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Typical indigestion is due to one or all of the following; excess acid in the stomach, too much food, alcohol or the use of certain drugs. Indigestion produces pain, which is not easy to locate precisely, but is generally located between the navel and the breast-bone. It is rare in children, who will probably have an infection of some sort if they complain of indigestion.

You should give the healthcare advisor or pharmacist details of the pain to help you decide whether it is safe to treat, i.e.

* Where is the pain and what is its nature?
* Is it associated with food? If so which foods?
* Is it constant or colicky cramps?
* What makes it better or worse?
* Does the pain ever move?

You should consider whether you have made any recent change in diet, alcohol consumption or smoking habit, as this may be the cause of your indigestion.
Can you say when you first noticed indigestion trouble?
Have you tried any indigestion remedies already?
If so, tell your local pharmacist and ask for advice on a more appropriate treatment.
If you suffer from heart disease you may be on a low-sodium diet and so certain antacids may not be suitable as they contain sodium. Ask to speak to the pharmacist if you are taking any other medication.

There are many preparations available for the treatment of indigestion. These preparations contain different types of active ingredient and the healthcare advisor or pharmacist will be able to advise you on the most suitable treatment for your particular case, you are best advised to seek their attention. If indigestion is due to a hangover, a herbal remedy called MELISSA COMP from WELEDA is excellent in easing the symptoms of nausea and stomach upset which will accompany the indigestion. 10-20 drops are taken with a little water every hour as required up to 8 times a day. If the patient is very upset, two homeopathic remedies will help even more - NUX VOMICA 6 and BELLADONNA 6 (2 tablets of each 2 hourly up to 6 dosed, then every 8 hours from then on) in relieving the gut symptoms of a hangover.

COLPERMIN, or peppermint oil, can be very helpful in aiding the digestion of food so reducing the occurrence of indigestion. It is dosed three times daily but should never be taken at the same time of day as the indigestion remedy.

Practical Point:

- If an antacid does not work effectively, you should return to the pharmacy and see the pharmacist.
- Fatty foods and alcohol cause indigestion and so should be reduced in the diet. Eat small meals regularly, do not eat spicy or fatty foods late at night and wear properly fitting clothes.
- Smoking may cause indigestion and definitely increases the chance of an ulcer developing. We recommend the use of NICORETTE gum, patches or inhalator if you have already attempted quitting without success.

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