Indigestion

(Dyspepsia; Non-ulcer Dyspepsia; Non-ulcer Stomach Pain)

Definition

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

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

When Should I Call My Doctor?

It is common to have indigestion occasionally. If the episodes worsen or happen more frequently, make an appointment to see your doctor. If you have indigestion, important reasons to call your doctor include:
  • Having trouble swallowing
  • Vomiting with most episodes
  • Experiencing weight loss
  • Having a family history of cancer

When Should I Call for Medical Help Immediately?

Call for medical help or go to the emergency room right away if you have:
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Blood in your stool or dark black stool
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain

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