Indigestion - Overview
Dyspepsia; Uncomfortable fullness after meals
Definition of Indigestion:
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
Bloating or nausea are less common symptoms.
Indigestion is NOT the same as heartburn.
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 hte 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)
- Reviewed last on: 2/4/2011
- 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.
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.
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