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Alternative Names Return to topDyspepsia; Uncomfortable fullness after meals
Definition Return to top
Indigestion is a vague feeling of abdominal discomfort -- possibly including belching, heartburn, a feeling of fullness, bloating, and nausea.
Considerations Return to top
Indigestion is usually not a serious health problem, unless other symptoms also occur such as weight loss or trouble swallowing.
Indigestion is a common problem. It may be triggered by eating particular foods, or drinking alcoholic or carbonated drinks. It may also be caused by eating too fast or by overeating. Some people may find that spicy foods, high-fiber foods, fatty foods, or too much caffeine can all make this problem worse. Symptoms may be worsened by anxiety and depression.
Rarely, the discomfort of a heart attack is mistaken for indigestion.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Seek immediate medical help if your symptoms include jaw pain, chest pain, back pain, profuse sweating, anxiety, or a feeling of impending doom. These are possible heart attack symptoms.
Call your health care provider if:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
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:
The following tests may be performed:
References Return to top
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.Update Date: 1/28/2009 Updated 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.