Symptoms and Signs of Indigestion (Upset Stomach)

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/25/2022

Doctor's Notes on Indigestion (Upset Stomach)

Indigestion is actually not a medical term or well-defined condition. The term is typically used to refer to an upset stomach (medically known as dyspepsia) which can have a number of different causes. Causes of dyspepsia include both diseases that involve the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and also some diseases and conditions that do not involve the GI tract. Some examples of causes include infections of the stomach lining, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and food allergies

Indigestion can be a chronic condition in which the symptoms fluctuate over time in duration, frequency, and intensity. Signs and symptoms of indigestion include:

  • burning or pain in the chest or upper abdomen,
  • burping or belching, 
  • nausea,
  • bloating,
  • abdominal distention,
  • feeling full after consuming a small amount of food, 
  • vomiting (less common), and
  • an acidic taste in the mouth. 

Pregnancystress, and anxiety may worsen the symptoms.

What Is the Treatment for Indigestion?

Treatment for indigestion may include:

  • Antacid medications to neutralize the acid in the stomach
  • H2 blocker medications to reduce acid production in the stomach
  • Proton pump inhibitor medications
  • Antibiotics for any bacterial infections
  • Consuming ginger or water with baking soda
  • Dietary modifications to avoid or reduce the intake of foods that worsen the condition

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.