Everyone has indigestion (also called dyspepsia) sometimes. But if this annoying inconvenience starts happening a lot, it’s time to get help. Chronic gas, heartburn and bloating can take the pleasure out of every meal and make you anxious about eating the next one.
Indigestion isn’t usually serious, but it can be a real problem if you have to deal with it every day. Cleveland Clinic’s digestive disorder experts can help you find relief.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Chronic Indigestion Care?
No matter who you need to see — from dietitians to surgeons and every specialist in between — we can connect you to the right provider. Meet our team.
Our experts treat every kind of digestive health issue. We see simple cases and complex conditions every day. We’ve worked with thousands of patients to find treatments that help them feel better.
You’re always at the center of your care at Cleveland Clinic. We focus on your specific symptoms and are ready to listen, answer questions and talk about your concerns.
If getting to your provider’s office isn’t easy, you might be able to have a virtual visit for some appointments. You’ll get the same great care but from the comfort and convenience of home. All you need to get started is an internet connection and a smartphone, computer or tablet.
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Diagnosing Chronic Indigestion at Cleveland Clinic
Almost everyone has indigestion at some point in their life, but you shouldn’t constantly be in pain, feel bloated or have heartburn. Chronic (ongoing) indigestion happens when you feel symptoms all the time, or much more often than usual.
You know what’s normal for you and when something feels off. Our gastroenterologists, dietitians and specially-trained nurses are all experts in digestive health. They’re here to help you figure out what’s wrong and get you back to feeling right.
What to expect at your first visit
Lots of conditions can cause chronic indigestion. That’s why diagnosing it starts with a conversation. Your provider might ask:
- When did you start having indigestion?
- How often does it happen?
- What are your symptoms?
- How bad are your symptoms?
- How much do your symptoms affect you every day?
- How long do your symptoms usually last?
- Do certain types of food or meals make it worse?
Next, your provider will give you a physical exam to check your overall health. Now’s the time to talk with them about any health conditions you have and which treatments you’re using to manage them. Sometimes, a detailed medical history can be even more important than tests in helping us figure out how to treat you.
We might also want to take a few pictures inside your body to help diagnose what’s causing your indigestion. Your provider might order tests, like:
It’s important to know that the specific cause of chronic indigestion can remain a mystery, even after all the tests. We know that can be frustrating, but we’ll do our best to find a treatment that’ll relieve your symptoms, even if we don’t know exactly what’s causing them.
Providers Who Treat Chronic Indigestion
LocationsOur healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida.
Treating Chronic Indigestion at Cleveland Clinic
Over-the-counter (OTC) antacids might be all you need to treat occasional indigestion. But you shouldn’t be having symptoms after every meal. Listen to your body and trust your gut.
We’ll help you understand what’s causing your indigestion and find treatments to relieve it.
Diet and lifestyle tweaks
Many people who have chronic indigestion find relief by making some small changes in what they’re eating or when they’re having meals. Our specialists might suggest:
- Diagnosing and managing a food intolerance (especially if you didn’t know you had one).
- Eating fewer rich, high-fat or acidic foods.
- Eating slower. Some people eat too fast without knowing it, which can cause indigestion.
- Quitting smoking. (A healthcare provider can connect you to helpful resources.)
- Drinking less alcohol.
- Managing stress. Your mental health can affect your digestive health through the gut-brain connection.
You might need prescription medications to treat some symptoms, including:
- Histamine receptor antagonists (H2 blockers): H2 blockers block the chemical signals (histamines) that tell your body to make more stomach acid.
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): PPIs are strong acid blockers that help your tissue heal, too. You might need them if you also have ulcers or damaged tissue in your GI (gastrointestinal) tract.
- Prokinetic agents: These are medications that speed up your digestive system if it’s not working fast enough.
- Antibiotics: You might need antibiotics if you have too much bacteria in your stomach or small intestine.
Our specialists will check in with you every step of the way. You might need follow-up appointments so we can keep an eye on your symptoms and check your progress. Let your provider know if your symptoms are changing or happening more often.
Taking the Next Step
Having chronic indigestion can be annoying, uncomfortable and frustrating. And it can make it really hard to enjoy your favorite meals. If you’re having symptoms that tell you something is wrong, trust your gut. We’re here to help you feel better — no matter what’s on your plate.
Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s digestive health experts is easy. We’ll help you get the care you need.
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