Indigestion is uneasiness in your upper stomach--in other words, an upset stomach. It is characterized by an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, pain or a burning sensation in the upper abdomen. However, every person experiences indigestion differently. Some experience these unpleasant symptoms daily, while others may experience indigestion only after eating something that disagrees with them. Indigestion is sometimes a symptom of an underlying problem, such as ulcers, gallbladder disease, and gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD).

What Causes Indigestion?

Indigestion might be caused by various things, including:

  • Pregnancy
  • GERD
  • Ulcers
  • Stomach infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Thyroid disease

Other causes of indigestion are:

  • Anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Overeating or eating too quickly
  • Fatty, spicy, or greasy foods
  • Some antibiotics, iron supplements, and some pain killers

Symptoms of Indigestion

The main symptoms of indigestion include:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Burping
  • Uncomfortable Feeling of fullness after eating
  • Burning sensation in the upper abdomen
  • A gnawing sensation in the stomach

Many people experience indigestion in conjunction with heartburn. This usually happens when stomach acid goes up into the esophagus. People of all ages can get indigestion; however, some conditions make others very prone to it. Additionally, some symptoms are never to be ignored. See your doctor immediately if you experience any of the below symptoms:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Thick, bloody or black stool
  • Mysterious weight loss
  • Severe vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting blood
  • Pain in the arms, chest, neck or jaw

How is Indigestion Diagnosed?

First, your doctor will perform some tests. They will also likely perform a physical exam. The tests done can include blood work, urine or stool test, an ultrasound or an X-ray. In some cases, your doctor might perform an endoscopy to see inside your stomach.

What Are The Treatments of Indigestion?

If lifestyle habits cause your indigestion, your doctor might recommend you:

  • Avoid trigger foods
  • Chew your food completely
  • Control stress and anxiety
  • Use alternative medications that don’t trigger indigestion
  • Reduce or stop the use of caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid spicy, fatty or greasy foods
  • Don’t lie down after eating; wait for at least 3 hours
  • Don’t consume foods that contain a lot of acids like oranges and tomato products

Medications to treat indigestion

You can get some over-the-counter medications like antacids or acid blockers to relieve indigestion. However, if the symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you should see your doctor. The doctor will prescribe some stronger acid-suppressing medications. The standard treatment for indigestion that lasts up to two weeks is usually


  • Tinidazole
  • Tetracycline
  • Metronidazole
  • Amoxicillin
  • Clarithromycin


  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Loperamide
  • Calcium bicarbonate
  • Simethicone

H2 blockers

  • Nizatidine
  • Ranitidine
  • Cimetidine
  • Famotidine

Proton pump inhibitors are recommended when you are experiencing indigestion together with heartburn, examples include:

  • Omeprazole
  • Pantoprazole
  • Rabeprazole
  • Lansoprazole
  • Esomeprazole

Bottom Line

It is important to note that there are some symptoms of heart attack that mimic indigestion. Therefore, see your doctor if the indigestion is accompanied by shortness of breath, unexplained weight loss and blood in the stool. To control heartburn, get the right over-the-counter (OTC) medication at Medical Supply Depot or call (800) 965-7496 to talk to a friendly customer service representative.

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