Also known as indigestion or dyspepsia, empacho is a common gastrointestinal upset, suffered by children and adults, that usually occurs after consuming a large meal high in fat and carbohydrates.

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, this condition is suffered by more than 30 out of 100 people, so we must recognize its symptoms and know how to cure it.

What are the causes of empacho and how to treat it?

Its causes are numerous, from a functional disorder (due to the stomach being too full of food) to a pathology of the stomach or small intestine that is causing symptoms, which can recur over time. In these cases, the first thing to do is to find out what is causing the problem, so a gastroenterologist should be consulted in order to detect and treat the main cause of indigestion.

In most cases, the general recommendations indicate a healthy diet and timely treatment, being able to use natural treatments associated with the medications prescribed by the treating physician.

1. Healthy diet

The first recommendation is to detect what type of food can cause the discomfort and avoid it. Generally, the foods that cause indigestion are fats, grains, foods high in carbohydrates, and sodas; Therefore, it is suggested to avoid the consumption of fried foods, sausages, grains in abundance and dairy and carbonated drinks. Likewise, it is advisable to increase the intake of fruits and water, in addition to not exaggerating the portions of the food consumed daily.

2. Avoid sleeping immediately after eating

Many people have the habit of sleeping or napping immediately after consuming food, which causes the stomach to slowly empty, so it is not advisable to lie down after eating, because when the stomach empties slowly, some foods they ferment generating gases that cause stomach upset.

Another recommendation is to lie on the left side of the body and use more pillows than usual, so that the stomach content is distributed in a better way, avoiding symptoms such as heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (sensation that the ingested food rises back to the esophagus).

3. See a doctor if symptoms recur over time.

Almost all people have suffered from indigestion at some time, however, if its symptoms recur over time, it may be suffering from a gastrointestinal disease. In these cases, it is necessary to see a doctor because the filling can be a reflection of a stomach disease (such as gastritis, gastric ulcers, presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and gastroesophageal reflux), stones in the gallbladder or inflammation of the small intestine (duodenitis ). Many people can have more than one cause of embarrassment , so it must be treated in time. 

4. Home remedies

Throughout time, people have used homemade recipes that have been passed from generation to generation in the belief that they help cure empacho , such as tea infusion or essences made from some herbs such as mint, star anise, cinnamon and chamomile. .

Similarly, bicarbonate and lemon, in the belief that it neutralizes stomach acids and eliminates the sensation of acidity. Paradoxically, other recipes combine the intake of carbonated drinks and lemon, hoping to improve symptoms such as belching and flatulence.

5. Massages

Another common practice used in children is the use of oily or oily substances that are spread by massaging the abdomen to improve abdominal pain and cause gas to escape through belching.

Medical treatment

When conventional remedies are not enough and the discomfort recurs, a doctor should be consulted to properly treat indigestion . This will indicate medications that block the production of gastric acids (called proton pump inhibitors) and medications to improve symptoms such as the feeling of reflux, nausea, vomiting, as well as antiflatulents and prokinetics that stimulate the stomach and intestine to empty their contents. and regularize its functions.

If a person has some of the symptoms described after eating, they may have indigestion or indigestion:

  • Feeling of fullness
  • Crampy abdominal pain.
  • Very repeated belching.
  • Flatulence
  • Gastroesophageal reflux.
  • Mild chest or upper abdominal pain or discomfort.
  • Heartburn.
  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting
  • Metallic taste sensation.
  • Constipation.

To cure empacho these recommendations should be followed and remember that the most important thing is to maintain a balanced and healthy diet in order to prevent its appearance and thus avoid its annoying symptoms.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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