Indigestion is known in the medical field as dyspepsia. This term describes many symptoms that are associated with a feeling of a full stomach, discomfort after a meal, a painful upper abdomen that could be accompanied by a burning sensation. Bloating, belching, heartburn and nausea are also associated with indigestion. Indigestion is common in adults and can occur frequently, sometimes as often as everyday. However, people of all ages are at risk of indigestion. The main reason why adults are the most affected is that the risks associated with indigestion linearly with alcohol consumption and use of drugs that often irritate the stomach lining such as aspirin.
In simple term, indigestion refers to a condition in which digestion is impaired and an upset stomach results. The patient could feel full earlier than is the usual case. When this condition is accompanied by pain then it is said to be chronic. Chronic indigestion is a condition associated with certain diseases like GERD, which is gastroesophageal reflux disease or the gastritis. For some people, chronic indigestion may be the first symptoms of ulcer of the stomach, duodenum or the peptic ulcer disease and even cancer. Undetermined or abrupt onset of dyspepsia in older persons should be treated with a sense of urgency. Symptoms that are unusual and alarming should be subjected to further investigations.
Sometimes, a patient might suffer from indigestion for which it is not possible to identify the causes. This is functional dyspepsia or in other medical cycles it is called nonulcer dyspepsia. Functional dyspepsia is so common in the western countries with an estimated 15 percent of the general population being affected. Indigestion is sometimes mistaken for heartburn or even heart attack. Indigestion, generally, is not a sign of very serious health problem unless other symptoms develop such a difficulty with swallowing or terrible weight loss.