Indigestion

Indigestion is discomfort in the upper abdomen or chest. It is often linked to nausea, belching, or bloating.

  • Causes

    The exact cause is not known. Most often, the condition is linked to a number of unhealthy lifestyle factors. These factors can result in poor digestion.

  • Definition

    Indigestion is discomfort in the upper abdomen or chest. It is often linked to nausea, belching, or bloating.

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  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. Indigestion is diagnosed mainly on the symptoms listed above.

    Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.

    Your bodily structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:

    • Barium x-ray
    • Ultrasound
    • Endoscopy

    The rate at which the stomach empties may need to be evaluated. This can be done with a gastric emptying study.

  • Prevention

    To prevent indigestion:

    • Avoid overeating.
    • Eat slowly and regularly.
    • Avoid greasy, high-fat foods.
    • Limit spicy foods.
    • Do not smoke.
    • Drink coffee, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages in moderation.
    • Maintain a healthy weight.
    • Exercise regularly.

  • Risk Factors

    The following lifestyle factors increase your chances of indigestion:

    • Overeating
    • Eating too quickly or at irregular intervals
    • Eating greasy, high-fat, or spicy foods
    • Drinking caffeine, alcohol, or soft drinks in excess

    • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen
    • Smoking
    • Psychological stress

  • Symptoms

    Indigestion is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including:

    • Pain or burning sensation in the upper abdomen or chest
    • Nausea
    • Abdominal bloating
    • Belching or regurgitation

  • Treatment

    Your doctor will suggest a plan based on the severity of your symptoms. Treatment options may include the following: