What are the various causes of indigestion?

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There are many causes of indigestion, and each person's cause is different. Certain foods or food types may cause your digestive tract to be distressed or bothered. Other causes may include high levels of stress, spasms or contractions of the stomach and esophagus (throat), inflammation or irritation of the mucous lining of the stomach and esophagus, and anxiety. (This answer provided for NATA by the University of Montana Athletic Training Education Program.)

Indigestion can be caused by a condition in the digestive tract such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts. If the condition improves or resolves, the symptoms of indigestion usually improve.

Sometimes a person has indigestion for which a cause cannot be found. This type of indigestion, called functional dyspepsia, is thought to occur in the area where the stomach meets the small intestine. The indigestion may be related to abnormal motility-the squeezing or relaxing action-of the stomach muscle as it receives, digests, and moves food into the small intestine.

This answer is based on source information from the  National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.