Here's What's Really Causing Your Indigestion

You've likely experienced it: Finishing a delicious meal only to be left with a burning sensation in your upper abdomen. The upset stomach you feel is also known as indigestion, and typically strikes when you feel too full after eating, according to the Mayo Clinic. While each person is different, indigestion is commonly caused by eating too fast or overeating.

For those who suffer from indigestion, you may notice you finish your meals early or experience a full feeling that lasts a little too long. From there, other symptoms set in, such as abdominal discomfort, bloating, or nausea. Not only does overeating or eating too quickly cause indigestion, but specific types of foods can also give you the same uncomfortable feeling.

Eating spicy, acidic, fatty, and greasy foods, or even drinking too much caffeine, can cause indigestion. And, believe it or not, indulging in too much chocolate can give you the upper abdominal pain thanks to ingredients like cocoa powder and caffeine (via Mayo Clinic). 

Lifestyle habits can contribute to indigestion

Indigestion can be caused by more than just overeating or eating too quickly. If you're a smoker, your chance of having indigestion is higher (via Mayo Clinic), You are also more likely to experience heartburn. Between your stomach and esophagus is a valve that relaxes when it interacts with nicotine. While the valve is relaxed, stomach acid can come back up through the esophagus, giving you heartburn, explained University of Michigan Health.

If you're not a smoker, there's also the possibility you are feeling stressed or anxious, or your medications may be to blame, according to Cleveland Clinic. Some causes of indigestion can even mean there's an underlying issue, like gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, or peptic ulcer disease. It's best to reach out to your doctor if you can't seem to get rid of your indigestion at home with over-the-counter products or treatments.

In the meantime, try lessening indigestion by not eating too close to bedtime, eating a balanced diet, not smoking, and avoiding alcohol, the Cleveland Clinic advises.