What Causes Indigestion

Indigestion is not a disease. However, indigestion may be a sign of certain digestive tract diseases or conditions. Indigestion is not always related to eating. There are ways to prevent indigestion. To start, you need to know your body and how it reacts to different food and drinks.

Some medical experts believe that the burning pain in the stomach results from there not being enough mucus lining protecting the stomach (Protocare Corporation, 1997). Using antacids may not help ameliorate the burning sensation associated with indigestion, although some people say that they get relief from taking antacids (see NIDDK, 2004). There are a number of factors which can cause acid indigestion. Some of the more common etiologies/causes of acid indigestion include peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux. Although rare, gastric and pancreatic cancers can sometimes cause acid indigestion.

The gastrointestinal tract of individuals who have been diagnosed with the disorder will appear healthy. Indigestion is pain in the upper part of the belly. It is also called dyspepsia.

Patient Care & Health Info

Your doctor diagnoses indigestion based on your medical history, a physical exam, upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, and other tests. Functional and undifferentiated dyspepsia have similar treatments. Drug therapy decisions are difficult because trials included heartburn in the definition of dyspepsia. This led to the results favoring proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are effective for the treatment of heartburn.

Indigestion or dyspepsia is a widespread condition, estimated to occur in 25% of the adult population of the United States. Most people with indigestion do not feel sick enough to see a doctor; nonetheless, it is a common reason for office visits. About 3% of visits to primary care doctors are for indigestion. Your doctor will rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing your symptoms.

  • Sometimes digestive tract diseases such as peptic ulcer disease, gastritis, and stomach cancer cause chronic indigestion.
  • It can be caused by the specific foods you eat-we’re looking at you, greasy fries and hot wings-as well as by eating too much, or simply eating a big, heavy meal close to bedtime.
  • “What to know about indigestion or dyspepsia.” Medical News Today.
  • It is usually related to a functional problem of the gastrointestinal tract (difficulty processing food or stomach acids).
  • The symptoms of the condition can be variable, and may eventually occur much less frequently or go away completely.

Sometimes people have long-lasting indigestion that isn’t related to any of these things. This type is called functional or non-ulcer dyspepsia. People often have indigestion along with heartburn (a burning feeling deep in the chest), which happens when stomach acids rise into the esophagus. Indigestion is often a sign of an underlying problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, or gallbladder disease, rather than a condition of its own. Any treatment you get will depend on what the cause is.

Symptoms of indigestion may be felt occasionally or as often as daily. Your doctor can advise you whether medicines are necessary to treat your symptoms. They will also help you to identify any lifestyle triggers for your indigestion and suggest ways to modify your lifestyle and eating habits to try to avoid it. Examples of self-care measures for heartburn include eating smaller meals more frequently (rather than 3 large meals) and cutting down on particular foods and alcohol.

She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor’s (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well. Treatment for indigestion can usually be bough over the counter. Antacids are commonly used to neutralize the stomach acids and provide relief. Antacids are meant to work against the acid in your system.

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