You know it when you feel it: that full, uncomfortable sensation in your belly during or after a meal. You might have burning or pain in the upper part of your stomach, too. There are symptoms of indigestion, also called dyspepsia. Indigestion is often a sign of an underlying problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, or gallbladder disease, rather than a condition of its own. Any treatment you get will depend on what the cause is. But there are ways you can feel better or avoid getting it.
- Belching and gas
- Nausea and vomiting
- An acidic taste in your mouth
- Fullness during or after a meal
- Growling stomach
- Burning in your stomach or upper belly
- Belly pain
These symptoms might be worse when you’re stressed. If you swallow too much air when you eat, this can make belching and bloating worse. People often have indigestion along with heartburn (a burning feeling deep in the chest), which happens when stomach acids rise into the esophagus.
Any treatment you get will depend on what’s causing your indigestion. You can also do some things on your own to ease your symptoms:
- Try not to chew with your mouth open, talk while you chew, or eat too fast. This makes you swallow too much air, which can add to indigestion
- Drink beverages after rather than during meals.
- Avoid late-night eating.
- Try to relax after meals.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Avoid alcohol.
If you don’t feel better after these changes, your doctor may prescribe medications for you.