Symptoms and Signs of Indigestion (Upset Stomach) Causes and Treatments

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Indigestion (Upset Stomach) Causes and Treatments

“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 by 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 their 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, and less commonly, vomiting. An acidic taste in the moth can be another associated symptom. Pregnancy, stress, and anxiety may worsen the symptoms.

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