Stomach upset (dyspepsia): What's it, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Indigestion; Dyspepsia; Uncomfortable fullness after meals

Stomach upset: state understanding

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a common digestive problem, that affects many people at some point in their lives. This term is used to describe a range of symptoms, occurring in the upper abdomen after eating, like pain, abdominal distention, belching and nausea. Although indigestion is not usually a serious condition, it can cause discomfort and affect a person's quality of life.

An upset stomach is NOT the same, what heartburn.

Understanding the reasons, symptoms and treatment options can help people manage the condition effectively.

Causes of indigestion

There are several factors, which can contribute to indigestion, including:

  • Eating too fast or overeating
  • Eating spicy or fatty foods.
  • Drinking alcohol or caffeine.
  • Smoking
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Medicines, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Gallstones
  • Infection, such as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)

Symptoms of indigestion

Symptoms of indigestion can vary from person to person., but the most common ones are:

  • Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • Bloating or fullness
  • Belching or gas
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Acid taste in the mouth
  • Heartburn

Some people may also experience these symptoms., as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing

When to see a doctor

Most cases of indigestion can be treated with home treatments, but it's important to see a doctor, if symptoms persist or worsen over time. People should seek medical attention, if they experience the following:

  • Severe or persistent abdominal pain
  • Vomiting blood or dark-colored stools
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Sudden unexplained weight loss

Questions, that your doctor may ask

When examining a person with indigestion, the doctor may ask several questions, to determine the underlying cause of symptoms. These questions may include:

  • When symptoms first appeared?
  • How often do symptoms occur?
  • What exacerbates symptoms?
  • What relieves symptoms?
  • Have you recently started taking any new medications?
  • Have you noticed any changes in bowel function??
  • Has your family had digestive problems??

Diagnosis indigestion

To diagnose indigestion, the doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about the person's medical history and symptoms.

In some cases, additional tests may be required, including:

  • Blood tests to look for infections or other underlying conditions.
  • X-ray or ultrasound to look for structural problems in the digestive system.
  • Endoscopy to view the digestive tract and take tissue samples for analysis.
  • Stool tests to check for signs of infection or bleeding in the digestive system.

Treatment for indigestion

Treatment for indigestion depends on the underlying cause of the condition.. If indigestion is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as peptic ulcer, doctor, probably, prescribe medications to treat this condition.

If indigestion is related to a diet or lifestyle trigger, the doctor may recommend that the patient make lifestyle changes, eg, avoid certain types of food, quit smoking and reduce alcohol intake. For Example, spicy foods can aggravate indigestion symptoms, therefore the patient may need to adjust their diet. Other dietary changes may include avoiding fried and processed foods, eating less food and avoiding caffeine.

The doctor may also recommend medication, such as antacids, proton pump inhibitors or H2 receptor blockers, depending on the severity and type of symptoms.

Avoid aspirin and other NSAIDs. If you need to take them, do it on a full stomach.

Antacids may relieve indigestion.

Medicines, which can be bought without a prescription, such as ranitidine (Zantac) and omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), may relieve symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe these medicines at higher doses or for a longer period of time..

Home treatment for indigestion

In addition to lifestyle and dietary changes, there are some things, what you can do at home, to reduce the symptoms of indigestion.

  • Limit your fat intake. More stomach acid is needed to break down high-fat foods, which can exacerbate symptoms of indigestion. Try to eat low-fat, high-fiber foods and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Eat small meals. Eating smaller meals more frequently helps prevent stomach fullness or distension, and reduce the risk of indigestion.
  • Stay away from trigger foods. Product discovery, causing symptoms of indigestion, and avoiding them can help reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms.
  • Chew food thoroughly. Eating too fast can lead to indigestion, so take your time and chew your food thoroughly, To prevent this.
  • Avoid lying down after eating. Lying down after eating can lead to indigestion, since food is not digested properly due to lack of gravity.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking. Smoking and drinking alcohol can increase stomach acid production, which will lead to indigestion.
  • Take a probiotic. Intake of probiotics, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, may help improve the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut and reduce symptoms of indigestion.

Preventing indigestion

The best way to prevent indigestion is to change your lifestyle and diet.

  • Eat more often and in smaller portions. Eating smaller meals more frequently helps prevent stomach fullness and reduces the risk of indigestion.
  • Avoid trigger foods. Try to define, what foods make you upset stomach, and then avoid these foods whenever possible. Common triggers are spicy and sour foods, high fat food, fried foods and processed meats.
  • Avoid lying down after eating. Lying down can prevent your stomach from properly digesting food., so don't lie down after eating.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking. Alcohol and smoking can increase stomach acid, which aggravates indigestion.
  • Avoid overeating. Overeating can lead to indigestion, so try to eat only until then, until you're satisfied.
  • Chew food thoroughly. Slow down and chew food properly, help your digestive system break down food more efficiently.
  • Take a probiotic. Probiotics may help improve the balance of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system, which will help reduce the symptoms of indigestion.


Indigestion is a common condition, which is often caused by a combination of dietary habits and lifestyle. The most common symptom of indigestion is pain or discomfort in the abdomen.. Most cases of indigestion can be treated at home., lifestyle changes and medications, otpuskaemыe without prescription. But, if symptoms are severe or persistent, it is important to seek help from a healthcare professional, to determine the root cause of the condition. To prevent stomach upset, try to identify and avoid trigger foods, chew, avoid overeating and limit your consumption of alcohol and smoking.

Used sources and literature

Mayer EA. Functional gastrointestinal disorders: irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, chest pain of presumed esophageal origin, and heartburn. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 128.

Thank you J. Dyspepsia.In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 14.

Back to top button