Have you ever experienced dyspepsia — presenting as upset stomach, abdominal discomfort, or even outright pain? Or have you ever noticed that your stomach seems swollen or bloated when you look in the mirror, especially at the end of the day?
Dyspepsia and/or stomach bloating can be a sign that your digestion needs support or improvement. It’s vital to address these issues to ensure you’re getting the proper nutrition, and so that they don’t interfere with your daily tasks and obligations.
What Is Dyspepsia?
Dyspepsia is simply another term for indigestion. It’s often characterized by pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, although people can also deal with other symptoms such as:
- Burning feeling in the epigastric area
- Quickly feeling full even if you’ve only eaten a little
- Feeling very full after eating
Moreover, indigestion can be triggered and influenced by various factors such as:1,2
- Eating too much or too fast
- Eating foods that are fatty, greasy, and/or spicy
- Drinking beverages that contain caffeine, alcohol, or are carbonated
- Pregnancy (particularly during the last trimester due to hormonal changes and positioning of the fetus against the stomach)
- Medicine use such as antibiotics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used for pain relief
- Health issues affecting the digestive system such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, gastritis (stomach inflammation), gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome, or bacterial infection
When no obvious cause for the condition is found, it is labeled as functional dyspepsia.3
What Is Stomach Bloating?
While discomfort due to stomach bloat is common, others may only notice that their abdomen seems larger or that their clothes are tighter at the end of the day. For others, there is so much gas inside their stomach that their abdomen already feels tight or even hard on palpation. This accumulation of gas can cause additional symptoms:4
- Abdominal discomfort, pain or cramping
- Rumbling or gurgles from the abdominal area
- Burping or belching
- Passing gas or flatulence
A bloated stomach can happen due to multiple factors:5,6
- Poor eating habits such as eating or drinking too fast
- Weight gain
- Food intolerance or sensitivities
- Increased growth of bacteria within the digestive tract, especially in the small intestines (a.k.a. SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)
- Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle affecting digestion8
- Mental health issues like increased stress, anxiety, and/or depression
- Digestive system-related issues like constipation,9 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), or intestinal parasite infection (e.g. giardasis)
Here Are Ways to Stop Bloating and Lower Your Risk for Dyspepsia
These health issues can be addressed with simple changes to your lifestyle and eating habits. Remember these tips to avoid or relieve dyspepsia and reduce stomach bloating:10,11,12
- Avoid “trigger” foods: These include chocolate, onion, garlic, fried or spicy food, acidic food such as tomatoes and oranges, and alcoholic and caffeinated drinks, although these will vary from person to person.
- Drink water instead of soda: Carbonated and fizzy drinks like soda contain carbonic acid that produce bubbles of carbon dioxide, and sugar or artificial sweeteners that can lead to gas build-up in the stomach.
Carbonated drinks have been linked to the onset of GERD, which can be a factor in functional dyspepsia.13
Making the switch to water reduces your risk for these potential issues.
- Consume smaller meals instead of large portions: Smaller meal portions lessen the distention of and pressure within the stomach.14 This can help keep your digestive system moving.
- Chew (and eat) slowly: Munching on food too quickly may cause you to swallow more air and increase gas and bloating in the stomach.15 When you chew slowly, food can be broken down into smaller pieces and lead to better digestion.16
- Try to maintain a healthy weight: When you are obese or overweight, the increased pressure in the abdomen can push the stomach up, increasing the chances of acid refluxing into your esophagus, and triggering indigestion.
- Exercise when you can: These activities may help release gas and promote more regular bowel movement so you don’t feel constipated or bloated.
- Avoid or quit smoking altogether: One study revealed that smoking may cause functional abdominal pain and bloating.17 Although withdrawal symptoms18 may occur, your abdomen and other parts of the body will slowly recover from the effects of this habit once you stop.19
- Try to relax and avoid stressors: When you’re stressed, your digestion slows down causing indigestion that can result in a spectrum of symptoms.20 With this in mind, consider practicing meditation, playing sports, and/or doing other hobbies you enjoy to take some of the stress away.21
- Consult your doctor: Frequent cases of any of these health issues may indicate medical issues. Consult a doctor who can help evaluate your condition and determine if there is a serious health problem at large. Your doctor can also talk to you about other strategies that’ll help prevent these issues from occurring once more.22
Keep Your Digestive Tract in Good Shape With Nutrients
Make sure your digestive system is in tip-top shape with the necessary nutrients for it. With this in mind, ask your doctor about a supplement like Digestive Enzymes + Vitamin B Complex Enzyplex®.
Digestive Enzymes + Vitamin B Complex Enzyplex® contains a combination of digestive enzymes and B vitamins that assist in:
- Breaking down fat, protein, and carbohydrates
- Supporting healthy digestion and metabolism
- Addressing acute signs of dyspepsia
Each tablet contains three digestive enzymes (amylase, protease, and lipase) and four B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, and B12). Take one (1) tablet of Digestive Enzymes + Vitamin B Complex Enzyplex® once a day with your meals, or as instructed by your doctor.
When taking this supplement, swallow the tablet whole and avoid breaking, crushing, or chewing it. Also, remember to take the table with an adequate amount of water and swallow it immediately; the pancreatic enzymes it contains can cause irritation of your mouth’s tissues if it remains in contact with them for too long.
One (1) tablet of Digestive Enzymes + Vitamin B Complex Enzyplex® costs Php12.00 SRP. This supplement is also available in boxes of 100 for Php1,200.00 SRP. Digestive Enzymes + Vitamin B Complex Enzyplex® is available online via Lazada and Shopee, and is soon to be available in leading drugstores nationwide.
If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.