What is indigestion?

Indigestion is a condition medically known as dyspepsia. This condition causes discomfort in the upper abdomen, resulting in belching, bloating and nausea. Indigestion most often occurs during or right after eating and is a very common digestive problem, often mistaken for heartburn. Most commonly, people suffer indigestion from overeating, drinking alcohol while eating, or eating greasy, fried or spicy foods.

Symptoms of indigestion vary in intensity among individuals. Some people experience only mild symptoms, such as uncomfortable fullness and belching after a meal, while others may experience abdominal bloating, a burning feeling in the abdomen, and pain. Episodes of indigestion may subside quickly and can recur frequently, even daily.

Among patients seeking medical care for indigestion symptoms, an underlying cause is discovered in only 25%. The remaining 75% are considered to have functional dyspepsia.

Fortunately, indigestion can be treated with medications. More importantly, you can reduce your risk of indigestion by avoiding overly spicy, greasy or fried foods, not overeating, and aiding digestion by eating at least two hours before bedtime to avoid lying down right after your meal.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for indigestion but symptoms worsen, recur, or are persistent.


What are the symptoms of indigestion?

Indigestion causes abdominal discomfort that may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

Common symptoms of indigestion

You may experience common indigestion symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times, any of these digestive symptoms may be severe:


What causes indigestion?

Indigestion is caused by multiple factors that affect the normal process of digestion. There are many possible causes of indigestion. Some are related to lifestyle and what you eat and drink. Indigestion can also be caused by other digestive conditions.

Common causes of indigestion

The most common causes of indigestion include:


How is indigestion treated?

Treatment for indigestion begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine if you have indigestion, your health care provider will ask you questions and may recommend that you undergo diagnostic tests. The goal of clinical evaluation is to identify the root cause for the indigestion, making sure to exclude serious and treatable conditions.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System

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