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Treatment of indigestion—also known as flatulent dyspepsia—is centred on addressing its symptoms. Those symptoms can include upper abdominal pain, a feeling of fullness, a sensation of churning in the stomach, nausea, and frequent release of gas.

Dyspepsia usually passes within a few hours, sometimes without treatment. In some cases, it may be prevented or treated with a few lifestyle modifications:

1. Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day;

2. Avoid fatty or spicy foods, carbonated beverages, caffeine and alcohol;

3. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly;

4. Do not chew with the mouth open or talk while eating to avoid swallowing excessive air;

5. Limit stress and practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and yoga;

6. Exercise regularly (but not immediately after eating!); and

7. Maintain a healthy body weight.

woman doing yoga on dock

Depending on the symptoms present, the following types of over-the-counter medications can be used to alleviate indigestion:

  • A tonic containing peppermint oil, such as Fowler’s Digestive Tonic, can be used to relieve stomach gas and aid digestion;
  • Antiflatulents help release air trapped in the stomach and relieve the discomfort or feeling of fullness;
  • Antacids neutralize stomach acid;
  • Acid blockers and proton-pump inhibitors decrease the amount of acid the stomach produces;

While many cases of flatulent dyspepsia or dyspepsia in general resolve on their own or can be treated with over-the-counter medications, consult a physician in the following cases:

  • Symptoms are persistent or severe, or are accompanied by weight loss, loss of appetite, or vomiting;
  • Presence of black or bloody stools;
  • Severe pain in the upper right abdomen, which could indicate a more serious condition such as gallstones or pancreatitis;
  • Symptoms are accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, pain in the jaw, neck or arm, which could indicate a heart attack; or
  • The discomfort that is experienced that is unrelated to eating
  • Dyspepsia can sometimes be triggered by underlying stress or anxiety, which+ should be addressed on an individual basis.

Next Question: Flatulent Dyspepsia

Wondering what causes indigestion? Read our next post on Flatulent Dyspepsia.

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