What Does Indigestion Feel Like? What To Look For

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Indigestion is a feeling most commonly felt in the upper abdomen, but what does indigestion feel like? Find out more about indigestion with MyVybe.

Indigestion is a common pain that is felt by many in the upper abdomen or in the breastbone, which can sometimes be confused with heartburn. However, indigestion and heartburn can often happen together, so there is a reason for the two getting mixed up. The medical name for indigestion is dyspepsia, which is the recurrent of pain felt after eating. But, what does indigestion feel like? And how do we know the difference between dyspepsia and heartburn? Carry on reading to find out.

Why does indigestion happen?What does indigestion feel like

Indigestion is caused by stomach acid which comes into contact with the sensitive lining of the digestive system. The acid breaks down the lining, leading to irritation and inflammation, which can lead to discomfort.

The majority of cases of indigestion are connected to eating, however, there are other factors such as drinking, smoking, stress and taking certain medications.

What does indigestion feel like?

Each person may feel indigestion differently, even though it is common. Indigestion can be felt in the stomach and may feel like you are bloating, or feel full, even though you haven’t had a full meal. You may even feel uncomfortably full after a meal, which can last longer than usual.

Sometimes, people have felt mild pain in their upper abdomen, which can be in the form of a cramp or a burning sensation. Some people may also feel nauseous too.

man grabbing stomach

What are the symptoms of indigestion?

There are a few symptoms that are associated with indigestion that you can look out for to determine what the trigger is.


Those symptoms include:

  • Burning pain in the stomach
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Belching and gas
  • Growling stomach
  • Gas
  • Stomach cramps and gargling noise.

The symptoms you may feel can change depending on whether you feel overly stressed or if you are ill. People can also suffer from heartburn at the same time as suffering from indigestion, however, heartburn is a different issue which may be an indication of another problem.

How is indigestion diagnosed?

Indigestion is a broad term.  When seeking medical advice, make sure to give your doctors a specific description of the pain and discomfort you are experiencing. This will enable them to advise you on the best next steps.

The doctors will rule out any possible underlying conditions which may be the cause of your indigestion. To do this, your doctor may perform several blood tests or conduct some X-rays of the stomach or small intestine. Depending on your symptomsand level of discomfort your doctor may suggest an upper endoscopy, which will look closely at the inside of the stomach.

How to treat indigestion

The course of treatment for your indigestion will depend on the cause, but if it is lifestyle-related, the following changes may be recommended by your healthcare professional:

  • Avoiding fatty, greasy or spicy foods
    • Eating smaller meals, frequently throughout the day
    • Cutting down on alcohol, caffeine and/or fizzy drinks
    • Avoiding certain pain relief medications

Supplements can also be taken to help with your digestion. Digestion supplements help to promote healthy digestive processes and help relieve the pain that is associated with indigestion. They help the body to break down food and support digestion. These may be prescribed by your healthcare professional. If you decide to add supplements to your diet, seek advice from your doctor first.

When do see a doctor?

Indigestion is usually nothing to worry about, but if your pain persists and you don’t feel as though your symptoms are getting any better with a few life changes, then see your doctor. You should seek immediate medical advice if your discomfort is partnered with any of the following:woman on sofa holding stomach

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Issues with swallowing.

That is our guide to what indigestion feels like. If you want to know more about indigestion, then take a look at our article on home remedies for indigestion that might work, next.










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