Upset stomach may mean dyspepsia which is also referred to as indigestion. This leads to stomach pain, discomfort and tenderness of the upper abdomen. It’s only a symptom and not an illness. This is a group of symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, burping and bloating. In many cases, an upset stomach may be caused by eating or drinking food. It will also be brought on by infections or some medicines.

Indigestion is usually brought about by spicy foods, fatty foods and hiatal hernia. It is usually managed by dietary changes.

Most folks with indigestion have pain in the belly or chest. The pain happens quickly after consuming food or drink. There may even be a sensation of fullness even if that person has not eaten food.


Upset stomach can be due to dyspepsia, which is discomfort in the abdomen.

Another cause of upset stomach is peptic ulcer disease, wherein there are erosions in the stomach or the small intestines.

Infections in the gastrointestinal tract due to parasites (amoeba), bacteria or viruses can also cause upset stomach.


The following symptoms of upset stomach are common:

  • Nausea
  • Belching
  • Pain
  • A feeling of fullness, or satiety
  • Feeling bloated

Seek emergency medical help if the pain is severe and if there are any symptoms such as:

  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to swallow
  • Black stools
  • Yellow coloring in the eyes and skin
  • Chest pain during exertion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain that spreads to the jaw, arm, or neck


Dyspepsia is mild, so no further treatment is needed. Those who have recurrent indigestion should see a doctor. The doctor will usually do a physical exam and get a medical history. Tests may be done such as the following:

  • Blood test that will reveal anemia or infection
  • Endoscopy
  • Tests to diagnose H. pylori infection
  • Liver function test
  • X-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Abdominal CT scan



Therapy for indigestion will depend on the severity of the condition and the cause. If symptoms are mild, lifestyle changes such as consuming fatty and spicy food and less alcohol, caffeine and chocolate can ease symptoms. Get good sleep.

Medications may be given such as follows:

  • Antacids
  • H-2-receptor antagonists
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

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