice is secreted together with gastric acid. This acid is strong enough to irritate the tissues of the stomach - however, this does not happen because nature provides the inside of our stomachs with a protective lining. However, sometimes, this protective mechanism breaks down and becomes less effective, leading to inflammation.
At the same time, the digestive process can become less efficient. There are a number of reasons why this can occur, including:
Most people with indigestion will be able to manage their symptoms without going to a doctor, particularly if their symptoms are infrequent and mild. However, there are some instances when seeking medical attention is advisable. These include:
If you suspect an underlying medical condition such as a stomach ulcer
You are experiencing severe pain
If you have blood in the stool
Unexplained weight loss
You are vomiting, particularly if there are specks of blood in your vomit
You are 55 years or over and have never experienced indigestion before
You feel that medication you are taking is aggravating your symptoms of indigestion.
Hello. My name is Alison Cullen and I am an experienced nutritional therapist with a clinic in Ayrshire, Scotland. I currently combine running my clinic with the role of Education Manager for A Vogel. I lecture, train and write extensively on health issues, which I find endlessly fascinating.
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