Indigestion is not really a specific ailment; it is a generalized class of symptoms that can be due to gastrointestinal disorders or various other often unrelated diseases. Most often it's the body's outcry against an inclement life-style. Various expressions that have crept into our language-''sick with worry,'' ''I have no guts for that,'' I have had a bellyful! "He's off his feed his feed,'' a dyspeptic old man''-deal heavily with the digestive tract and particularly indigestion.

The causes of indigestion are so indicative of tension and anxiety, and the disorder is so widespread, that it must reflect on our whole highly geared society or, to put it more precisely, our neurotic age. Here are some of the peculiar behaviors of Western Man that produce dyspepsia:

  1. Overeating-a compulsion, never a real need.
  2. Eating too fast-sign of anxiety and tension or stress of disappointment.
  3. Swallowing air (aerophogia)-a major cause of indigestion that is characteristic of nervous people.
  4. Improper chewing-caused by improper attention to teeth and dentures.
  5. Improperly cooked food.
  6. Too much fat in the diet
  7. Constipation-usually a result of a long history of physical indolence.

Symptoms: heartburn, Nausea, and Flatulence.

The prevention of a disease or a condition is more important than the treatment. It is better for all persons to find how to prevent than to cure. The following are the measures of prevention of indigestion (dyspepsia).

  1. Eating a meal should always be leisurely-food must never be gobbled nor eaten at stand-up counters. Nor should food be water logged, that is, drinking water should be confined to before or after meals.
  2. The atmosphere during a meal should not be marred by airing problems and conflicts.
  3. Quarrels should never be started until an hour, at least, after eating.
  4. Smoking is bad before, during, and after meals.
  5. Cocktail before dinner is good a good custom.
  6. The correction of constipation needs a regimen of exercise, taking a long, brisk walk, running a mile, bicycling, swimming, or digging a hole-anything that will keep the body physical active for at least a half hour a day.
  7. Eating cooked fruit twice a day will help, as will drinking more than a quart of water daily.

Any of the antiemetic (anti-vomiting) agents can help subdue nausea. The dyspeptic sufferer is, in a way, quite fortunate. Everyone finds some way to release his frustrations. Some do so in the form of high blood pressure, ulcers, or asthma-all of which can be fatal. No one dies of dyspepsia.