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10 Common Symptoms of Indigestion

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Most of us have experienced indigestion at some point. Probably after eating a whole pizza, sub sandwich, or Thanksgiving dinner. Indigestion is a persistent or recurrent pain or discomfort in your abdomen or stomach. It usually occurs after eating and drinking.

However, indigestion is often a warning sign for something else, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, or gallbladder disease.

Symptom 1: Bloating

Do you feel bloated? Does your abdomen feel full? Making you uncomfortable? Try over-the-counter medications and physical activity to relieve the bloating.

According to a post on Patient.info stated: “I'm 26 years old, and out of nowhere I have been hammered by the symptoms above. It seems to be magnified by alcohol, fatty foods, and anything dairy (I'm lactose intolerant). More specifically, I have a constant feeling of discomfort from my stomach all the way up to my throat, like a really full feeling. It's like a constant need to burp, which sometimes ends up in a bit of food or drink coming up, as if my body just isn't digesting at all. I have been gaining odd amounts of weight around my stomach too. I have no burning sensation in my chest. My GP thinks it might be IBS but we're still waiting on a blood test. My question is, why now? And why so sudden? I'm not particularly stressed, I'm relatively healthy, I exercise almost every day. I recently stopped taking anti-depressants, which I've heard can nerf the symptoms. Just after some advice and insight from anyone who can, would be much appreciated as it's driving me nuts! A few weeks ago, I could go out with mates, have a few beers and a burger and feel fine!” 

Symptom 2: Burning Sensation

Is there a painful, burning sensation in your stomach, upper abdomen, or chest?

With indigestion, burning is caused by stomach acid backing up in your throat. The burning sensation may intensify if you lie flat or on your right side.

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Symptom 3: Abdominal Pain

Does your abdomen hurt? Is there discomfort?

According to Beta.NHS.uk, “A pharmacist can recommend medicines that'll ease the burning feeling or pain that can come with indigestion. These medicines make your stomach less acidic. They're called antacids. It's best to take the medicine after eating.”

Symptom 4: Gas

Are you passing gas? Belching? Sure, having gas, burping, belching, and farting can be embarrassing. But that’s what happens when you have indigestion.

When your body breaks down the food you eat into energy, gas is formed in your stomach and intestines. 

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Symptom 5: Acidic Taste

Do you have an acidic, sour, or bitter taste in your throat or mouth? This taste is caused by the backflow or regurgitation of stomach acid and juices into your throat. 

According to Health.com, “Sometimes acid escaping from your stomach can make its way into the back of your throat, leaving an icky, bitter taste in your mouth. In really extreme cases, this can cause choking. If that happens—especially at night—you should see a doctor.”

Symptom 6: Nausea/Vomiting

Do you feel sick? Are you nauseated? Need to vomit?

Over-the-counter antacids should relieve the nausea. Or, vomiting should immediately eliminate the indigestion.

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Symptom 7: Growling Stomach

Is everyone looking at you because your stomach is making loud gurgling and growling sounds? These sounds occur when there is regurgitation of food or acid, and gas moving through your intestines.

According to Netdoctor.co.uk, “The noises from your stomach are called borborygmi, and are due to contractions in your bowel wall called peristalsis, which are designed to move fluid and food along in your gut. They are therefore natural noises, but of course it is a question of degree, and if they are very loud then they can be embarrassing. The amount of borborygmi is related to the activity of the gut and the amount of gas produced by the bacteria that ferment the food in your gut. This is also related to the bloated feeling and belching.”

Symptom 8: Constipation

Do you suffer from constipation, especially after eating? Do you have ongoing difficult, delayed, or infrequent defecation?

Over-the-counter medications and a high-fiber diet can help with constipation due to indigestion.

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Symptom 9: Diarrhea

If you do not have constipation with indigestion, then you may have diarrhea or watery/runny stools.

According to Wisegeekhealth.com, “There are a great number of things that can cause indigestion and diarrhea to happen together, but most of the time the problem is food-related. Eating too much, choosing foods that are greasy or highly acidic, or consuming toxins or spoiled foods can all contribute.”

Symptom 10: Heartburn

Although many people think of indigestion and heartburn as the same thing, heartburn is actually a symptom of indigestion.

When you have heartburn due to indigestion, try antacids, like Tums, Maalox, Rolaids, or Mylanta. These over-the-counter drugs neutralize your stomach acid and provide relief. 

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