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What are the signs and symptoms of indigestion (dyspepsia)?

We usually think of symptoms of indigestion as originating from the upper gastrointestinal tract, primarily the stomach and first part of the small intestine. These symptoms include:

  • upper abdominal pain or discomfort (above or around the navel),
  • belching,
  • nausea (with or without vomiting),
  • abdominal bloating (the sensation of abdominal fullness without visible distention),
  • early satiety (the sensation of fullness after a very small amount of food), 
  • abdominal distention (visible swelling as opposed to bloating), and 
  • lower chest pain.

The symptoms most often are provoked by eating, which is a time when many different gastrointestinal functions are called upon to work in concert. This tendency to occur after meals is what gave rise to the erroneous notion that indigestion might be caused by an abnormality in the digestion of food.

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