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Alternative namesDyspepsia; Uncomfortable fullness after meals
DefinitionIndigestion is a vague feeling of abdominal discomfort -- possibly including a feeling of fullness, belching , bloating , and nausea .
ConsiderationsIndigestion is rarely a serious health problem, unless it is accompanied by other symptoms.
Indigestion is a common problem. It may be triggered by eating particular foods or after drinking wine or carbonated drinks. It may also be caused by eating too fast or overeating. Some people may find that spicy foods, high-fiber foods, fatty foods, or too much caffeine can all aggravate this problem. Symptoms may be worsened by anxiety and depression .
Rarely, the discomfort of a heart attack is mistaken for indigestion.
Home CareAllow time for leisurely meals. Chew food carefully and thoroughly. Avoid conflicts during meals. Avoid excitement or exercise immediately after a meal. Avoid chewing gum -- it may cause air swallowing. A calm environment and rest may help relieve stress-related dyspepsia.
Avoid aspirin and NSAIDs (use acetaminophen instead). If you must take them, do so on a full stomach. Antacids may relieve indigestion. Stronger medications are available over-the-counter, such as ranitidine (Zantac). Your doctor may prescribe similar medications, or more potent ones such as omeprazole (Prilosec).
Call your health care provider if
The medical history will be obtained, and a physical examination performed.
Medical history questions documenting indigestion in detail may include:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
You may want to add a diagnosis related to indigestion to your personal medical record.
Update Date: 4/29/2003Andrew J. Muir, M.D., M.H.S., Division of Gastroenterology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT