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Is indigestion gas: Indigestion (Upset Stomach) Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedy Relief, Heartburn


Indigestion | Johns Hopkins Medicine

What is indigestion?

Indigestion (dyspepsia) is a pain or burning feeling in your upper belly or abdomen. It is common in adults. Indigestion is not the same as heartburn. It is not related to stomach acid. Heartburn is when stomach acid goes out of your stomach and back into your food pipe (esophagus). You can have symptoms of both indigestion and heartburn at the same time.

What causes indigestion?

Indigestion can be caused by health problems, lifestyle issues, or medicines.

Health problems or diseases include:

  • Sores or ulcers in your stomach or small intestine
  • Redness and swelling or inflammation in your stomach (gastritis)
  • Acid flowing back from your stomach into your esophagus (GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Bacterial infection in your stomach (H. pylori or Helicobacter pylori )
  • Inflammation of your gallbladder (cholecystitis)
  • Lumps of solid material (gallstones) in your gallbladder
  • Swelling of your pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Food moving too slowly out of your stomach (gastroparesis) (common in people with diabetes)

Lifestyle issues include:

  • Smoking
  • Having too much caffeine
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Eating too fast
  • Eating too much
  • Eating spicy, fatty, or greasy foods
  • Eating high-fiber foods
  • Feeling very stressed

Medicines include:

  • Bacteria-fighting medicines (antibiotics)
  • Aspirin and over-the-counter pain and fever medicines (NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) 

What are the symptoms of indigestion?

Each person’s symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:

  • Feeling full too soon while eating
  • Feeling pain, burning, and discomfort in your upper belly or abdomen
  • Feeling bloated
  • Burping and loud stomach gurgling
  • Having an upset stomach or vomiting
  • Having diarrhea
  • Having gas

The symptoms of indigestion may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.

How is indigestion diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will look at your past health and give you a physical exam.

To make sure other health problems aren’t causing indigestion, you may have tests including:

  • Blood tests
  • Stool or breath tests. These are done to check for a stomach bacteria (H. pylori)
  • X-rays of your stomach and small intestine
  • Upper endoscopy. This test uses a long, thin, flexible tube called an endoscope. It has a light and small camera on the end. The tube is put into your mouth, down your food pipe (esophagus), and into your stomach. It checks for any problems in the esophagus or stomach.
  • Ultrasound of your gallbladder
  • Stomach emptying scan

How is indigestion treated?

You should not have foods or medicines that cause indigestion. It is also helpful to avoid stressful situations. Your symptoms may feel better if you:

  • Quit smoking
  • Take medicines that weaken or neutralize stomach acid (antacids)

Your healthcare provider may suggest you take medicines that:

  • Help your stomach move food more quickly into your small intestine
  • Decrease the amount of acid in your stomach
  • Kill bacteria (antibiotics) if tests show you have the H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) bacteria in your stomach
  • Help calm the gut’s nervous system

What can I do to prevent indigestion?

There are many things you can do to try to prevent indigestion.

Making changes in your diet and eating habits can help. These include:

  • Eating several small, low-fat meals each day instead of 3 large meals
  • Eating slowly and giving yourself enough time for meals
  • Limiting spicy, fatty, greasy, or high-fiber foods
  • Chewing your food well
  • Limiting or not having any coffee, soda, or alcohol

Avoid medicines that hurt your stomach. These include aspirin and over-the-counter pain and fever medicines (NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If you do take them, do so after you eat.

Other lifestyle changes that may keep indigestion from happening include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Getting enough rest
  • Finding ways to lower your emotional and physical stress, such as meditation or yoga
  • Exercising before a meal or waiting at least 1 hour after eating

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Indigestion can be a sign of a serious health problem. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have indigestion and any of these symptoms:

  • Frequent vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Weight loss or not feeling hungry
  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools (could mean you have blood in your stool)
  • Sudden sharp pain in your belly or abdomen
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sweating
  • Pain that spreads to your jaw, neck, or arm
  • Difficult, painful swallowing
  • Yellow coloring of your eyes or skin (jaundice)

Also call your healthcare provider if you have indigestion that lasts longer than 2 weeks.

Key points

  • Indigestion is a painful or burning feeling in your upper belly or abdomen.
  • It is not the same thing as heartburn.
  • Indigestion may be caused by health problems such as ulcers or lifestyle and eating habits.
  • You should not have foods or medicines that cause indigestion. It is also helpful to avoid stressful situations.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.

Indigestion (for Teens) – Nemours Kidshealth

It’s another busy day for John. After a day of classes and an exhausting soccer practice, he now has half an hour of free time to grab some dinner before play rehearsal. He orders a large pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese and gobbles it down with time to spare.

As he walks into the theater for rehearsal, John starts to feel nauseated and he has a burning feeling in the back of his throat. John can’t understand what’s going on — he felt fine just a few minutes ago.

What Is Indigestion?

John has indigestion, a common digestive problem. Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia (pronounced: dis-PEP-see-ah), is just another name for an upset stomach. Indigestion usually happens when people eat too much or too fast, or certain foods don’t agree with them. It might happen more often if you smoke, drink alcohol, are stressed out, or don’t get enough sleep.

Sometimes indigestion can be accompanied by heartburn. Despite its name though, heartburn actually has nothing to do with your heart. It’s caused by stomach acid splashing up from the stomach and into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. This is called esophageal reflux, and it usually leaves a sour or bitter taste in the mouth.

Indigestion and heartburn are common problems for people of all ages — hence all those commercials for heartburn and indigestion medicines on TV. Some of the medicines you see advertised are OK for teens, but some of them are meant for adults. So before you start taking any medication for heartburn or indigestion, talk to your doctor.

What Causes Indigestion?

You may be wondering how indigestion occurs in the first place. There are many potential causes — often it’s just because a person eats too much or eats too fast, as mentioned before. But sometimes it can be due to smoking, drinking alcohol, or certain stomach problems, like gastritis (stomach inflammation) or an ulcer.


Do I Have It?

If you have indigestion, you’ll probably have one or more of these symptoms:

  • pain or burning in your upper belly
  • nausea
  • bloating
  • uncontrollable burping
  • heartburn

When to Go to the Doctor

Usually, indigestion only happens once in a while, like after eating certain foods that don’t agree with you. But you’ll want to see the doctor if you get indigestion even when you’re eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting enough sleep.

You may need to be examined or have stomach X-rays or other tests to make sure your indigestion is not a sign of another problem in your digestive tract. Depending on what the doctor finds, you might need to make changes in your diet or take medicine.

Be sure to tell your parent or talk to a doctor if these things happen in addition to your indigestion:

  • vomiting (throwing up), especially if you see blood in your vomit
  • weight loss
  • no appetite for more than a day
  • shortness of breath
  • frequent or intense stomach pain
  • black or bloody bowel movements

These can be signs of other problems, so be sure to talk to a doctor if you experience one or several of these symptoms.


Indigestion Prevention

Some people can eat anything and never get an upset stomach. But others are more sensitive to certain foods and find that some just don’t agree with them. If you discover you have a problem with particular foods, it’s best to limit them or skip them entirely.

Besides avoiding problem foods, try to eat a few smaller meals instead of one or two really big ones. Here are some other tips to prevent indigestion:

  • As much as possible, avoid fatty, greasy foods, like fries and burgers.
  • Avoid too much chocolate or too many citrus fruits (the acid in citrus fruits can upset the digestive tract).
  • Eat slowly.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Find ways to relax and decrease stress.
  • Give your body a chance to digest food. Don’t eat a huge meal and immediately go to sports practice. Try to eat at least an hour before physical exertion, or eat afterward.

You might still get indigestion once in a while, even if you follow these tips. But as long as your indigestion doesn’t go on for a long time or is not excessively painful, it’s probably nothing out of the ordinary.

Indigestion 101: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Indigestion is that pesky friend who shows up to a party uninvited. For some, it’s an all-too-familiar feeling. Others may be wondering if they are experiencing indigestion right now. Fortunately, for most people, indigestion is a temporary problem. Learn about indigestion causes, symptoms and treatments below. 

Indigestion Causes 

Indigestion is pretty common; everyone has the occasional overindulgence, so you’re not alone in feeling discomfort. People often develop indigestion after eating or drinking too much, eating too quickly, or eating particularly high-fat foods. Other lifestyle factors that can aggravate your indigestion include alcohol, stress and fatigue. 

Indigestion Symptoms 

Indigestion is typically described as feeling too full or uncomfortable during or after a meal. Other than discomfort, there are several other indigestion symptoms to look out for. For example, a growling stomach, belching, gas and bloating can be indicators that your tummy isn’t feeling so hot. Bloating, feeling extremely full, nausea and heartburn are also signs that your body is experiencing indigestion. Knowing the symptoms of indigestion will help you better understand what you can expect and know how to determine if you have indigestion. 

Indigestion Treatments 

Often, episodes of indigestion will go away within a few hours. But those few hours can feel like an eternity if you are particularly uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are several ways to help prevent indigestion. Make sure to eat slowly and moderately during meals. Drink fluids after meals instead of during them. Try limiting your caffeine intake (and send our apologies to your coffee pot). 

For indigestion relief fast*, turn to Pepto Bismol. Pepto is clinically proven to be effective on upper gastrointestinal symptoms, like indigestion. It soothes your discomfort with proteins that enhance the viscosity of the protective layer in the upper gastrointestinal tract to help you feel better. 

*Use as directed for relief of upset stomach due to overindulgence in food and drink, including heartburn, nausea, gas, belching and fullness. 

Indigestion – Illnesses & conditions

Treatment for indigestion (dyspepsia) will vary, depending on what is causing it and how severe your symptoms are.

If you have been diagnosed with an underlying health condition, you may want to read our information on:

Diet and lifestyle changes

If you only have indigestion occasionally, you may not need to see your pharmacist or GP for treatment. It may be possible to ease your symptoms by making a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, summarised below.

Healthy weight

Being overweight puts more pressure on your stomach, making it easier for stomach acid to be pushed back up into your gullet (oesophagus). This is known as acid reflux, and is one of the most common causes of indigestion.

If you are overweight or obese, it is important to lose weight safely and steadily through regular exercise and by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Read advice on losing weight.

Stop smoking

If you smoke, the chemicals you inhale in cigarette smoke may contribute to your indigestion. These chemicals can cause the ring of muscle that separates your oesophagus from your stomach to relax, causing acid reflux.

Read more about quitting smoking, or speak to your GP or pharmacist. You can also call the Quit Your Way Scotland service on 0800 84 84 84 (8.00am to 10.00pm, every day).

Diet and alcohol

Make a note of any particular food or drink that seems to make your indigestion worse, and avoid these if possible. This may mean:

  • eating less rich, spicy and fatty foods
  • cutting down on drinks that contain caffeine – such as tea, coffee and cola
  • avoiding or cutting down on alcohol

At bedtime

If you tend to experience indigestion symptoms at night, avoid eating for three to four hours before you go to bed. Going to bed with a full stomach means there is an increased risk that acid in your stomach will be forced up into your oesophagus while you are lying down.

When you go to bed, use a couple of pillows to prop your head and shoulders up or, ideally, raise the head of your bed by a few inches by putting something underneath the mattress. The slight slope that is created should help to prevent stomach acid moving up into your oesophagus while you are asleep.

Stress or anxiety

If you regularly experience feelings of stress or anxiety, this can contribute to symptoms of indigestion.

Read some relaxation tips to relieve stress.

Changing current medication

Your pharmacist may recommend making changes to your current medication if they think it could be contributing to your indigestion.

As long as it is safe to do so, you may need to stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Where required, your pharmacist may advise you see your GP to prescribe an alternative medication that will not cause indigestion. However, never stop taking any medication without consulting your pharmacist or GP first.

Immediate indigestion relief

If you have indigestion that requires immediate relief, your pharmacist can advise you about the best way to treat this. As well as lifestyle changes and reviewing your current medication, your GP may prescribe or recommend:

  • antacid medicines
  • alginates

These are described in more detail below.


Antacids are a type of medicine that can provide immediate relief for mild to moderate symptoms of indigestion. They work by neutralising the acid in your stomach (making it less acidic), so that it no longer irritates the lining of your digestive system.

Antacids are available in tablet and liquid form. You can buy them over the counter from most pharmacies without a prescription.

The effect of an antacid only lasts for a few hours at a time, so you may need to take more than one dose. Always follow the instructions on the packet to ensure you do not take too much.

It is best to take antacids when you are expecting symptoms of indigestion, or when they start to occur, such as:

This is because antacids stay in your stomach for longer at these times and have more time to work. For example, if you take an antacid at the same time as eating a meal, it can work for up to three hours. In comparison, if you take an antacid on an empty stomach, it may only work for 20 to 60 minutes.

Read more about antacids, including possible interactions with other medicines and side effects.


Some antacids also contain a medicine called an alginate. This helps relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux.

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks back up into your oesophagus and irritates its lining. Alginates form a foam barrier that floats on the surface of your stomach contents, keeping stomach acid in your stomach and away from your oesophagus.

Your pharmacist may suggest that you take an antacid that contains an alginate if you experience symptoms of acid reflux or if you have GORD.

Take antacids containing alginates after eating, because this helps the medicine stay in your stomach for longer. If you take alginates on an empty stomach, they will leave your stomach too quickly to be effective.

Treating persistent indigestion

If you have indigestion that is persistent or recurring, treatment with antacids and alginates may not be effective enough to control your symptoms. Your pharmacist may recommend a different type of medication, which will be prescribed at the lowest possible dose to control your symptoms. Possible medications include:

  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • h3-receptor antagonists

These are described in more detail below. Your pharmacist may advise you to see your GP who may also test you for the Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) bacteria (see Indigestion – diagnosis) and prescribe treatment for this if necessary.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

PPIs restrict the acid produced in your stomach.

The medication is taken as tablets and if you are over 18, you can buy some types of PPIs over the counter in pharmacies, but these should only be used for short-term treatment. PPIs may enhance the effect of certain medicines. If you are prescribed a PPI, your progress will be monitored if you are also taking other medicines, such as:

  • warfarin – a medicine that stops the blood clotting
  • phenytoin – a medicine to treat epilepsy


If your ingestion is persistent, your pharmacist might advise you to see your GP.

If your GP refers you for an endoscopy (a procedure that allows a surgeon to see inside your abdomen), you will need to stop taking a PPI at least 14 days before the procedure. This is because PPIs can hide some of the problems that would otherwise be spotted during the endoscopy.

PPIs can sometimes cause side effects. However, they are usually mild and reversible. These side effects may include:

  • headaches
  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • vomiting
  • flatulence
  • stomach pain
  • dizziness
  • skin rashes

h3-receptor antagonists

h3-receptor antagonists are another type of medication that your pharmacist or GP may suggest if antacids, alginates and PPIs have not been effective in controlling your indigestion. There are four h3-receptor antagonists:

  • cimetidine 
  • famotidine 
  • nizatidine 
  • ranitidine 

These medicines work by lowering the acidity level in your stomach.

Your GP may prescribe any one of these four h3-receptor antagonists, although ranitidine is available from pharmacies under the Pharmacy First Scotland service. h3-receptor antagonists are usually taken in tablet form.

As with PPIs, you will need to stop taking h3-receptor antagonists at least 14 days before having an endoscopy if this has been arranged through your GP. This is because they can hide some of the problems that could otherwise be spotted during the endoscopy.

Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection

If your indigestion symptoms are caused by an infection with H pylori bacteria, you will need to have treatment to clear the infection from your stomach. This should help relieve your indigestion, because the H pylori bacteria will no longer be increasing the amount of acid in your stomach.

H pylori infection is usually treated using triple therapy (treatment with three different medications). Your GP will prescribe a course of treatment containing:

  • two different antibiotics (medicines to treat infections that are caused by bacteria)
  • a PPI

You will need to take these medicines twice a day for seven days. You must follow the dosage instructions closely to ensure that the triple therapy is effective.

In up to 85% of cases, one course of triple therapy is effective in clearing an H pylori infection. However, you may need to have more than one course of treatment if it does not clear the infection the first time.

Surprising Causes of Excessive Gas

Another unusual cause of bloating is continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) machines. CPAP is one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea. A CPAP machine forces air into the throat during sleep, and some of this air goes into the stomach. If you have bloating and you use CPAP, talk to your sleep specialist. In many cases, bloating can be avoided by changing the settings on the machine.

Lower Intestinal Gas

The other way that gas gets into your digestive system is through the breakdown of undigested foods in your large intestine by bacteria that normally live there. This gas, made up of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and in some people, methane, has nowhere to go but out through the anus. The technical term for this gas is flatus.

We are all familiar with flatus caused by beans or cabbage, but here are some less known flatus producers:

  • Starches like potatoes, corn, and pasta
  • Fruits like apples, peaches, and pears
  • Vegetables like onions, artichokes, and asparagus
  • Spicy, fried, and fatty foods

A bit of trivia: The only starch that produces no gas is rice.

Stomach and Intestinal Problems

From stomach problems to colon problems, anything that interferes with the normal digestion of food can lead to excess gas in the system. Here are some common issues that can interfere with digestion:

  • Gastritis. This condition refers to anything that cases the lining of your stomach to get swollen and irritated. It could be an ulcer caused by bacteria, a reaction to medication, or too much stomach acid. Symptoms of this upper intestinal gas situation include bloating, belching, nausea and vomiting.
  • Lactose intolerance. Lactose is a natural sugar found in dairy products. In order to digest this sugar you need an enzyme called lactase, and some people don’t have enough. Low levels of lactase are common in people of African, Asian, and Native American descent. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include excessive gas and bloating.
  • Celiac disease. This is an inherited disorder in which people cannot tolerate the protein found in wheat products (gluten). The disease affects digestion in the upper part of the intestine and leads to intestinal gas, bloating, and pain.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). What causes IBS is not known, but it’s frequently the reason for complaints of bloating. The bloating may be due to abnormal movements of the digestive muscles or it may be due to an oversensitivity that causes normal amounts of intestinal gas to feel uncomfortable or painful.

When gas symptoms are accompanied by other symptoms like pain, vomiting, constipation, cramps, heartburn, bleeding, or weight loss, you need to see your doctor right away.

Intestinal gas and occasional bloating are usually a normal part of the digestive process. In most cases, excess gas is caused by swallowing too much air or eating gas-producing foods. This kind of gas can usually be controlled by being more careful about how and what you eat. Talk to your doctor if you think your gas symptoms are excessive. There are medications that can help.

How To Distinguish Stomach Upset from Gas Pain

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It might be embarrassing, but passing gas is a completely healthy and normal function of our digestive systems. Most people pass gas 13 to 21 times a day. That’s because when we eat, we swallow air in addition to whatever foods we’re eating, and eventually that air needs to get out. Gas can also occur when undigested food is being broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. In both instances, our bodies are helping to expel excess materials we don’t need in our systems.

So how do you know if your tummy troubles are gas pain versus something else, like an upset stomach? You’ll have some tell-tale signs that come with gas, said Marvin Singh, MD, an integrative gastroenterologist in San Diego, CA. “If you feel bloated, your stomach is distended, you have a sense of fullness, and more than expected belching or flatulence, this could be an indication of having excess gas,” Dr. Singh said. “Many people get pain and discomfort as a result of this.”

Even if you’re not belching or passing gas, you may still experience gas pain. Pay attention to what’s happening to your stomach, particularly after eating. “Gas pains can feel like a stretching sensation and sometimes people get sharp pains,” Dr. Singh said. How intense gas pains are can also vary. “It can be a low-grade dull feeling and at times it could get worse and bring about more of a pain,” Dr. Singh said.

Most times, gas pain is completely normal and will subside shortly thereafter. But if you have abdominal pain, a change in your bowel habits, vomiting, or any other concerning symptoms associated with gas, it’s worth a visit to your doctor to rule out a more serious issue like an obstruction or blockage in the intestine, Dr. Singh said.

For those occasional times when gas is a pain, try Gas-X Ultra Strength Softgels. Fast-acting with an easy-to-swallow softgel coating, Gas-X Ultra Strength Softgels help you get relief from gas and bloating when you need it most!

General Surgery – Indigestion

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Definition & Facts

What is indigestion?

Indigestion, also called dyspepsia or upset stomach, is a general term that describes a group of gastrointestinal symptoms that occur together. These symptoms most often include

  • pain, a burning feeling, or discomfort in your upper abdomen
  • feeling full too soon while eating a meal
  • feeling uncomfortably full after eating a meal

Indigestion may be

  • occasional—happening once in a while
  • chronic—happening regularly for a few weeks or months
  • functional—having chronic symptoms without a specific cause

Indigestion is not a disease. However, indigestion may be a sign of certain digestive tractdiseases or conditions. Indigestion is not always related to eating.

Sometimes digestive tract diseases such as peptic ulcer disease, gastritis, and stomach cancer  cause chronic indigestion. However, most often doctors do not know what causes chronic indigestion. Chronic indigestion without a health problem or digestive tract disease that could explain symptoms is called functional dyspepsia.

How common is indigestion?

Indigestion is a common condition, affecting about 1 in 4 people in the United States each year.1

Of those people with indigestion who see a doctor, almost 3 in 4 are diagnosed with functional dyspepsia.2

Who is more likely to get indigestion?

You are more likely to get indigestion if you

  • drink
    • too many alcoholic beverages
    • too much coffee or too many drinks containing caffeine
  • eat
    • too fast or too much during a meal
    • spicy, fatty, or greasy foods
    • foods that contain a lot of acid, such as tomatoes, tomato products, and oranges
  • feel stressed
  • have certain health problems or digestive tract diseases
  • smoke
  • take certain medicines

What are the complications of indigestion?

In most cases, indigestion does not have complications, although it may affect your quality of life.


[1] Longstreth GF, Lacy BE. Approach to the adult with dyspepsia. UpToDate website. http://www.uptodate.com . Updated September 26, 2014. Accessed November 14, 2016.

[2] Talley NJ, Ford AC. Functional dyspepsia. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2015;373(19):1853–1863.

Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of indigestion?

When you have indigestion, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • pain, a burning feeling, or discomfort in your upper abdomen
  • feeling full too soon while eating a meal
  • feeling uncomfortably full after eating a meal
  • bloating
  • burping

Other symptoms may include

Sometimes when you have indigestion, you may also have heartburn. However, heartburn and indigestion are two separate conditions.

When you have indigestion, you may have pain, a burning feeling, or discomfort in your upper abdomen.

Seek care right away

If you have indigestion and any of the following symptoms, you may have a more serious condition and should see a doctor right away:

  • black, tarlike stools
  • bloody vomit
  • difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing
  • frequent vomiting
  • losing weight without trying 
  • pain in your chest, jaw, neck, or arm
  • severe and constant pain in your abdomen
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • yellowing of your eyes or skin

You should also see a doctor if your indigestion lasts longer than 2 weeks.

What causes indigestion? 

Some of the causes of indigestion include

  • drinking
    • too many alcoholic beverages
    • too much coffee or too many drinks containing caffeine
    • too many carbonated, or fizzy, drinks
  • eating
    • too fast or too much during a meal
    • spicy, fatty, or greasy foods
    • foods that contain a lot of acid, such as tomatoes, tomato products, and oranges
  • feeling stressed
  • smoking

Some medicines can cause indigestion, such as

Health problems and digestive tract diseases and conditions can cause indigestion, including

Researchers do not know what causes functional dyspepsia. Some research3 suggests that the following factors may play a role in functional dyspepsia:

  • eating
  • gastroparesis
  • problems in the first part of your small intestine, including inflammation and being overly sensitive to stomach acids
  • infection by microorganisms such as H. pylori, Salmonella , Escherichia coli  (E. coli), Campylobacter , giardia , or norovirus 
  • psychological problems, especially anxiety
  • genes—a trait passed from parent to child


[3] Talley NJ. Functional dyspepsia: new insights into pathogenesis and therapy. The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine. 2016:31(3):444–456.


How do doctors diagnose indigestion?

Your doctor diagnoses indigestion based on your medical history, a physical exam, upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, and other tests.

Medical history

Your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history. He or she will ask you about your eating and drinking habits, your use of over-the-counter and prescription medicines, and whether you smoke.

Your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history.

Physical exam

During a physical exam, your doctor may

  • check for bloating
  • listen to sounds in your abdomen using a stethoscope
  • tap on your abdomen to check for tenderness, pain, and lumps
  • look for yellowing of your eyes or skin

Upper GI endoscopy

Your doctor may perform an upper GI endoscopy to diagnose diseases and conditions that may be causing your indigestion, such as

A doctor may recommend an upper GI endoscopy for people with indigestion who are older than 55 or for people with indigestion of any age who have

During an upper GI endoscopy, your doctor can use tiny tools passed through the endoscope to take small pieces of tissue from the lining of your stomach and duodenum. This procedure is called an upper GI biopsy. A doctor will examine the tissue samples to look for digestive tractdiseases and conditions, including Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.

Other tests

Imaging tests. Your doctor may use imaging tests such as x-rays , computed tomography (CT) scans , or ultrasound  to look for diseases and conditions in your digestive tract that may be causing your indigestion.

H. pylori testing. Your doctor can detect an H. pylori infection by using blood, stool, or breath tests or by performing an upper GI biopsy.

Blood test. A health care professional may take a blood sample from you and send the sample to a lab to test for signs of H. pylori infection.

Stool test. Your doctor may use stool tests to look for signs of H. pylori infection. Your doctor may also use a stool test to see if treatment has worked to get rid of H. pylori.

Urea breath test. Your doctor may use a urea breath test to check for H. pylori infection. You will swallow a capsule, liquid, or pudding that contains urea—a waste product the body produces as it breaks down protein. The urea is “labeled” with a special carbon atom. If H. pylori are present, the bacteria will convert the urea into carbon dioxide. After a few minutes, you will breathe into a container, exhaling carbon dioxide. A health care professional will test your exhaled breath for labeled carbon dioxide. If the test detects the labeled carbon atoms, the health care professional will confirm an H. pylori infection in your digestive tract. A doctor can also use this test to see if treatment has worked to get rid of H. pylori.


How do doctors treat indigestion?

Treatment for indigestion depends on the cause and may include

  • over-the-counter and prescription medicines
  • changing what you eat and drink
  • psychological therapies

Over-the-counter and prescription medicines

You can buy many medicines to treat indigestion without a prescription, such as antacids, h3 blockers, or proton pump inhibitors. However, if your indigestion lasts longer than 2 weeks, you should see your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe acid-suppressing medicines that are stronger than the ones you can buy, antibiotics, prokinetics, or psychological medicines.

Antacids. Doctors often first recommend antacids—over-the-counter medicines that neutralize acids in your stomach. Antacids include

Doctors often first recommend antacids for indigestion

Antibiotics. To treat a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics—medicines that kill bacteria. He or she will prescribe at least two of the following:

h3 blockers. h3 blockers are medicines that decrease the amount of acid your stomach produces. h3 blockers provide short-term or on-demand relief for many people with indigestion. You can buy an h3 blocker or your doctor can prescribe one. h3 blockers include

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs are most effective in treating indigestion if you also have heartburn. You can buy some PPIs or your doctor can prescribe one. PPIs include

Prokinetics. Prokinetics help your stomach empty faster. Prescription prokinetics include

Changes in what you eat and drink

Your doctor may recommend that you avoid certain foods and drinks that may cause indigestion or make your symptoms worse, such as

  • alcoholic beverages
  • carbonated, or fizzy, drinks
  • foods or drinks that contain caffeine
  • foods that contain a lot of acid, such as tomatoes, tomato products, and oranges
  • spicy, fatty, or greasy foods

Psychological therapies

Your doctor may recommend a type of psychological therapy called “talk therapy ” to help treat anxiety and depression that may be causing your indigestion. If stress is causing your indigestion, your doctor may recommend ways to help you reduce your stress, such as meditation , relaxation exercises , or counseling. Talk therapy can also help you learn how to reduce your stress.

What can I do to help prevent indigestion?

In addition to making changes in what you eat and drink, you can help prevent indigestion by making lifestyle changes such as 

  • avoiding exercise right after eating
  • chewing food carefully and completely
  • losing weight
  • not eating late-night snacks
  • not taking a lot of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • quitting smoking
  • trying to reduce stress in your life
  • waiting 2 to 3 hours after eating before you lie down

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition

How can my diet help prevent indigestion?

You can help prevent indigestion by changing what you eat and drink. You may need to avoid foods and drinks that cause indigestion.

What foods and drinks should I avoid if I have indigestion?

If you have indigestion, avoid foods and drinks that may make your symptoms worse, such as

  • alcoholic beverages
  • carbonated, or fizzy, drinks
  • foods and drinks that contain caffeine
  • foods that contain a lot of acid, such as tomatoes, tomato products, and oranges
  • spicy, fatty, or greasy foods

What can I eat if I have indigestion?

You should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. A healthy diet can improve your overall health, help manage certain diseases and conditions, and reduce the chance of disease.

Clinical Trials

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.

What are clinical trials and are they right for you?

Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Researchers also use clinical trials to look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. Find out if clinical trials are right for you .

What clinical trials are open?

Clinical trials that are currently open and are recruiting can be viewed at www.ClinicalTrials.gov.

November 2016

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

For digestion | EUROAPTIEKA

The modern world full of stress negatively affects the human nervous system, sometimes even destroying it. In some, this contributes to the development of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Stress disrupts appetite – in most cases, people eat irregularly or eat too much food.

Hosam Abu Meri, gastroenterologist of the Diagnostic Center at Veselības centrs 4, tells about the main symptoms and consequences caused by unhealthy diet and their solutions.

Burning and acidic sensation in the mouth indicates the so-called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This means that the contents of the stomach (acid) re-enters the esophagus, and in some cases even reaches the pharynx. The most common causes of this disease are associated with an increased level of acidity in the stomach and a hernia of the esophagus, which forces the contents of the stomach to go back.

Exacerbation of the disease can occur due to irregular food intake, stress and variable weather conditions.As a result, the following symptoms occur: a burning sensation in the sternum, possibly an acidic sensation in the mouth, unpleasant breathing, and a burning sensation in the throat, which sometimes causes a cough. If over time it becomes difficult for the patient to swallow, this means that there is severe inflammation or narrowing in the distal third of the esophagus in the esophagus. This is an alarm signal, and the patient should definitely consult a gastroenterologist and undergo a gastroscopy. Treatment of GERD should first of all begin with regular meals: you need to eat slowly four to five times a day in small portions; carbonated drinks, coffee, sour drinks, including kefir and yogurt, are prohibited.Consumption of spicy foods (spices, garlic, peppers, onions) and pickled foods is undesirable; you should also not eat buns and fresh honey. If the state of health does not improve, and the burning sensation does not go away, you should consult with a gastroenterologist about the initiation of drug therapy to reduce the acidity of the stomach.

Bloating and cramping pains may be associated with flatulence in the colon. The most common causes of bloating are stress and psychological disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.However, this disease can also be caused by parasites, foods that may be associated with intolerance (milk, flour products, sweets, etc.), dysbiosis (imbalance of the intestinal microflora), especially after using antibiotics. Bloating can be associated with even more serious bowel conditions such as colitis. If the person does not have an upset stomach, and bloating is most often observed after a meal or in the afternoon, then most likely it is due to everyday foods.It is recommended to consult with a nutritionist and revise your menu, eat more regularly, do not overeat, do not eat foods containing sugar, do not use fresh milk and kefir, and reduce the consumption of flour products. The condition improves the course of treatment with probiotics. If probiotics do not have the desired effect, you should contact a gastroenterologist and undergo the necessary examinations to clarify the causes of bloating.


Very often the cause of indigestion is not a specific food, but the amount and fat content of the food eaten.The food should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace with a small amount of food at a time. This allows the pancreas to work evenly without overloading. Digestion can also be improved by drinking a glass of lightly carbonated water with meals. To avoid feeling heavy, you should move a little between meals.

If you still overeat and feel a heavy stomach, over-the-counter medications can improve your digestion. For example, enzymes containing lipase and amylase will help break down indigestible substances.Naturally, on the following days, you should balance the diet – eat small portions and drink more fluids.

You should also remember that before using any medication, including an over-the-counter medication, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist, and carefully read the instructions for use of the medicinal product.


  • Don’t go hungry! If you skip a meal, then give free rein to your previously suppressed appetite and eat more than necessary.
  • About an hour before a hearty meal, eat a slice of whole grain bread, a handful of nuts, a banana and some cheese, and a glass of juice. This will help curb your appetite.
  • Did you know that the following combination causes appetite: sweet + salty + fat? Thus, if at the table you try all the dishes in a hurry, after a short period of time you will want to eat again.
  • Drink a glass of water at the start of the meal! Sometimes it seems that you are hungry, but in fact the body signals thirst.
  • Oriental people recommend eating as much at one meal as can fit on two palms.
  • Put a lot of fresh vegetable salad on a plate first to get the fiber it needs.
  • Avoid foods that make you feel uncomfortable after consuming them. For example, peas and beans contain all the nutrients and a lot of fiber. However, if you rarely include them in your daily menu, your stomach can rebel after consuming a large portion of these foods.
  • After you have eaten peas or beans, lengthen the pause until your next meal.
  • Eat slowly, take your time! The slower you eat, the faster you will feel full. This reduces the risk of overeating.
  • You should eat no more than once every two to three hours. If your hand reaches for food, fruits or fresh vegetables are the best choice. It is also good to have clean or mineral water, tea, tomato juice on hand. Drinking carbonated drinks can cause indigestion, bloating, and a feeling of fullness.

Information prepared by Ilze Apine,

Public relations specialist of the health center Veselības centrs 4.

90,000 Can rotavirus and indigestion with Coca-Cola be treated? And why do doctors prescribe it?



: this happened in Greece, Turkey, Germany and a number of other countries.People sometimes encounter similar experiences in Russia when they seek medical help for poisoning and diarrhea. What is the point of such recommendations?

Helmut Meyer zur Capellen / Global Look Press

Why do some people find Coca-Cola healthy?

Commoners are discussing three versions of why cola can be used as a medicine in certain situations. Some believe that the gas bubbles in the drink can “calm” the stomach, others – that the substances that make up the drink make it possible to replenish the water-salt balance and lack of glucose during dehydration after vomiting and diarrhea.The third version concerns orthophosphoric acid, which is part of the drink: it supposedly increases the acidity of the stomach and thereby helps fight various diseases, including rotavirus. Looking ahead, let us say that some of these theses are well founded. But this is not enough to use cola as medicine.

In the West, the topic of cola as a medicine has been raised repeatedly: back in 2008, the New York Times wrote that when it comes to indigestion, many people consider sugary soda as a medicine.“They say that soda helps to calm the stomach, replenish the need for fluids and glucose. Parents also find that dehydrated children are more likely to drink soda than other liquids, ”wrote the NYT. However, in the same year, a group of British researchers working on this topic searched scientific publications for more than 40 years and did not find any official confirmation of the benefits of cola.

“Carbonated soft drinks are not only low in sodium and other electrolytes, but in some cases they are seven times higher than the glucose level recommended by the World Health Organization for rehydration,” the journalists refer to researchers and come to the conclusion about the uselessness of soda for stomach diseases.

Jörg Horstmann / Global Look Press

What disease can Coca-Cola cure?

Five years later, in 2013, the present study on the benefits of cola was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. True, it was about the treatment of a rarer phenomenon than poisoning or rotavirus, the British Daily Mail specified.

Researchers talked about 46 recorded cases when patients with stomach blockage due to stomach stones (phytobezoars) were treated with cola and the effectiveness of the treatment was over 90%.

In half of the cases, the cola completely destroyed the sediment, and another 19 patients did without surgery for the treatment of phytobezoars. The effect was explained by two components: phosphoric acid (which increases the acidity of the stomach) and carbon dioxide, which accelerates the breakdown of stones. But whether more serious studies were conducted, with a control group and placebo trials, is unknown.

Why do foreign doctors prescribe Coca-Cola?

What do Russian doctors think about cola as a medicine and how familiar are they with the western practice of treating cola? As Znak said.com infectious disease doctor, gastroenterologist and nutritionist of the UMMC-Health clinic, Candidate of Medical Sciences Elena Garanina, in the West they really use drinks containing cola for diarrheal syndrome. Cola in this case acts as a remedy for dehydration, as it contains glucose. However, in Russia this is not accepted and is not spelled out in the recommendations anywhere.

Experts propose a 20% tax on sweet soda

“Diarrhea, often caused by spoiled food, usually goes away quickly and is harmless in itself.The problem is severe dehydration, which can lead to many serious consequences and complications, because in addition to water, the body loses many important minerals and salts. The means by which they recover most quickly and efficiently is found in drinks containing cola, ”explained Elena Garanina. The main condition in this case is to “release” the drink.

But fighting infections and Coca-Cola viruses is useless.

“With all the abundance of publications on the forums about the ‘treatment’ of Coca-Cola, it is necessary to understand that a carbonated drink is not a drug.This is a food product, ”comments Andrey Melnikov, chief specialist of the TeleMed remote service. – Numerous reports suggesting drinking Coca-Cola “in case of rotavirus infection”, allegedly contained in the drink acids “corrode” the pathogen and eliminate the problem, cannot be taken seriously, since the normal acidity of gastric juice is much higher than the acidity of cola, and the rotaviruses themselves reliably protected by a three-layer, acid-resistant casing. ”

Sergey Kovalev / Global Look Press

What substances in Coca-Cola affect the body?

According to Melnikov, there is also no evidence of harm from the drink with moderate consumption, and since intoxication (which, among other things, can be one of the consequences of rotavirus) is fought throughout the civilized world, recommending abundant drinking, cola may well be used in this quality – like juices and ordinary water.“The data on the composition of Coca-Cola is different. It is reliably known that in addition to water, there is a certain natural dye, sugar, phosphoric acid and caffeine. There is reason to believe that the “natural dye” contains theobromine, which is used in a number of countries as a drug with a limited list of indications and insufficiently proven efficacy. However, theobromine is recommended to enhance the release of poisons and toxins from body tissues, and the simultaneous administration of acids increases diuresis, which can also somehow explain the detoxification effect of cola, ”he explains.

Another factor that can affect the patient’s body, the specialist calls the presence of caffeine in cola.

“According to modern data, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP) plays an essential role in the mechanism of action of caffeine. Under the influence of cyclic AMP, metabolic processes are stimulated in various organs and tissues. It is believed that caffeine stimulates gastric secretion, mental activity, physical activity, temporarily reduces fatigue and drowsiness, and increases mental and physical performance.This can be regarded by the average person as a positive effect of ‘treatment for poisoning and infection,’ ”he explains.

However, the high concentration of carbon dioxide contained in the cola can disrupt the functioning of the stomach, increasing the secretion of gastric juice. “For patients suffering from gastritis, ulcers or colitis, carbonated drinks are contraindicated. And I think that in Russia “treatment” with cola is less widespread than the [unscientific] practice of treating colds with “pepper” and “tanning” stomach ulcers with alcohol, ”added Melnikov.

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Coronavirus suspected of provoking severe stomach problems – Science

TASS, March 27. Doctors from China have found the first evidence that the most severe forms of coronavirus infection can be accompanied by severe gastrointestinal problems. They described their findings in an article published in the electronic library medRxiv.org

“For the first time, we observed how often acute abnormalities in the stomach and intestines were encountered in critically ill carriers of the virus.It turned out that these problems were typical for 86.7% of them, and their depth was directly related to how severe the infection was, “the researchers write.

Chinese doctors from Wuhan University of Science and Technology and Nanjing Medical University came to this conclusion after studying the general symptoms characteristic of coronavirus carriers who are in critical condition.

For this, specialists studied the medical history of patients who were in Wuhan hospitals between the first week of February and the first week of March.In total, there were 1.3 thousand people, 83 of whom 83 were in critical condition. Half of them died by the middle of this month.

Problems with the gastrointestinal tract

Studying the nature of the course of the disease in surviving and deceased seriously ill patients, doctors noticed one unusual common feature: 72 out of 83 patients (86%) suffered not only from pneumonia, fever and other typical symptoms of coronavirus infection, but also from a number of problems with the gastrointestinal tract (Gastrointestinal tract). In half of the cases, as scientists note, these injuries were irreversible, and in the rest of the patients they disappeared after their recovery.

As the researchers note, it is not yet clear whether these abnormalities in the work of the stomach and intestines due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the patient’s body, or whether they were present even before infection. On the other hand, scientists suggest that the former is more likely, since similar injuries sometimes occurred in carriers of the SARS viruses and the Middle East fever MERS – “relatives” of the new type of coronavirus.

This is also supported by the fact that the severity of digestive disorders was directly related to the probability of death of the patient, the duration of the disease and the severity of its other symptoms.All this, according to Chinese experts, should be taken into account when making decisions on hospitalization and treatment of COVID-19.

Good to know about SUPER SENSITIVITY TO FOOD ADDITIVES (tilsetningstoffer i mat)

SUPER SENSITIVITY TO FOOD ADDITIVES ( tilsetningstoffer i mat )

Useful information on hypersensitivity to food additives – Fact sheet of the Norwegian Asthmatics and Allergy Association

What are food additives?

Food additives is the general name for substances added to food to increase shelf life, replace sugar, impart a specific taste, texture or color.Food additives are always listed on the ingredient list for the product. In some cases, their full names are indicated, in others – the European coding (code “E”).

Food additives are divided into four main groups according to their function: preservatives, antioxidants, stabilizers and colorants. They all perform specific technical functions. Preservatives (code “E”: 200 – 299) and antioxidants (E300 – 399) are added to prolong the shelf life of the product and prevent the development of bacteria, mold and yeast.

Dyes are used to give the product the desired color (E100 – 199).

Stabilizers or thickeners (E400 – 499) are used to give the products the required consistency.

Other common additives are sweeteners (code “E” starting at 950).

What can be the body’s reactions to food additives?

Food additives are generally safe for most allergy sufferers as they never contain milk, lactose, gluten, fish or shellfish products, or nuts.It is not common for the body to react to food additives, but some of the substances can cause reactions in hypersensitive people. Such reactions, as a rule, are not the result of allergic hypersensitivity or allergies, and their appearance largely depends on the amount of the substance that has entered the body.

Symptoms may include itching, hives, asthma attacks, itchy rashes, and skin irritation.

What food additives can the body react to?

Some asthmatics may react to preservatives such as sulfur dioxide and sulfites (E220 – 227), which are added to dried fruits, sun dried tomatoes and wine.Up to 5% of asthmatics can react to these substances, which is most likely due to the fact that sulfur dioxide is released the moment food enters the stomach, and this gas irritates the respiratory tract.

Dyes rarely lead to allergic reactions. This applies to both synthetic and natural substances. An example of such substances is the red carmine dye (E120), as well as azo dyes (E102, E112, E110, E122-124 and E151).

Another preservative, benzoic acid and related compounds (E210, E211-213, E214-219), are the most commonly used and can cause skin reactions or stomach upset.They are also naturally found in berries and fruits, especially cranberries and lingonberries.

Certain antioxidants such as BHA (E320) and BHT (E320), which are added to chewing gum, can in some cases cause swelling of the lips and face.

Glutamic acid, E620, which is a natural amino acid, can cause headaches, sweating and skin redness (Chinese food syndrome) if consumed in large quantities.

Who can develop hypersensitivity to food additives?

The most common hypersensitivity to food additives occurs in patients with atopy.Typically, the type of reaction depends on the dose of the substance, that is, on the ingestion of a certain amount of a particular food additive.

How is hypersensitivity to food additives treated?

The fight against the disease consists in the rejection of products containing food additives that are not tolerated by the body.

Where are the food additives found?

Syrups and jams contain preservatives. Sauces, soups, and liquid condiments contain both preservatives and thickeners.And of course, colorings, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners are found in candy and soft drinks.

Many of the most common food additives are found in nature (eg benzoic acid in blueberries, lingonberries and cloudberries) and natural products (eg beet dye, chlorophyll, honeycomb wax, citric acid and pectin). However, most nutritional supplements are manufactured in factories, including those found in nature. In the production of food additives, requirements are imposed on the absence of plant residues or chemicals.

Synthetic substances are not more “dangerous” than natural ones.

Labeling of products with food additives

All food additives must be listed on the ingredient list, both packaged and bulk. Food additives and other ingredients are listed in order of their own weight. In addition, classification groups are indicated, explaining the functions of additives in the product, and the European coding (code “E”).

Baby food

Baby food is food produced for small children, that is, under the age of 3 years.Baby food may contain only food additives required during the production process. Colors, sweeteners, preservatives and antioxidants are not approved for use in such products.

How do food additives affect hyperactivity disorder?

From time to time, food additives are blamed for the development of hyperactivity disorder in children. To date, there is not enough information about the causes of the development of hypersensitivity and hyperactivity syndrome and what role food additives can play in this.If you suspect the manifestation of hyperactivity syndrome, it is recommended to temporarily remove such foods from the diet in order to assess whether this measure will lead to a decrease in the manifestation of syndromes.

Lactose intolerance: causes, symptoms, analysis

Are you suffering from cramps and bloating? Can you hear the rumbling in your stomach? Are you periodically worried about loose stools? If these signs appear some time after the intake of milk and milk-containing products, one can assume the presence of lactose intolerance (hypolactasia).

Why does such a pathology occur and can it be avoided? Let’s figure it out.

Lactose (milk sugar) is a substance found in the milk of mammals and humans. The role of lactose in the body is great: it helps the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, in the intestines, and also promotes the reproduction of lactobacilli necessary for the body.

Normally, in all babies, lactose is broken down in the small intestine by a special enzyme – lactase.With age, the amount of lactase in the body of some people decreases.

The diet of a modern person is difficult to imagine without dairy products, and the presence of this enzyme in the body is extremely important for the normal process of digestion.

Mechanism of development of hypolactasia

Lactose intolerance occurs when lactase is completely absent or insufficient. The task of this enzyme is to participate in the conversion of lactose in the small intestine into glucose and galactose.These carbohydrates are able to penetrate the intestinal wall into the bloodstream.

In case of a lack or absence of lactase, the unbroken milk sugar enters the large intestine, where it becomes “food” for the bacteria living here. The result of the processing of lactose by bacteria is carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen and water. The gases formed in the lumen of the large intestine stretch its walls, causing bloating (flatulence) and pain in it, and water causes the development of diarrhea (loose stools).

Lactose intolerance in children is much less common than in adults.It can be congenital and acquired. Alactasia, or complete absence of an enzyme, is associated with a structural disorder of the lactase gene. In this case, the baby should receive lactose-free food from birth. Fortunately, this condition is quite rare. More often, you can observe the functional immaturity of the enzyme system of infants, which leads to insufficient milk tolerance; some time after birth, the amount of the enzyme increases and the breakdown of lactose improves.

Acute and chronic intestinal infections, immune, inflammatory, atrophic processes in the intestine can lead to secondary (acquired) intolerance to milk sugar.

The risk of developing this pathology is increased by such factors as age, ethnicity (in the countries of North America, Africa, Southeast Asia, the percentage of those suffering from hypolactasis is higher), and premature birth.

How is lactose intolerance manifested?

Rumbling and bloating in the stomach, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches – these symptoms of lactose intolerance occur in some people an hour after taking whole milk or dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese, kefir, ice cream).

The higher the degree of hypolactasia, the more intense the clinical manifestations. However, it should be remembered that such a reaction of the body may also be due to the use of stale products that have expired or are incompatible. In both cases, if you have the symptoms mentioned above, you should consult a doctor.

Diagnosis of lactose intolerance

A biopsy of the mucous membrane of the small intestine is a direct method of measuring the activity of the enzyme lactase it contains.Due to the trauma and complexity of this study, it is used during operations or other vital interventions.

Genetic tests identify genes that block the production of lactase.

One of the most common indirect tests for lactose intolerance, among others, is the lactose load test. It is based on a comparison of blood glucose values ​​in an adult before the study and after ingestion of 50 grams of lactose dissolved in 0.5 liters of water.If lactose is broken down and the resulting glucose is absorbed into the blood, the meter will show an increase in blood glucose. Otherwise, it can be concluded that lactase does not work.

How to treat lactose intolerance?

Primary hypolactasia is a kind of norm, not a disease, therefore there is no specific treatment for this form of lactose intolerance, but a lactose-free diet must be followed. Secondary hypolactasia is corrected in the treatment of the underlying disease that led to its development.Taking the missing enzyme in the form of tablets and drops must be combined with a balanced diet developed by a nutritionist.

Do not forget that with a mild degree of lactose intolerance, you can avoid the occurrence of unpleasant symptoms if you reduce the amount of whole milk you drink and include lactose-free cheese, cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt in the diet. Eating milk porridge will cause much less consequences than a glass of milk, since lactose will enter the intestines in portions, and its processing will be more efficient.

90,000 ᐈ Urgent conditions in children: first aid ~ 【Kiev】

It is imperative to call a doctor in the following cases if your child has:

  • Vomiting.
  • Dehydration of the body.
  • High temperature.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Excessive drowsiness, seizures, confusion or wanton aggression.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Sudden groin pain in boys.
  • Signs of bacterial meningitis.
  • Blood in the stool.
  • After the vaccination, there is sometimes a change in the general condition.


If the child starts to vomit, it is necessary to pause for about 30-40 minutes before giving him anything to drink. Then give the child a few small sips of plain clean water: boiled, filtered or mineral water without gas. If possible, go to the pharmacy and purchase any saline solution (Gastrolit, Regidron, Humana electrolyte).If vomiting does not recur after 15 minutes, continue giving water in portions every 15 minutes. Stop eating for about 4 more hours. If the vomiting continues, the baby may become excessively dehydrated. Therefore, in this case, be sure to call the pediatrician.

If vomiting does not stop for more than 24 hours, and especially if it is not accompanied by diarrhea, you need to call an ambulance. Vomiting and fever in the absence of diarrhea can be signs of many dangerous diseases: appendicitis, streptococcal sore throat, or urinary tract infection.If the vomit contains traces of blood or mucus, or vomit is greenish in color, this may indicate damage or obstruction of the intestine and requires emergency medical attention.

Dehydration of the body

Dehydration can be dangerous. Especially very quickly dehydration occurs with diarrhea and vomiting. Sometimes children with severe angina tend to drink less fluids because it hurts them to swallow, which can also lead to dehydration.In these cases, it is important, little by little, but constantly, to give the child clean water, as if vomiting. Signs of dehydration: the child urinates less than 3 times a day, he may have a headache, drowsiness, as well as dry lips or tongue, the fontanelle in infants is slightly pressed. The symptoms listed above require an urgent call to the doctor.

High temperature

An increase in body temperature to 39.4⁰C may indicate a severe bacterial infection. Call the doctor right away, no matter what age your child is.If the child is not yet 3 months old, then immediately consult a doctor at a temperature of 37.8⁰C, if the child is 3 to 6 months old – at a temperature of 38.3⁰C.

In general, not only the fact of high temperature is important, but also the behavior and condition of the child in this case. If you gave your child an antipyretic (paracetamol), and for an hour after that he is still crying or naughty or behaving unusually (for example, he cannot wake up in any way), you should urgently call a doctor, even if the temperature was no more than 38 degrees.If the child’s temperature has subsided, he is lively and calm, the doctor can be called in a planned manner. Especially if the high temperature lasts more than 24 hours.

Shortness of breath

Difficulty breathing can be the cause of many diseases. Noisy or hoarse breathing is a sign of croup, an asthma attack, or a swallowed foreign body. Croup is a respiratory illness most often accompanied by a barking cough that gets worse at night.Difficulty breathing with croup occurs on inhalation and may be relieved by inhaling warm water vapor from a strong shower or cool outside air. Try to provide first aid and call a doctor at the same time. You should also see a doctor for any symptoms of shortness of breath, if it lasts more than 20-30 minutes.

Excessive sleepiness, seizures, confusion or unreasonable aggression

These conditions can be caused by many reasons, but they all require a doctor’s call.
Seizures are usually characterized as rhythmic jerking of the head or other parts of the body. Some of the causes of seizures can be a head injury or high fever. If the convulsions do not stop longer than 2-3 minutes, then you need to call an ambulance.
Head injuries are common in young children.

If a child has bruised his head, carefully monitor his condition for at least 4 hours after bruising. For many children, head injury is accompanied by drowsiness and headache, and occasional vomiting may occur.You can let your baby sleep during those 4 hours, but you should wake him up every half hour to make sure the baby can be easily awakened. In case of loss of consciousness, convulsions, unusual behavior or frequent vomiting, be sure !!! call a doctor.

Accidental ingestion of medicine or poison requires immediate medical attention. Try to give the child plenty of water to drink and give a sorbent, for example, Enterosgel or Smecta.

Stomach pain

Stomach pain can have a variety of causes, from constipation to indigestion or stomach flu.It is necessary to see a doctor if the pain persists for a long time and is accompanied by a complete loss of appetite, greenish vomiting, or bloody diarrhea. If the pain is so severe that the child cannot walk or bends in half, a doctor should be called immediately.

Pain upward from the navel is often associated with digestive problems, indigestion, gas, or psychological anxiety (stress). Pain in the lower region of the navel may be associated with a bladder infection.Constipation can cause acute pain in the left lower abdomen . Well, acute pain in on the right side of can be caused by appendicitis, and this is a reason to call a doctor.

Sudden groin pain in boys

In the first weeks or months of a baby’s life, a protrusion is determined in the groin area. In boys, it can descend into the scrotum. When screaming, crying, walking, sneezing, urging to stool, the swelling increases in size. However, in a horizontal position, the protrusion sometimes disappears and is easily and painlessly adjusted into the abdominal cavity.

In 20% of cases, a sudden infringement of the hernial contents may occur. This means that the intestine is stuck in the inguinal canal, the blood vessels bend and overlap.

As a result, severe pain, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety of the child occur.

In this case, urgent surgical treatment is shown. Therefore, do not waste time and call either a pediatrician or an ambulance at home !!!

Signs of bacterial meningitis

The main early symptoms of meningitis are fever, headache with vomiting, a stiff neck with a tendency to throw the head back, and a reddened and painful throat.They usually occur after acute respiratory infections of the respiratory tract.

In children under 2 years of age, meningitis usually leads to an increase in body temperature, lack of appetite, vomiting, irritability, seizures. The child is constantly crying. The skin over the fontanelle becomes tense and the fontanelle may bulge. Unlike adolescents and adults, children in the first year of life do not always develop a stiff neck. Therefore, if the child has the above symptoms, be sure to urgently call a pediatrician or an ambulance at home

Blood in the stool

If there are traces of blood in the stool, you should always consult a doctor.Depending on in which part of the gastrointestinal tract bleeding occurred, the color of the blood may be different. A newborn baby can swallow the mother’s blood during childbirth or from the breast during feeding. In this case, the blood is usually black and mucous. At the same time, there are no other symptoms and the child looks healthy.

Inflammation of the small and large intestines can cause bloody, watery stools. Bloating may be observed, the child looks extremely weak, painful.

Check the child’s diet for the last 24 hours. It is likely that the child was eating red food (such as beets or red-dyed jelly) that might look like blood.

Dark-colored stools may occur with certain medications. Such as iron supplements, for example. Although the causes of bloody stool may be minor, such as minor trauma to the bowel or anus from constipation, medical attention is necessary to rule out more serious causes.

And it is very important that mom carefully describes the color of the chair. Whether the blood is mixed with mucus or stool. Consistency, frequency, smell, stool color. Describe the general condition of the child, measure the temperature before the arrival of the doctor.

After the vaccination, sometimes there is a change in the general condition

The appearance of temperature, the appearance of an infiltrate (subcutaneous induration) at the injection site, expressed anxiety. In such a situation, it is necessary to give an antiallergic drug and anoint it 4-6 times a day with Traumeel or Troxevasin ointment.If the infiltration is more than 8 cm, call a doctor at home!

When the temperature rises above 38.5 degrees C (in children prone to seizures, this “threshold” should not exceed 37.6 degrees C), it is necessary to use antipyretics (PARACETAMOL, NUROFEN, NIMULID). If the high temperature persists even after taking medications or other disorders in the child’s well-being appear, a doctor should be called.

Parents should also be alerted by the persistent monotonous (piercing cry) of the baby, which does not pass within 3 hours, convulsions.

This article is for informational purposes only. Please remember: self-medication can be harmful to your health.

90,000 Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and nerves: how are they interrelated?

What diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are psychosomatic in nature, that is, they begin to develop after strong experiences or stress.

“I don’t digest it”, “Well, you are an ulcer!”, “Bile utterance” – these expressions very clearly demonstrate how gastrointestinal diseases are associated with emotions and human psychology.Many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are of a psychosomatic nature, that is, they begin to develop after intense experiences or stress. Irina Pichugina , Candidate of Medical Sciences, gastroenterologist, psychiatrist, specialist in the field of psychosomatics, explains how this happens.

The trigger mechanism of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract is often stress – acute or chronic. I cannot say that all the psychological problems of my patients are drawn from childhood or that everyone has long-term emotional stress.

For example, one of my patients could tell the exact time when he fell ill – on New Year’s Eve he had a fight with his wife, left home and wandered around the cold streets of Moscow all night. In the morning he returned, reconciled with his wife, but for another 2 years he could not recover.

What processes in the body trigger the disease?

The most ancient system of our body is vegetative. It protects us from changing influences by maintaining consistency in body composition and function.However, at a certain moment, with an increase in stress load, a failure in the autonomic nervous system may occur.

At this moment, the protection is sharply reduced and damage occurs in one or another organ. The fact is that each person has his own “weak point”, which is determined by hereditary factors and is formed in the process of life. Having identified it, we can begin to talk about the “somatization” of the process or about psychosomatic illness.

The following diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are classified as psychosomatic diseases:

  • Esophagospasm
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Biliary dyskinesia
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Ulcerative colitis

In addition, stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of many other diseases.Anxiety often leads to increased motility, an increase in the amplitude of contractions of the gastrointestinal tract. But depression, on the contrary, is accompanied by decreased motor skills, weakening of the speed and amplitude of contractions.

It turns out that before taking medications, you need to deal with the psychological background of the disease?

Yes, the key to successful recovery is solving psychological problems. For example, many patients with irritable bowel syndrome who take a large amount of drugs and follow a diet often report a complete absence of symptoms on vacation, if it is at sea.The man went to rest, completely relaxed, and the disease receded. He returned to work, became nervous again, and the symptoms returned again.

That is, you need to somehow change your life?

Treatment of each case of psychosomatic illness is, of course, a personalized approach and a great job of the patient himself.

Treatment of psychosomatic illness must be comprehensive:

  • It is necessary to normalize the daily routine;
  • It is very important to get up and go to bed at the same time, try to eat according to a specific schedule;
  • Diet plays an important role in the healing process.It will have its own characteristics in each individual case;
  • It is imperative to take short breaks during work;
  • Do not forget about physical activity – walking in the fresh air, exercising, playing sports.