Indigestion is a common digestive condition which can affect people of all ages. It can happen after eating a large meal, but chronic indigestion may be a sign of an underlying health issue.
If you are having regular symptoms of indigestion, it may be time to seek the expertise of a doctor specializing in gastroenterology in order to diagnose and treat your condition effectively. Let’s talk about some of the symptoms and causes of indigestion and what you can do about it.
Symptoms of Indigestion
Also known as dyspepsia, indigestion can cause pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen. Most of us suffer from indigestion from time to time, such as after eating too quickly, eating a lot of heavy or greasy food, or during periods of stress. It can also indicate an underlying problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which may need further investigation and treatment.
Indigestion can cause symptoms such as:
- Burning in the upper abdomen
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling bloated or unusually full
- Excessive gas or belching
- Nausea or vomiting
- Acidic taste in the mouth
- A noisy stomach
- A burning sensation in the chest (heartburn)
What Causes Indigestion?
Indigestion can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as the following:
Lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking, what we eat, how much we eat at each meal, and what we drink can play a big part in developing indigestion. It can also be a symptom of excess stress and fatigue. Emotional trauma, anxiety, and depression can contribute to indigestion and make it, and other digestive problems, worse.
Indigestion and heartburn can become an issue particularly during pregnancy. Hormonal changes, the stomach becoming increasingly restricted due to the growing fetus, and the woman’s digestive system also having to support the baby’s body can all contribute to symptoms.
Indigestion can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition or chronic digestive problem, which can include:
- Stomach ulcers
- Stomach infection
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Thyroid disease
- Inflammation of the stomach, gallbladder, or pancreas
- Stomach cancer
Indigestion can also be caused by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which can cause ulcers and sores in the lining of the stomach, esophagus, or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). A skilled gastroenterologist will be able to get to the bottom of what is causing your digestive issues.
Some medications can cause indigestion or make it worse than usual. These can include certain antibiotics, steroids, thyroid medications, estrogen, oral contraceptives, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.
Gastroenterology Doctors in Greater Cleveland
If you are experiencing frequent or unusual symptoms of indigestion or abdominal pain, talk to the medical experts here at North Shore Gastroenterology for the diagnosis and treatment you need to help you feel better. Our providers treat all types of digestive disorders, including those of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract as well as the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
If you would like to find out more about our GI services or you would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (440) 808-1212 or you can use our secure appointment request form online now. We have two convenient locations in Westlake and Brooklyn, and we look forward to serving you!