What Causes Indigestion? 21 Possible Conditions
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA
Indigestion (also known as dyspepsia) happens to almost everyone from time to time. Eating habits or a chronic digestive problem can trigger indigestion. Read more
See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.
1. Gastritis: Weakness in your stomach lining allows digestive juices to damage and inflame it, causing gastritis. It comes in both acute and chronic forms.
2. Gallstones: Gallstones are hard deposits in the gallbladder that can eventually block the exiting bile ducts. Abdominal pain, fever, itchy skin, and jaundice are symptoms.
3. Stomach Ulcer: Stomach ulcers are painful sores in the stomach lining or small intestine. They occur when the mucus that protects the stomach from digestive juices is reduced.
4. Peptic Ulcer:Peptic ulcers are painful sores in the lining of the stomach, esophagus, or small intestine. Peptic ulcers are a fairly common health problem.
5. Gall Bladder Inflammation: The term “gallbladder disease” refers to several types of conditions that can affect your gallbladder.
6. Cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is the severe scarring and poor function of the liver caused by long-term exposure to toxins such as alcohol or viral infections.
7. Acute Pancreatitis: Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation in the pancreas, which causes pain and swelling in the upper left side of the abdomen, nausea, and burping.
8. Generalized Anxiety Disorder: People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, worry uncontrollably about common occurrences and situations. The condition may also be called chronic anxiety neurosis.GAD is different from normal feeling.
9. Pregnancy: Bleeding or spotting, increased need to urinate, tender breasts, fatigue, nausea, and missed period are signs of pregnancy.
10. Ovarian Cysts: Most women will develop at least one cyst on their ovaries during their lives. In most cases, these cysts are painless and cause no symptoms.
11. Congestive Heart Failure (CHF): Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic condition that affects the chambers of your heart. CHF refers to fluid buildup around your heart.
12. Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance): Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by an immune reaction to gluten. Symptoms vary but can include arthritis, fatigue, and abdominal symptoms.
13. Stomach Cancer (Gastric Adenocarcinoma): Stomach cancer occurs when cancerous cells form in the stomach lining. Because it’s difficult to detect, it’s often not diagnosed until it’s more advanced.
14. Pancreatic Cancer: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer and is often difficult to detect. Learn more about symptoms and treatments.
15. Ovarian Cancer: The ovaries are small, almond-shaped organs located on either side of the uterus that produce eggs. As the disease progresses, symptoms include back pain and indigestion.
16. Chronic Cholecystitis: Cholecystitis or acute cholecystitis is the inflammation of your gallbladder. If this condition persists for a prolonged period of time or if you have repeated attacks, it is called chronic cholecystitis.
17. H. Pylori Infection: H. pylori are a type of bacteria that may not cause problems. However, sometimes it can cause pain, bloating, and burping, and may lead to ulcers or stomach cancer.
18. Chronic Pancreatitis: Chronic, or long-term, pancreatitis is an inflammation of your pancreas that impairs your body’s ability to digest food and regulate blood sugar.
19. Chronic Gastritis: Chronic gastritis involves swelling or inflammation of the stomach lining. If you have this condition, you might feel full after eating just a few bites.
20. Acute Cholecystitis – A Fancy Term for an Inflamed Gallbladder: Acute cholecystitis is also known as inflammation of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is an organ that sits below the liver and helps your body digest fats.
21. Acute Gastritis: Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation or swelling in the lining of the stomach. It causes severe, temporary pain.