Q:

What causes indigestion?

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Quick Answer

Mayo Clinic notes that indigestion is commonly caused by eating too quickly, overeating, drinking carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, anxiety, smoking, certain antibiotics, iron supplements, pain relievers, and eating spicy, greasy or fatty foods. It can also be caused by digestive or gastrointestinal conditions, such as peptic ulcers, constipation, gastritis, pancreatitis, celiac disease, stomach cancer, gallstones, intestinal ischemia or intestinal blockage.

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Full Answer

Indigestion causes stomach discomfort, and when severe it results in vomiting, nausea, bloating and heartburn. Wikipedia notes that indigestion associated with difficulty in swallowing, vomiting blood, loss of appetite, abdominal swelling and unintentional weight loss indicates peptic ulcer disease and requires urgent investigation and treatment. WebMD states that stress may worsen the symptoms of indigestion.

About Health notes that persistent indigestion, which is not associated with its common causes, occurs in some people. This type of indigestion is called functional dyspepsia and is often caused by problems of motility in the stomach.

In the diagnosis of indigestion, doctors start by ruling out conditions, such as ulcers. They then conduct endoscopy or X-rays of the stomach or the small intestines. About Health notes that antacids are not appropriate in treating indigestion because it is not caused by excess acid in the stomach. Successful treatment for indigestion includes avoiding situations and foods that cause it.

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