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Indigestion (dyspepsia) is a pain or burning feeling in your upper belly or abdomen. It is common in adults. Indigestion is not the same as heartburn. It is not related to stomach acid. Heartburn is when stomach acid goes out of your stomach and back into your food pipe (esophagus). You can have symptoms of both indigestion and heartburn at the same time.
Indigestion can be caused by health problems, lifestyle issues, or medicines.
Health problems or diseases include:
Lifestyle issues include:
Each person’s symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of indigestion may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
Your healthcare provider will look at your past health and give you a physical exam.
To make sure other health problems aren’t causing indigestion, you may have tests including:
You should not have foods or medicines that cause indigestion. It is also helpful to avoid stressful situations.
Your symptoms may feel better if you:
Your healthcare provider may suggest you take medicines that:
There are many things you can do to try to prevent indigestion.
Making changes in your diet and eating habits can help. These include:
Avoid medicines that hurt your stomach. These include aspirin and over-the-counter pain and fever medicines (NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If you do take them, do so after you eat.
Other lifestyle changes that may keep indigestion from happening include:
Indigestion can be a sign of a serious health problem. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have indigestion and any of these symptoms:
Also call your healthcare provider if you have indigestion that lasts longer than 2 weeks.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.