Indigestion refers to the feeling of discomfort or pain in the upper part of the abdomen. You may feel full, bloated or nauseated when you experience indigestion. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with “heartburn”, which refers to a burning sensation at the lower chest region, caused when stomach acid back flows into the oesophagus (a long, hollow tube connecting your throat to your stomach) and irritates its lining.
Causes of Indigestion
Indigestion usually occurs after eating, and is caused by irritation of the stomach lining by stomach acid. Factors that can trigger indigestion may or may not be related to cancer and its treatment. These include:
How it can be treated
Your doctor or nurse may ask you more questions to determine the possible cause of your indigestion. You may be advised on lifestyle changes to reduce the occurrence of indigestion (see section below on “What you can do”). Your doctor may also prescribe some medications to relieve the discomfort:
What you can do
The following are some tips to help you to manage indigestion better in your daily life:
When to call your cancer care team
Please inform your doctor or nurse if you experience indigestion, or if you experience any of the following that can indicate worsening or complications of your condition:
If you have any questions regarding the above, please call the Cancer Helpline at +65 6225 5655 or approach your doctor or nurse for further details.
The above contents have been approved by the Cancer Education Information Service, National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), for people with cancer and their families and caregivers.
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