Also called: Dyspepsia, Upset stomach

Nearly everyone has had indigestion at one time. It's a feeling of discomfort or a burning feeling in your upper abdomen. You may have heartburn or belch and feel bloated. You may also feel nauseated, or even throw up.

You might get indigestion from eating too much or too fast, eating high-fat foods, or eating when you're stressed. Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, using some medicines, being tired, and having ongoing stress can also cause indigestion or make it worse. Sometimes the cause is a problem with the digestive tract, like an ulcer or GERD.

Avoiding foods and situations that seem to cause it may help. Because indigestion can be a sign of a more serious problem, see your health care provider if it lasts for more than two weeks or if you have severe pain or other symptoms. Your health care provider may use x-rays, lab tests, and an upper endoscopy to diagnose the cause. You may need medicines to treat the symptoms.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Indigestion

The following features are indicative of Indigestion:
  • early fullness
  • unpleasant fullness
  • upper abdomen discomfort or bloating
  • upper abdomen burning
  • nausea vomiting
  • belching

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Common Causes of Indigestion

The following are the most common causes of Indigestion:
  • overeating
  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol
  • intake of fatty or spicy food
  • stress

Other Causes of Indigestion

The following are the less common causes of Indigestion:
  • anxiety
  • gallstones
  • gastritis
  • pancreatitis
  • intestinal or stomach ulcers
  • intestinal ischemia
  • constipation
  • celiac disease

Risk Factors for Indigestion

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Indigestion:
  • overeating
  • heavy smoking
  • alcohol consumption
  • fatty or spicy food
  • iron or other supplements
  • stress

Prevention of Indigestion

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Indigestion. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • give enough time for meals
  • chew properly and completely
  • avoid talking while eating
  • avoid exercise after meal
  • relax if indigestion is due to stress

Occurrence of Indigestion

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Indigestion cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Indigestion can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Indigestion can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Indigestion

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Indigestion:
  • Laboratory tests: To check thyroid function and other metabolic disorders
  • Breath and stool tests: To check for peptic ulcers
  • Endoscopy: To check digestive system functions
  • X-ray or CT scan: To check intestinal functions

Doctor for Diagnosis of Indigestion

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Indigestion:
  • Gastroenterologist

Complications of Indigestion if untreated

Yes, Indigestion causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Indigestion is left untreated:
  • affects quality of life
  • loss of appetite

Procedures for Treatment of Indigestion

The following procedures are used to treat Indigestion:
  • Psychological therapy: To treat anxiety or depression causing indigestion

Medicines for Indigestion

Below is the list of medicines used for Indigestion:

Self-care for Indigestion

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Indigestion:
  • Adopt healthy eating habits: Eat healthy 5 to 6 meals a day
  • Avoid caffeine: Reduce consumption of alcohol or caffeine
  • avoid indigestion triggering medications
  • avoid spicy or fatty food

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Indigestion

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Indigestion:
  • Use artichoke leaf extract: Decreases the symptoms of nonulcer stomach pain
  • Psychological therapy: To treat stress or anxiety induced indigestion
  • Acupuncture therapy: To block the nerve pathways carrying pain sensation to brain
  • Do meditation: To ease stress induced indigestion

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Indigestion.
Abdominal Pain
Digestive Diseases

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