Most of us get indigestion from time to time. It may be an occasional problem due to overindulgence, perhaps after a large or spicy meal. But for some, it''dyspepsia''thinning''ve come a long way in the treatment of indigestion, heartburn and peptic ulcers, and it''t always work and it involves taking several tablets a day and often having to avoid even a sip of alcohol for a week, but it can greatly reduce the chance of symptoms returning.
When to worry
Indigestion and heartburn are rarely due to a serious cause, but there are some '' or warning signs which should be checked out by a doctor. They include:
- Severe pain which doesn''coffee grounds''s dark red and mixed in with the poo (rather than being on the paper or in the pan) or passing black, tarry poos.
- Feel generally unwell (which can be down to anaemia) or tired.
- Persistent bloating that lasts for three weeks or longer (which could in rare cases be caused by ovarian cancer).
If you get any of these symptoms, if you have a past history of peptic ulcer or a condition called Barrett''ll need someone to take you home afterwards.
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The other, done where an abnormality of the lower bowel is suspected, is a colonoscopy. You take medicines at home to empty your bowels completely, then go in as a day case to hospital and have a small flexible tube passed up from your bottom to examine your large bowel.
There''t have to travel against gravity up into your gullet. Propping the head of the bed up on a couple of bricks may help.
So too can losing weight, avoiding tight belts or trousers and staying away from large meals or eating too close to bedtime.
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