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Indigestion : Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

21 September, 2020 Prashasti Jauhari

Indigestion or Dyspepsia is very common in people. Certain eating habits or health conditions can trigger indigestion.

It is a discomfort you feel in your abdomen, also commonly referred to as an upset stomach. It is not a disease rather it is an abnormal feeling in the stomach. Although, indigestion can be a symptom of some other underlying disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Indigestion

Indigestion can result in –

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting

Other common signs and symptoms of indigestion include –

  • Not being able to finish a meal and feeling dull about having a meal.
  • A gnawing sensation in the stomach.
  • Excessive gas.
  • A burning sensation in the stomach
  • Feeling like your over-ate after having a normal-sized meal.

There are also some symptoms that can be severe and might require immediate medical attention like –

  • Excessive vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Black stool
  • Facing trouble swallowing
  • Unusual weight loss

Causes of Indigestion

The main causes of indigestion are overeating and eating your food too fast. Food that is greasy, spicy, or fatty increases the risks of indigestion in an individual. Even lying down soon after eating a meal makes digestion harder and hence, causes indigestion.

Other causes of indigestion include –

  • Excessive intake of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • A side effect of certain medications

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can cause indigestion as a side effect.

Certain health conditions can also cause indigestion, such as –

  • Gastric cancer
  • acid reflux disease (GERD)
  • peptic ulcers
  • pancreatic or bile duct abnormalities

Indigestion can sometimes have no cause, this type of indigestion is known as functional dyspepsia. It can occur due to abnormal muscle motility like a squeezing action in the area where the muscles digest food.

Diagnosis of Indigestion

The doctor would examine you and might ask you about your medical history. X-ray of the abdomen might be done to know if there is any abnormality in your abdomen.

To examine the presence of the type of bacteria that causes peptic ulcers, the doctor might also take your breath, stool or blood sample.

An endoscopy might also be required to examine the upper digestive tract for abnormalities.

Treatment of Indigestion

Lifestyle changes and Home Care

You can also make some lifestyle changes to improve digestion and get relief from some of the symptoms.

  • Do not eat a large meal at once rather consume smaller meals throughout the day.
  • Eat slowly and do not lie down right after having a meal.
  • Lose excess body weight.
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods as it might trigger heartburn.
  • Quit smoking. You can use nicotine patches to help you give up smoking.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Practice Yoga or relaxation therapy to reduce stress.
  • Reduce the number of soft drinks and caffeine you consume.


There are certain medications available that can help treat indigestion. There can be many side effects of the medications so consult your doctor before consuming any. Some over-the-counter antacids like Maalox and Mylanta can help neutralize the stomach acid. It can have certain side effects like diarrhea or constipation. You can buy medicines online with a discount in India and get it delivered to your door.

Stomach acid can also be reduced with some H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) like Pepcid. There can be a number of side effects of this medication which include –

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Itching
  • Headache

Prokinetics can be used to increase the motility rate and muscle action of the digestive tract. Prescription medicines like Reglan and Motilium are prokinetic. You can buy medicine with online medical stores in Delhi at an affordable price and get it delivered to your home.

There can be certain side effects of these medications –

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Involuntary movements or spasms

You can also use Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prilosec to reduce stomach acid but it is stronger than H2RAs. Side effects include –

  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Backpain
  • Cough


Indigestion is a common problem that happens to almost everyone and can be treated at home but in case, the indigestion is chronic, severe or if the OTC medications seem to be of no use in relieving some symptoms, consult your doctor as if it is left untreated, it might result in something serious and degrade the quality of life.