What is Indigestion?
Indigestion is also called an upset stomach; in general it is a discomfort in the upper abdomen area. Typically suffer from several symptoms, including heartburn, bloating, belching, and nausea. Indigestion affects nearly everyone from time to time, and it is not considered a serious health condition but it can be very uncomfortable.
What causes it? Indigestion most often occurs if an individual eats too much of a particular food (especially fatty or spicy foods) or eats too quickly. Alcohol, stress, and anxiety may also contribute to indigestion.
Indigestion can also be caused by other more serious health concerns like food allergies or intolerances, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD - colitis or crohn's) GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), or peptic ulcer disease. It is important to consult with a healthcare practitioner such as a naturopathic doctor or your medical doctor if you have severe symptoms in order to rule any of these more serious concerns in or out.
What are my treatment options? Most important first step is to find out the cause of your indigestion. Are you eating foods that your body is reacting negatively towards? This can occur with both healthy and unhealthy foods and can be identified through food allergy testing. Have you been taking medications that are causing wearing away of the protective mucus lining of your digestive tract? Perhaps you went on a tropical vacation and picked up a chronic stomach bug? Some people are sensitive to various food combinations or suffer from mental concerns like anxiety which can lead to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms. Once this cause has been identified, you will be one step closer to finding the treatments options that will work best.
Antacid medications are commonly prescribed for most indigestion concerns. Unfortunately these only act as bandaid solutions and can cause undesirable long term side effects such as gas and bloating. If the cause is not removed, the condition often worsens.
Natural alternative or complimentary options:
Interestingly, many peole who take antacids actually need remedies that will increase the amount of acid their stomach produces. As a result, these types of medications often make the symptoms worse. Various digestive tests can assess whether or not this is the case for you.
Other assessment methods are used by the Naturopathic Doctors at KIH clinic to identify the cause of indigestion. One of the main ones is food sensitivity testing including IgG blood tests, IgA salivary testing, ALCAT blood work and screening for antibodies present in patients with celiac disease. The holistic nutritionist and naturopathic doctors also offer treatment plans that incorporate nutritional councelling, natural remedy prescriptions (enzymes, herbal medicine, vitamins) and acupuncture.
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