4 Causes of Indigestion and How to Cope


People experiencing indigestion will usually feel pain, a burning sensation, or discomfort in the upper abdomen. They can also feel uncomfortably full while eating a meal. Although heartburn and indigestion are two separate conditions, they are often experienced together.

Indigestion doesn’t usually result in medical emergencies, and it is likely to simply clear after some time. In this guide, we will examine some of the common causes of indigestion and how you can cope with the condition.

1. Eating Spicy Foods

Lots of people can consume spicy foods without suffering any issues. However, people with indigestion and other stomach problems will often find that spicy foods worsen the situation.

It is also common for people to feel their stomach burning after eating spicy foods. It is not clear why this happens, but if you are unable to tolerate such foods, you should avoid them entirely. It is also important for pregnant women to avoid spicy foods since they often experience heart burns and indigestion from hormonal changes. Such meals can make the condition worse.

2. Dehydration

Drinking water is essential as it helps to dilute stomach acids. The stomach also needs water to produce digestive acids. It is also common for dehydrated people to experience constipation since the large intestines have to consume all the water from the food they eat. This can end up preventing the food from going through the digestive system, causing pain and discomfort.

Another issue with dehydration is that it can make you overeat and overburden your digestive system.

3. Eating too Fast

If you’re always the first person to finish your meals, you should re-evaluate your speed of eating. When you devour your meals in a split second, you are likely to experience an icky and stuffed feeling. This is because of indigestion and stomach upset.

Eating too fast can also lead to weight gain as you will almost always consume too much food. Further, it can make the experience of eating unpleasant and less enjoyable.

4. Smoking

Smoking tobacco is also linked to heartburn and indigestion. One issue with smoking is that it relaxes the ring of muscles in the lower esophagus, and this lets acid trickle up and cause a burning sensation. Smoking can also make the mouth produce less saliva, and this will worsen the symptoms of heartburn.

It is also possible for cigarettes to prevent your stomach from producing a substance that guards the stomach lining against acid.

Other Causes of Indigestion

Indigestion may also be caused by:

  • Antibiotics and other medications
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Stomach cancer
  • Drinking alcohol

What Can You Take for Indigestion?

To immediately relieve the symptoms of indigestion, you can take over-the-counter antacids, baking soda, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar. You can also eat licorice root as it contains compounds that reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.


Indigestion can be extremely unpleasant and painful. The issue may be caused by spicy foods, dehydration, eating too fast, and smoking. It can also result from health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, stomach cancer, and inflammation of the gallbladder.  


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