What is Indigestion?

Also called dyspepsia, indigestion refers to an uncomfortable pain in the stomach or chest that usually occurs after a person has been eating or drinking. Other symptoms of the condition include feeling full and bloated, feeling nauseous, belching and heartburn.

Indigestion affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives, but usually the symptoms are mild and occur infrequently without causing lasting damage.

Causes

Indigestion is caused when stomach acid comes into contact with the lining of the digestive tract. The acid attacks the lining, breaking it down and causing irritation and inflammation that can lead to symptoms such as pain and swelling. Indigestion often occurs after eating and may also be triggered by smoking, drinking alcohol or taking certain medications. Women may also find they are more affected by the condition during pregnancy.

Diagnosis and treatment

General practitioners rarely encounter cases of indigestion, as people often manage the condition by seeking over-the-counter or home remedies. Sometimes, persistent indigestion occurs as a result of underlying conditions such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder), peptic ulcer or stomach cancer.

One commonly used procedure for investigating the cause of persistent digestion is upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. A thin, small tube or endoscope with a camera and a light at its tip is inserted into the stomach via the esophagus and used to visualize the inner walls of the esophagus and the stomach.

Treatment for indigestion can usually be bough over the counter. Antacids are commonly used to neutralize the stomach acids and provide relief.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. 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.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 17). What is Indigestion?. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 21, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Indigestion.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Indigestion?". News-Medical. 21 July 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Indigestion.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Indigestion?". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Indigestion.aspx. (accessed July 21, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. What is Indigestion?. News-Medical, viewed 21 July 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Indigestion.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Acute gastroenteritis linked to higher rates of irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia