Indigestion or Food Poisoning

Indigestion, as the name suggests, means that one has eaten too much or digested poorly. If you have eaten poisonous food, it is called food poisoning, but if you have eaten infected food, it is called intestinal infection or poisoning.

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During indigestion, the stomach’s contents are compacted and cannot move or expel normally. The stomach is unable to move the contents to the pylorus and intestines and instead expels them from the top.

If the upper opening of the stomach is closed or “spasmed”, the food “goes round and round” without being digested, giving general discomfort. This is why vomiting is often liberating and brings relief.

Indigestion Or Food Poisoning



The first thing to do is to lie down, get comfortable: loosen the belt, loosen tight clothes, and try to breathe deeply. This is what you do naturally when you have eaten too much. Fasting is obviously a must and a good solution for recovery.

There are several possibilities that can bring relief and dissipate the feeling of discomfort:

  • Put a hot water bottle on your upper stomach. However, avoid this if you are bloated, as the gas tends to expand and therefore take on more volume, which will not improve the situation but rather will make it worse.
  • Drink slowly and gradually,  in small sips

o Hot drinks.  Mint herbal teas are the most recommended.

o Vichy Célestins water, not too fresh, a maximum of half a glass at a time, shaking it a little to remove excess gas. Its role is to aerate the stomach contents a little to make it less compact. Slightly sparkling water helps to lighten the contents a little and allows the stomach to stir the food so that it goes to the intestines.

  • Take medicines 

o Antispasmodics, according to the doses and indications marked on the box.

o Digestive aids, such as Betaine Citrate or Digédryl, which help you to spend the day after the party more comfortably.

  • If necessary, try to make yourself vomit only if you have nausea without vomiting and feel that it would help you.  Warm, salty coffee is an effective remedy but not recommended for children under 10 years of age.

Usually, indigestion will eventually pass on its own, either from the top or from the bottom.

Indigestion Or Food Poisoning



Apart from food poisoning, the evolution of indigestion is benign and without after-effects.  In some cases, indigestion can cause problems: 

  • in children with low water reserves, as repeated vomiting can cause dehydration.
  • in a pregnant woman who is close to term, as repeated heavy vomiting can precipitate childbirth
  • in diabetics on insulin, indigestion may cause hypoglycemic coma or dehydration if insulin doses have not been adjusted. Any severe vomiting will require hospitalization.


Food poisoning is totally different from indigestion.  

Indigestion is caused by healthy food eaten in excessive quantities or with too much imbalance (fat, alcohol, etc.). Food poisoning, on the other hand, is caused by the absorption of food either infected or made toxic by bacteria that produce toxins or naturally toxic such as poisonous mushrooms.  

Signs of severe food poisoning can be:

  • blurred or double vision, especially if accompanied by a sensation of dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, and respiratory problems, indicative of an attack on the nervous system as in botulism.
  • vomiting, though it is worrying only if it contains blood or if it is repeated.
  • diarrhoea, of varying degrees of severity.
  • tears or heavy salivating should also cause concern. This is the case during intoxication with certain mushrooms.
  • colourful hallucinations or visual deliriums often have the same origin.

All of these signs require urgently seeing a doctor and hospitalisation.

The most frequent causes of food poisoning are:

  • Botulism by absorption of spoiled artisanal preserves.
  • Typhoid and salmonellosis.
  • Poisoning by poisonous mushrooms, which is the most frequent cause.

Doctor Wilfrid Pavageau, 



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