ZocdocAnswersWhat are the causes of indigestion?

Question

What are the causes of indigestion?

For the last year I've had a lot of trouble with my stomach. A lot of indigestion and some heartburn. I take stuff over the counter to help. What might cause this? Do I have a food allergy maybe?

Answer

If you are still having a lot of trouble with indigestion and heartburn after a year, and if you are requiring frequent use of over the counter heartburn medications, then you should go to see your primary care doctor if you have not done so already! Frequent heartburn and indigestion is a very common medical problem. It occurs when the muscle controlling the junction between the esophagus and the stomach relaxes, allowing acid to wash up into the esophagus and throat. If over the counter medications are not enough, you may need a prescription anti acid medication, which your doctor can give you. Additionally, your doctor can give you some advice about which types of foods you might want to avoid in order to minimize the heartburn symptoms. In some cases, severe heartburn is due to an infection of the stomach with a bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori. Your doctor can perform some simple tests to determine if you are infected with this bacteria. If so, you will need treatment for a few weeks with three or four different medications in order to get rid of the infection. Start by setting up a visit with your primary care doctor today!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.