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|•||Nausea and vomiting - adult...|
|•||Stress and anxiety|
Indigestion (dyspepsia) is a vague feeling of discomfort in the upper belly or abdomen during or right after eating. This may include:
- A feeling of heat, burning, or pain in the area between the navel and the lower part of the breastbone
- A feeling of fullness that is bothersome and occurs soon after the meal begins or when it is over
Indigestion is NOT the same as heartburn.
Dyspepsia; Uncomfortable fullness after meals
Indigestion is usually not a sign of a more serious health problem, unless other symptoms also occur, such as weight loss or trouble swallowing.
Indigestion is a common problem.
Rarely, the discomfort of a heart attack is mistaken for indigestion.
Indigestion may be triggered by:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating spicy, fatty, or greasy foods
- Eating too much (overeating)
- Eating too fast
- Emotional stress or nervousness
- High-fiber foods
- Tobacco smoking
- Too much caffeine
Other causes of indigestion are:
- Gastritis (when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or swollen)
- Swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Ulcers (stomach or intestinal ulcer)
- Use of certain drugs such as antibiotics, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Changing the way you eat may relieve your symptoms.
- Allow enough time for meals.
- Chew food carefully and completely.
- Avoid arguments during meals.
- Avoid excitement or exercise right after a meal.
- A calm environment and rest may help relieve stress-related indigestion.
Avoid aspirin and other NSAIDs. If you must take them, do so on a full stomach.
Antacids may relieve indigestion.
Medications you can buy without a prescription, such as ranitidine (Zantac) and omeprazole (Prilosec OTC) can relieve symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe these medicines in higher doses or for longer periods of time.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your doctor will perform a physical examination, paying special attention to the stomach area and digestive tract. You will be asked questions about your symptoms, including:
- Does the discomfort begin or get worse after eating certain foods?
- Does it begin or get worse after drinking alcoholic or carbonated drinks?
- Do you eat quickly?
- Have you been overeating?
- Have you changed your diet?
- Have you had any spicy, high-fiber, or fatty foods?
- Do you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages (tea, soda, coffee)?
- What medications are you taking?
- Have you changed medications recently?
- What other symptoms do you have? For example, stomach pain or vomiting.
The following tests may be performed:
Tack J. Dyspepsia. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 13.
Talley N. Functional gastrointestinal disorders: irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, and noncardiac chest pain. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 139.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.