Indigestion is a kind of pain or a burning feeling that is caused in your upper belly or abdomen. This condition is very common in adults. Indigestion and heartburn are not similar conditions and is not related to stomach acid.
Heartburn is occurred when stomach acid goes out of your stomach and back into your food pipe (esophagus). One can probably have symptoms of both indigestion and heartburn at the similar time.
What causes indigestion?
Health problems, lifestyle issues, or medicines can be the possible cause of Indigestion.
Health problems or diseases involve:
- Ulcers or sores in your small intestine or stomach
- Redness and swelling or inflammation in your stomach (gastritis)
- Acid flowing back from your stomach into your esophagus (GERD or Gatroesophageal reflux disease)
- Infection caused by bacteria in your stomach (H. pylori or Helicobacter pylori )
- Inflammation of your gallbladder (cholecystitis)
- Lumps of solid material (gallstones) in your gallbladder
- Swelling of your pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Food moving too slowly out of your stomach (gastroparesis) (common in people with diabetes)
Lifestyle issues involve:
- Consuming too much caffeine
- Taking too much alcohol
- Eating too fast
- Eating too much
- Eating spicy, fatty, or greasy foods
- Eating high-fiber foods
- Feeling very stressed
- Bacteria-fighting medicines (antibiotics)
- Aspirin and fever medicines (NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
How is indigestion diagnosed?
Your doctor will look at your past health and give you a physical exam.
To make sure other health problems aren’t causing indigestion, you may have tests including:
- Blood tests
- Stool or breath tests - These are done to check for a stomach bacteria (H. pylori)
- X-rays of your stomach and small intestine
- Upper endoscopy - This test uses a long, thin, flexible tube called an endoscope. It has a light and small camera on the end. The tube is placed into your mouth, down your food pipe (esophagus), and into your stomach. It examines for any problems in the esophagus or stomach
- Ultrasound of your gallbladder
- Stomach emptying scan
What are the symptoms of indigestion?
Each person’s symptoms may differentiate. Symptoms may include:
- Feeling full too soon while eating
- Pain, burning, and discomfort in your upper belly or abdomen
- Feeling bloated
- Burping and loud stomach gurgling
- Having an upset stomach or vomiting
- Having diarrhea
- Having gas
The symptoms of indigestion may look like other health problems. Always see your doctor to be sure.
How is indigestion treated?
Your symptoms may feel better if you:
- Quit smoking
- Take medicines that weaken or neutralize stomach acid (antacids)
Your doctor may advise you take medicines that:
- allows your stomach to move food more quickly into your small intestine
- reduce the amount of acid in your stomach
- Kill bacteria (antibiotics) if tests show you have the H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) bacteria in your stomach
- Help calm the gut's nervous system