Symptoms and Causes of Indigestion
What are the symptoms of indigestion?
When you have indigestion, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- pain, a burning feeling, or discomfort in your upper abdomen
- feeling full too soon while eating a meal
- feeling uncomfortably full after eating a meal
Other symptoms may include
Sometimes when you have indigestion, you may also have heartburn. However, heartburn and indigestion are two separate conditions.
Seek care right away
If you have indigestion and any of the following symptoms, you may have a more serious condition and should see a doctor right away:
- black, tarlike stools
- bloody vomit
- difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing
- frequent vomiting
- losing weight without trying
- pain in your chest, jaw, neck, or arm
- severe and constant pain in your abdomen
- shortness of breath
- yellowing of your eyes or skin
You should also see a doctor if your indigestion lasts longer than 2 weeks.
What causes indigestion?
Some of the causes of indigestion include
- too many alcoholic beverages
- too much coffee or too many drinks containing caffeine
- too many carbonated, or fizzy, drinks
- too fast or too much during a meal
- spicy, fatty, or greasy foods
- foods that contain a lot of acid, such as tomatoes, tomato products, and oranges
- feeling stressed
Some medicines can cause indigestion, such as
Health problems and digestive tract diseases and conditions can cause indigestion, including
- acid reflux (GER and GERD)
- anxiety or depression
- gallbladder inflammation
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection
- irritable bowel syndrome
- lactose intolerance
- peptic ulcer disease
- stomach cancer
Researchers do not know what causes functional dyspepsia. Some research3 suggests that the following factors may play a role in functional dyspepsia:
- problems in the first part of your small intestine, including inflammation and being overly sensitive to stomach acids
- infection by microorganisms such as H. pylori, Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Campylobacter, giardia, or norovirus
- psychological problems, especially anxiety
- genes—a trait passed from parent to child
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