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How Is Indigestion Caused?

By Lekhaka

Indigestion is the term used to describe discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen or chest, typically happening right after meals. You get heartburn when the acid in the stomach refluxes back up the oesophagus. This happens if the sphincter on top of your stomach does not work correctly.

You may also get heartburn when your belly is irritated or inflamed. Despite the fact that indigestion is most typical after meals, you may get it at any moment. Depending upon the main cause of your heartburn, your symptoms might go very rapidly, come and go, or they might be regular and last for quite a long time.


Your belly acid helps you to digest food and shields you against diseases. A layer of mucous lines your stomach, oesophagus and bowel to act as a barrier against this acid. In case the mucous layer is damaged, your belly acid may irritate the tissues beneath, or if the valve on top of your stomach is not working correctly, stomach acid may irritate the oesophagus, leading to indigestion.

Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol, smoking, anxiety and stress medications, like aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications used to treat arthritis, specific foods and a few beverages can unwind the sphincter at the joint between your oesophagus and belly and could cause signs of indigestion, or cause direct discomfort to the lining of your oesophagus.


Being obese or overweight may increase the pressure on your stomach and lead to indigestion. Some medical conditions may cause signs of indigestion and heartburn. Peptic ulcers are ulcers in your belly or the first part of your small bowel that cause indigestion.

Certain types of cancer may also trigger the signs of indigestion; however, this is rare. As much as eighty percent of women who are pregnant suffer from indigestion. Symptoms are often first experienced late in the first trimester and may continue through the remaining six months. The signs of indigestion usually go away within a month of giving birth.

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Story first published: Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 20:30 [IST]
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