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Indigestion (also known as dyspepsia) is a general term that describes a feeling of fullness or discomfort in the stomach.


People usually experience indigestion during or after mealtimes. Other symptoms that may develop include:    

  • Heartburn (a burning sensation felt in the lower chest area caused by stomach acid being present in the oesophagus)  
  • Bloating  
  • Excessive gas (belching, burping or flatulence)  
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Feeling sick (nausea)  
  • Vomiting          


Indigestion is generally a consequence of eating too much, too quickly, however can also be caused by:  

  • Eating a moderate to large meal and then doing some kind of physical activity, lifting or bending  
  • Too much coffee, spice or alcohol  
  • Stomach surgery  
  • Anxiety  
  • Later stages of pregnancy, when the womb pushes up against the stomach.      


In most cases, indigestion symptoms are sporadic and are resolved relatively quickly, however some people have frequent bouts or chronic indigestion which can affect their quality of life. This can be caused by ulcers in the stomach, chronic reflux and some medications.      


Treatment options  

Treatment for indigestion really depends on the cause. If you are experiencing indigestion symptoms after meal times, it is an indication that you are eating too much and/or too quickly. Thus, reducing your portion size and eating slowly will be able to prevent onset of symptoms. It may also be possible for you to:  

Avoid lying down after a meal,  

Limit spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol, particularly in the evenings, and

Lose weight. If you hold extra weight around your torso, the extra fat not only puts pressure on your digestive system but also reduces the amount of room for the stomach and small intestines to stretch and contract.      


If symptoms persist, ensure that you get a check up with your health professional to determine if there are any medical reasons which may be aggravating your indigestion such as gastric ulcers, gastritis or hiatus hernia.      



The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.   Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.  




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