Severe Indigestion and Stomach Pain – What Could It Be?
Severe indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a vast collection of gastrointestinal symptoms that can vary from person to person. Most often, it is encountered immediately following a meal and can be commonly characterized by a feeling of uncomfortable fullness. While rather commonplace, WebMD points out that it is usually a sign of underlying health conditions. Some of them are less ordinary, such as gallbladder disease. But, some of them are everyday occurrences that affect millions and millions of people.
As indigestion symptoms vary from person to person, some may encounter many while others may only encounter a few. Excessive stomach gas is one of the most common, and this is typically found alongside bloating and belching as a result. Nausea, vomiting and an acidic taste in the mouth that can seem sour are also common indigestion symptoms. Abdominal pain, sometimes bordering on intense, can also be experienced in cases of severe indigestion as well as a burning sensation that can run up from the belly button to the base of the breastbone.
One common cause of stomach pain as associated with indigestion is ulcers. These are open sores that can affect the lining of the tissue found in the stomach, esophagus and upper part of the small intestine (duodenum). They can cause intense stomach pain and often, this can occur right after eating, which can falsely give the impression of just severe indigestion instead of a more sinister, underlying cause. In most cases, ulcers are caused by a bacterium called H. Pylori. But, they can also be caused by overuse of medications, such as ordinary over the counter pain relievers, known as NSAIDS, according to The Mayo Clinic.
Acid indigestion can be another common cause of stomach pain and supposed indigestion, and its chronic form, GERD, can create even more severe symptoms. Acid reflux is characterized by stomach acid that travels back up the esophagus in the wrong direction, backwards, which can create painful and burning symptoms. It is not uncommon for these symptoms to mimic those of severe indigestion and therefore be dismissed as simply a negative reaction to certain trigger foods like those that are especially spicy or deep fried.
Food intolerance can be another cause of dyspepsia and its accompanying symptoms. Many people who have sensitivities to certain foods are blindly unaware and simply accept the occasional discomfort that can be experienced when problem edibles come into the picture. Symptoms of Celiac disease in women and men for instance, can include bloating and gas as well as abdominal pain, which can all be easily dismissed as simply severe indigestion when in actuality, a more ominous cause may be underlying.
Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms can include digestive discomfort and even severe abdominal pain. The Mayo Clinic explains that while it is still not entirely understood, it is accepted to be a common disorder that affects the colon or, large intestine. Diarrhea, bloating, gas and constipation are hallmark symptoms of the condition, and abdominal pain is encountered by many sufferers as well. This laundry list of digestive woes can easily be mistaken for severe indigestion and therefore it should be considered as a potential underlying cause if symptoms are recurring or persist.
Tummy troubles are one of the most common medical complaints and they are incredibly difficult to diagnose. Since so many conditions bear symptoms that are similar to each other, it is very easy for underlying causes of them to go entirely undetected. However, when indigestion that is severe occurs frequently, is debilitating, or other symptoms exist such as changes in stool color or blood in the vomit, a visit to a health care provider is essential. This is because while many of the common underlying causes of severe indigestion are mild and manageable, persistent symptoms could be signaling much more hazardous conditions. And, it is especially important to note (as WebMD does), that some of the symptoms of indigestion that are severe, primarily pain, can be similar to those caused from heart attacks, and so it is critical to pay attention to the signs and signals that the body is providing to determine whether or not they are related to ordinary indigestion, or something much, much worse.