People with indigestion may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Early fullness during a meal. You haven't eaten much of your meal, but you already feel full and may not be able to finish eating.
- Uncomfortable fullness after a meal. Fullness lasts longer than it should.
- Discomfort in the upper abdomen. You feel a mild to severe pain in the area between the bottom of your breastbone (sternum) and your navel.
- Burning in the upper abdomen. You feel an uncomfortable heat or burning sensation between the bottom of the breastbone and navel.
- Bloating in the upper abdomen. You feel an uncomfortable sensation of tightness.
Less frequent symptoms include vomiting and belching.
Sometimes people with indigestion also experience heartburn, but heartburn and indigestion are two separate conditions. Heartburn is a pain or burning feeling in the center of your chest that may radiate into your neck or back during or after eating.
When to see a doctor
Mild indigestion is usually nothing to worry about. Consult your doctor if discomfort persists for more than two weeks. Contact your doctor right away if pain is severe or accompanied by:
- Unintentional weight loss or loss of appetite
- Repeated vomiting or vomiting with blood
- Black, tarry stools
- Trouble swallowing that gets progressively worse
- Fatigue or weakness, which may be symptoms of anemia
Seek immediate medical attention if you have:
May. 01, 2013
- Shortness of breath, sweating or chest pain radiating to the jaw, neck or arm
- Chest pain on exertion or with stress
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- Indigestion. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/indigestion/index.aspx. Accessed Feb. 25, 2013.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourcetoc.aspx?resourceid=1. Accessed Feb. 25, 2013.
- Dyspepsia. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/gastrointestinal_disorders/approach_to_the_patient_with_upper_gi_complaints/dyspepsia.html. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- Lacy BE, et al. Review article: Current treatment options and management of functional dyspepsia. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2012;36:3.
- Camilleri M, et al. Current management strategies and emerging treatments for functional dyspepsia. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. In press. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
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