Leading insurance brokers in Dubai shine light on insurance options for problems related to indigestion
27 November 2018| Last updated on 9 December 2018
Not all months are created equal. November and December, featuring major festivals such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, are destined to be celebrated with plenty of food and drinks.
However, after gobbling down a delicious feast, you may feel sluggish, bogged down, and heavy.
And depending on how healthy your digestive system is, the uncomfortable sensation could stay in your belly for a few hours or even an entire day if you do not end up vomiting all the food midway.
We certainly don’t want indigestion to spoil anyone's festive mood, especially if you have been suffering from this problem for a long time. In this feature by leading insurance brokerage Pacific Prime Dubai, we will outline what indigestion are, its causes, diagnosis, and provide some key tips on how to prevent it.
What exactly is indigestion?
Indigestion is also called dyspepsia.
It is an umbrella term that covers a collection of digestive symptoms experienced during or after eating. The most common symptom is pain or discomfort in your upper abdomen (dyspepsia), or burning pain behind the breastbone (heartburn). It is usually a sign of an underlying health condition, such as ulcers and thyroid disease.
The most common symptoms of indigestion include:
- Feeling uncomfortably full for a long time after a meal
- Belching and gas, including bringing food or fluid back up from the stomach (reflex)
- Experiencing burning in the upper abdomen
Other than the above symptoms, if you suffer from any of the more serious conditions listed below, you should consult your doctor and seek medical help:
- Shortness of pain
- Repeated vomiting with blood
- Severe and constant abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
What are the causes of indigestion?
There are many possible reasons behind indigestion, and oftentimes it is linked with lifestyle and eating habits or triggered by food, drinks, or medication.
The most common causes include:
- Eating too fast or binge eating
- Overindulging in fatty, acid, oily, spicy, gas-producing, caffeinated or other hard-to-digest food
- Smoking cigarettes
- Feeling too stressed or anxious
- Taking certain antibiotics, steroid medication, and thyroid medicine
Additionally, as mentioned before, indigestion could be a warning sign of diseases such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and other stomach illnesses.
During the middle and later stages of pregnancy, some women may also experience indigestion. This may be because of hormones that relax the muscles of the digestive tract, or because the growing baby is putting more pressure on the stomach.
Last but not least, some people suffer from indigestion without any particular known cause. This is called functional or non-ulcer dyspepsia.
How is indigestion diagnosed?
The doctor will review your symptoms and medical history, and conduct further body examinations if you show more serious symptoms such as vomiting and loss of weight.
These exams include:
- An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to check for abnormalities in the upper digestive tract, during which time a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera will be inserted to look closely inside your stomach, and a tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken for analysis
- Laboratory tests to check for metabolism disorders or anemia
- Imaging tests (X-ray or CT scan) of the stomach or small intestine to check for intestinal obstruction or other issues
Blood, breath, and stool tests to check for the presence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacterium associated with peptic ulcers
Since indigestion is a symptom rather than an illness in itself, the treatment depends on the underlying health condition.
How can you prevent indigestion?
Some medications can help to relieve the symptoms of indigestion.
Over-the-counter antacids are generally the first choice. Calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate can neutralize stomach acid. Simethicone can reduce bloating.
Apart from taking medication, a change in lifestyle can also ease indigestion. The rule of thumb is to avoid eating food that may trigger indigestion. Keeping a food diary is a good start since you can keep track of your diet and assess which types of food causes indigestion.
Other methods include:
- Having more frequent meals instead of having three meals a day
- Avoid chewing with your mouth open, talking while chewing or eating too fast
- Avoid eating late at night
- Controlling stress and anxiety by engaging in relaxing activities
- Avoid exercising with a full stomach
- Avoid lying down right after you finish a meal
Drinking after instead of during meals
Seek advice from a leading insurance brokerage
Overindulgence will put excess strain on your digestive system, and cause discomfort and nausea. You certainly would not want this to happen during festive celebrations.
While there is no specific insurance policy that specialized for indigestion, having the right insurance in place can not only covers your outpatient expenses when you see a general practitioner, but also protects you against more serious health conditions that might be the underlying root of your indigestion.
If you haven’t got a health insurance plan, this is when the services of an established insurance brokerage like Pacific Prime Dubai comes in handy.
Committed to the ideal of simplifying insurance, Pacific Prime Dubai has over 18 years of experience in matching clients with the plan that best meet their needs. Contact us today for unbiased insurance advice, an obligation-free quote, and a plan comparison.