Indigestion, also called dyspepsia or an upset stomach, describes discomfort in your upper abdomen. Indigestion is not a disease, but rather symptoms. Although common, it can be a symptom of digestive disease, especially if symptoms are persistent.


Signs and symptoms of indigestion/dyspepsia may include:

  • Uncomfortable fullness lasting longer than it should
  • Discomfort, burning or bloating in the upper abdomen
  • Nausea

Mild indigestion is usually nothing to worry about. Consult your doctor if symptoms persist for more than two weeks. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain is accompanied by:

  • Unintentional weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Repeated vomiting or vomiting with blood
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Trouble swallowing that gets progressively worse


Common causes of occasional or mild upset stomach include:

  • Overeating or eating too quickly
  • Fatty, greasy or spicy foods
  • Too much caffeine, alcohol, chocolate or carbonated beverages

Sometimes, indigestion can be caused by digestive conditions, including:


A physical exam may be sufficient if your indigestion is mild and you're not experiencing other symptoms. If your symptoms began suddenly or are severe, or if you are older than 50, Northeast Digestive Health Center may recommend additional diagnostic tests and procedures, including:

  • Laboratory tests, to check for thyroid or other metabolic disorders
  • Endoscopy, to check for abnormalities in your upper digestive tract
  • Imaging tests (X-ray or CT scan), to check for intestinal obstruction




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