Indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterized by discomfort in the upper abdomen. It is a condition rather than a disease, and it can occur at any time. It does not necessarily happen after eating or drinking. Although not life-threatening in itself, indigestion can be a sign of more serious issues including a digestive condition or other problems.
Doctors consider all symptoms and medical history when determining a course of treatment for indigestion including possible underlying causes.
Most cases of indigestion clear up on their own, either with or without antacids or other over-the-counter medications. If they persist for longer than two weeks, a professional medical exam is advised.
Seek medical attention if
Chest pain that circulates to the jaw, neck, or arm that worsens when physically active, unusual sweating and shortness of breath either with or without indigestion is a medical emergency. Those experiencing these symptoms should obtain immediate medical attention.
Indigestion that is not caused by an underlying condition may be fairly simple to remedy. In other cases, the cause of indigestion must be addressed to solve or better control the problem.