If you’ve ever suffered from Indigestion, you know it’s not pleasant. You’ll feel pain in your stomach that radiates to your chest. You may also have trouble eating, or you might be suffering from nausea and vomiting.
Seeing your primary care physician can seem like a great idea when you’re suffering from Indigestion, but in reality, it might not always be your best option. While many people think of the emergency room as their only option, there are other alternatives to help relieve heartburn symptoms, such as urgent care centers.
Indigestion can be caused by minor things like overeating, eating the wrong foods, or drinking too much alcohol. These centers often have better hours and shorter wait times, and do more than provide basic testing. Here’s why you should visit an urgent care for your digestive issues:
What is Indigestion?
Indigestion is a condition that occurs when the stomach and upper part of the small intestine (duodenum) are under pressure, causing heartburn and pain in the upper abdomen. Indigestion can be caused by certain medications, including aspirin, calcium channel blockers (for treating high blood pressure), steroids, or antibiotics.
Indigestion can also be caused by eating too fast or too much, eating spicy foods, and drinking carbonated beverages before bed. It may also be caused by specific hormone changes related to menopause or pregnancy.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam to diagnose Indigestion. Your blood pressure might be taken, and your stomach may be examined. You may have blood tests to check for abnormalities in the liver or pancreas.
The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms, so you can go back to eating normally without pain or discomfort. Treatment options include lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. Sometimes prescription drugs are needed if other treatments don’t work well enough or if there’s a serious underlying condition causing your Indigestion.
Top 5 Causes of Indigestion
1. Overeating At One Time
Overeating at one time can cause Indigestion. This is especially true if you are eating foods that are hard to digest, such as fatty or fried food. The more you eat, the longer it takes your stomach to empty itself. This can cause the food to turn sour and make you feel nauseated.
2. Eating Too Fast
Eating too fast can also lead to Indigestion because it causes your body to produce more acid than it usually would when you take your time eating your meal.
Eating slowly allows the body to properly break down food into smaller particles before sending them through the digestive tract for absorption into the bloodstream for energy production or storage in fat cells if not needed immediately by cells for energy production.
3. Eating While Stressed Out
Stress can also be an underlying cause of Indigestion. Stressful situations affect how well your body digests food, causing gas and bloating that leads to indigestion symptoms such as abdominal pain, heartburn, and nausea.
When stress levels are high, the body produces more stomach acid than expected, leading to all kinds of problems, including heartburn and gastric reflux disease (GERD).
4. Not having Enough Fiber
Not getting enough fiber in your diet can cause constipation — and constipation can cause heartburn (acid reflux). Fiber helps increase bulk in the stool, so it moves through the intestines more easily, preventing constipation and associated symptoms like bloating and heartburn.
5. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it promotes urination. It also causes the stomach to produce less acid, which is needed for proper digestion. A single drink can cause Indigestion in some people, but if you’re going to drink, moderation is the key (one drink per hour).
Signs and symptoms of Indigestion
If you have Indigestion, you may experience:
- A burning sensation in your upper abdomen.
- A feeling of fullness after eating.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Belching, bloating, and flatulence (gas).
- Pain behind the breastbone (sternum).
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Burning or aching in your upper abdomen (heartburn).
- Feeling bloated after eating.
- Feeling sick (nausea).
- Burping without relief.
How to treat Indigestion?
The goal of treatment is to reduce stomach acidity and relieve symptoms, such as heartburn, belching, and bloating. To do this, you may need:
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Try drinking more water or other liquids to help relieve symptoms in the short term. Avoid alcohol, carbonated beverages, and beverages with caffeine because they can exacerbate symptoms.
2. Avoid High-Fat Foods
High-fat foods can trigger Indigestion because they slow digestion and increase stomach acid production. Reducing the amount of fat in your diet may help relieve symptoms.
3. Take Antacids If Needed
Antacids neutralize the excess stomach acid by increasing its pH level (making it less acidic). These medications are available over-the-counter without a prescription and include calcium carbonate (Tums) and magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia). Antacids should be taken only on an empty stomach — at least 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals.
4. Eat Smaller Meals and More Often
Your stomach needs time to digest food, so eating lots of small meals throughout the day may help reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces. It’s also important to eat slowly and chew food thoroughly to prevent gas from forming in your stomach.
5. Avoid Foods That Cause Heartburn And Reflux
Avoid spicy foods and carbonated drinks, which can increase stomach acid production. Try not to lie down right after eating or make sudden movements after eating something rich or creamy, such as ice cream or pudding — it could trigger heartburn or reflux by pushing acid into the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth with the stomach).
7 Reasons You Should Go To Urgent Care for Your Indigestion
If you think you might have Indigestion, there are several ways to treat it at home, including taking antacids or over-the-counter medications. However, if your symptoms are severe enough or don’t go away with these methods, you should consider going to Urgent Care instead. Here are seven reasons why:
1. You Can Get Treatment Same Day
Whether it’s an eye infection or heartburn, urgent care can provide you with the treatment you need without waiting days for an appointment. You’ll be seen by a qualified physician and treated quickly so that you can get back to your life sooner.
2. It Could Be Something More Serious
Indigestion might be your only symptom, but many other conditions can cause similar symptoms. Acid reflux disease and heartburn are common causes of Indigestion, but they’re also signs of other gastrointestinal diseases like ulcers and gastritis.
If you experience persistent nausea or vomiting along with your Indigestion, see your doctor immediately because these symptoms could indicate more severe health problems like pancreatitis or kidney stones.
3. An Emergency Room Visit Is Expensive
A trip to the emergency room can be expensive. If you live in a rural area and need transportation to an emergency room for something like Indigestion, it could take hours for you to get there.
Not only does this cost money, but it also puts your health at risk because it could delay treatment until after the symptoms worsen if they do not improve on their own within 24 hours of starting therapy with over-the-counter medicine.
4. You Can’t Do Much to Help Indigestion at Home
If you have Indigestion, you might try eating something like Tums to eliminate the symptoms. However, this is not a long-term solution for Indigestion because it does not address the underlying cause of the problem and only masks it temporarily with antacids or other medications. If you want to treat your Indigestion properly, then going to an urgent care clinic is your best option.
5. Your Condition Can Rapidly Worsen
Suppose you have Indigestion that doesn’t get better within 24 hours or worsens over time. In that case, it could be a sign of something more serious than simple heartburn or acid reflux — especially if you’re experiencing other symptoms such as fever, nausea, and pain in your abdomen.
At urgent care, we’ll be able to rule out any severe conditions like appendicitis or gastroenteritis (inflammation of the intestines) and determine the best course of action for your treatment.
6. You Need a Diagnosis and Treatment ASAP
Indigestion can cause nausea and vomiting and make it difficult for you to eat without experiencing pain afterward. You may also experience chest pains, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation from the irritation caused by stomach acid entering the esophagus.
These symptoms may be accompanied by bloating, belching, and heartburn that progresses into acid reflux when lying down.
7. Insurance Will Cover the Cost
If you have insurance coverage, you will almost certainly receive reimbursement for your visit to an urgent care clinic. Urgent care centers are considered “non-emergent” facilities, which means they do not offer 24/7 coverage as hospitals do. Still, they provide same-day treatment for non-life threatening injuries like cuts and bruises and minor illnesses such as the flu.
Visit University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, TX
If you’re experiencing symptoms of Indigestion, such as acid reflux, heartburn, and a sour taste in your mouth, you must visit our Urgent Care Clinic immediately. While we’d all love to be able to treat these symptoms at home, there are many dangers with complications that can occur with treating them at home if not done correctly.
You can visit University Urgent Care for help with your Indigestion. Our doctors and staff will help you feel better!