WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Chronic indigestion, also called dyspepsia, is stomach discomfort that lasts more than 7 days a month. Chronic means that the symptoms may slowly get worse, come and go, or last for a long time.
- Medicines decrease the amount of acid in your stomach.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP as directed:
You may be referred to a gastroenterologist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage chronic indigestion:
- Do not eat foods that irritate your stomach , such as spicy or fatty foods. Do not drink beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol. Chocolate, peppermint, spearmint, and citrus may also make your symptoms worse. Eat small meals several times a day rather than large meals.
- Limit medicines that irritate your stomach such as NSAIDs, steroids, or narcotics. If you are given these medicines for a current health condition, ask your PHP how to decrease stomach irritation. Your PHP may suggest another medicine that is less irritating. Ask before you take any over-the-counter medicine.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Ask your PHP how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
- Find ways to decrease stress. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing, meditation, and listening to music. These may help you cope with stressful events. A counselor may also help you find the cause of your stress and ways to manage it.
Contact your PHP or gastroenterologist if:
- You have pain, discomfort, or constipation.
- You have mild to moderate nausea with vomiting and stomach swelling.
- Your skin looks pale, and you feel weaker and more tired than usual.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have trouble swallowing.
- You have severe abdominal pain that does not go away even after you take pain medicine.
- Your bowel movement is black or you vomit blood.
- You lose weight without trying.
- You have repeated episodes of vomiting.
- You feel a mass or lump in your abdomen.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.