Indigestion - Symptoms 

Symptoms of indigestion 

The main symptom of indigestion (dyspepsia) is pain or a feeling of discomfort in your chest or stomach.

This usually comes on soon after eating or drinking, although there can sometimes be a delay between eating a meal and experiencing indigestion.

The symptoms of indigestion are often described as 'heartburn', which you may experience as a burning pain behind your breastbone. Heartburn is caused by acid that passes from your stomach into your oesophagus (gullet).

If you have indigestion, you may also have symptoms such as:

  • feeling uncomfortably full or heavy
  • belching
  • bringing food back up from your stomach
  • bloating
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • vomiting

When you should see a doctor

In some cases, indigestion symptoms can indicate a more serious underlying health problem, such as stomach cancer. Seek immediate medical attention if you have recurring indigestion and you:

  • are 55 years old or over
  • have lost a lot of weight without meaning to
  • have increasing difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • have persistent vomiting
  • have iron deficiency anaemia
  • have a lump in your stomach
  • have blood in your vomit or blood in your stools

Page last reviewed: 12/06/2012

Next review due: 12/06/2014

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Reduce your cancer risk

Eating a balanced diet, being a healthy weight and drinking less alcohol could reduce your cancer risk