If you would like to see the Heartburn and Indigestion Self Care information as a downloadable Word document, click here.
Indigestion (dyspepsia) is a general term for pain or discomfort felt in the stomach and under the ribs. Heartburn is when acid moves up from the stomach into the gullet (oesophagus) and causes a burning pain behind your breastbone, and if it keeps happening, it’s called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Indigestion and heartburn can occur together or on their own, and it’s a common problem that affects most people at some point. In most cases it’s mild and only occasionally occurs.
It may be possible to ease your symptoms by making a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. Indigestion and heartburn symptoms will usually improve within one or two weeks, but if you find you keep taking indigestion medicines all the time for several weeks or that your symptoms affect your day to day life, you need to consult your GP.
Try lifestyle changes first, but if these don’t work alone, you can expect your symptoms to improve by taking over-the-counter (OTC) or prescribed medication. There are a variety of products available to treat the symptoms of indigestion & heartburn.
Rarely, more serious medical problems may cause indigestion – particularly if you are aged 55 or over. Seek medical advice if your symptoms do not respond to treatment or you notice any of the following: