ZocdocAnswersWhy have I been experiencing indigestion after eating for about 2 months?

Question

Why have I been experiencing indigestion after eating for about 2 months?

I am a 40 year old mother of 2. I tried eating bland foods but that has not helped. I eat a fairly low fat diet and eat 2 meals a day. I work sitting most of the day and have a fair amount of stress. It mostly occurs at night and it some times wakes me up from sleep. Nothing seams to help. i also tend to cough a lot.

Answer

The symptoms that you are experiencing may be due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In this very common condition, the sphincter at the lower end of the esophagus is inappropriately relaxed at times, which allows acid produced in the stomach to reflux up into the esophagus. This acid can irritate the inner lining of the esophagus, causing a sensation of indigestion and heartburn. Symptoms may be worse at night and in the morning, as a result of laying flat and making it easier for the acid to reflux upwards. Additionally, many patients with reflux disease experience cough as a symptom, as certain nerves that innervate the airway and cough reflex can be triggered by the movement of the acid. You should talk to your doctor about the symptoms that you are having. There are very effective medications available to treat GERD, and these are typically taken once or twice daily before breakfast and dinner. If your symptoms are thought to be GERD and a trial of medications does not ease your discomfort, then you should talk to your doctor about considering further work-up such as a referral to a gastroenterologist to have an upper endoscopy (a procedure in which a camera is inserted down into the esophagus and stomach).

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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