Indigestion (dyspepsia) happens to almost everyone from time to time. It may cause stomach discomfort or a feeling of being too full. When severe, it can cause heartburn, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Indigestion may be the result of your eating habits, or it can be a chronic problem.
What is Indigestion?
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. Also called dyspepsia, it is defined as persistent or recurring pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen often sometimes mistaken for heartburn. Heartburn is a separate condition that affects the upper chest. It happens to almost everyone. Indigestion can be caused by poor eating habits or a long-term digestive issue.
- Belching and gas
- Nausea and vomiting
- An acidic taste in your mouth
- Fullness during or after a meal
- Growling stomach
- Burning in your stomach or upper belly
- Belly pain
- Stomach infections
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Pancreatitis, an inflamed pancreas
- Thyroid disease
Your doctor will likely begin by asking about your medical history and dietary habits. You will be referred for a physical exam. X-rays of your abdomen may be ordered by your doctor to check for any abnormalities in your digestive tract. They can also collect blood, breath, and stool samples to detect a type of bacteria that causes peptic ulcers. Your doctor may order an endoscopic exam to check your upper digestive tract for abnormalities.
A tiny tube with a camera and a biopsy instrument is sent into your esophagus and your stomach during an endoscopy. They can then check the lining of the digestive tract for disease and collect tissue samples. You will be lightly sedated for this procedure. For this procedure, you will be lightly sedated. The following conditions can be diagnosed with an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy:
- Reflux esophagitis
- Inflammatory diseases
- Infection cancer
Indigestion affects both men and women of all ages. It is extremely common. A person's risk increases with:
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Use of medicines that can irritate the stomach, such as aspirin and other pain relievers.
- Conditions in which the digestive tract is abnormal, such as an ulcer
- Emotional problems, such as anxiety or depression.
When to See Doctor?
Because indigestion can be a sign of a more serious health problem, let your doctor know if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Vomiting or blood in your vomit.
- Weight loss you can’t explain
- Loss of appetite
- Stools that are bloody, black, or tarry
- Severe pain in your upper-right belly
- Pain in the upper- or lower-right parts of your belly
- Feeling uncomfortable even if you haven’t eaten