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(Dyspepsia; Non-ulcer Dyspepsia; Non-ulcer Stomach Pain)
by Rhianon Davies
Indigestion is discomfort in the upper abdomen or chest. It is often linked to nausea, belching, or bloating.
The exact cause is not known. Most often, the condition is linked to a number of unhealthy lifestyle factors. These factors can result in poor digestion.
Risk Factors TOP
The following lifestyle factors increase your chances of indigestion:
Indigestion is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including:
When Should I Call My Doctor?
It is common to have indigestion occasionally. If the episodes worsen or happen more frequently, make an appointment to see your doctor. If you have indigestion, important reasons to call your doctor include:
When Should I Call for Medical Help Immediately?
Call for medical help or go to the emergency room right away if you have:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. Indigestion is diagnosed mainly on the symptoms listed above.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.
Your bodily structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:
The rate at which the stomach empties may need to be evaluated. This can be done with a gastric emptying study.
Your doctor will suggest a plan based on the severity of your symptoms. Treatment options may include the following:
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
Your doctor may advise you to:
Medications your doctor may recommend include:
To help reduce the chance of indigestion:
American College of Gastroenterology
American Gastroenterological Association
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Dyspepsia: treatment. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at:
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Updated February 2014. Accessed December 18, 2014.
Karamanolis G, Caenepeel P, et al. Association of the predominant symptom with clinical characteristics and pathophysiological mechanisms in functional dyspepsia. Gastroenterology. 2006;130(2):296-303.
Mertz H, Fullerton S, et al. Symptoms and visceral perception in severe functional organic dyspepsia. Gut. 1998;42(6):814-822.
Tack J, Talley NJ, et al. Functional gastroduodenal disorders. Gastroenterology. 2006;130(5):1466-1479.
3/1/2010 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com: Maalox Total Relief and Maalox liquid products: medication use errors. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at:
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Updated September 9, 2013. Accessed December 18, 2014.
Last reviewed December 2015 by Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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