Please note prescriptions are only available in Canada and given at the doctor's discretion.
Indigestion treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions
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Can a doctor treat indigestion on Maple?
Yes. A doctor on Maple will be able to offer indigestion treatment options after reviewing your medical history and performing a thorough physical exam.
If your indigestion symptoms emerged suddenly, if you’re experiencing severe pain related to indigestion or if you’re over the age of 55, the doctor may suggest additional testing to determine the direct causes of your indigestion. In some cases, you may be asked to go to an emergency room.
Can I get a prescription on Maple?
Yes. Our physicians can prescribe indigestion medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or have it delivered to your door at no additional cost.
You can visit our How it works page to learn more.
What is indigestion?
Indigestion, also known as an upset stomach or dyspepsia, is the generic term used to describe pain in the upper abdomen areas.
This condition isn’t a disease, but rather a collection of symptoms that you may experience. Reasons for indigestion can vary widely, but it’s caused most often by lifestyle habits like food, drinks, or medications.
What are the symptoms of indigestion?
While the most commonly recognized symptoms of indigestion are nausea or stomach pain, this condition can cause many other symptoms, such as:
- Discomfort or burning in the upper abdomen
- Uncomfortable feeling of fullness after a meal
- Feeling full without eating very much
- Burping alongside indigestion
Indigestion after eating is very common, with indigestion producing gas and bloating in many cases.
These are all feelings caused by indigestion, though there are more serious symptoms to watch for, including:
- Difficulty swallowing, which progressively gets worse
- Fatigue or weakness
- Black, tarry stools
- Vomiting (chronically or with blood)
- Loss of appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain that radiates to the neck, arm, or jaw
- Chest pain related to stress or exertion
These could be symptoms of a more serious condition related to indigestion. If you start to experience these symptoms or if the common symptoms become severe, you should talk to a doctor immediately and seek medical attention.
Does indigestion cause chest pain?
No. Indigestion won’t cause pain in the chest area on its own. If you’re having a burning pain near the center of your chest, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing heartburn.
Moreover, if the pain starts in your stomach and radiates up into your chest and esophagus, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
What causes indigestion?
n many cases, certain foods can be the causes of indigestion. Some other common indigestion causes include:
- Eating too quickly or overeating
- Too much of certain types of foods
- Certain antibiotics
- Some iron supplements
- Certain pain relievers
Other more serious digestive conditions can also cause indigestion, such as:
- Celiac disease
- Peptic ulcers
- Stomach cancer
- Gastritis (stomach inflammation)
- Pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation)
- Intestinal ischemia (reduced blood flow in the intestine)
- Intestinal blockage
If you’re experiencing indigestion and vomiting or diarrhea, you should talk to a doctor on Maple to see whether you could be experiencing indigestion as a result of one of these other conditions.
In some cases, some of these additional conditions can also cause indigestion with a headache. Because headaches aren’t a typical symptom of indigestion, this could be a sign that you’re experiencing indigestion as a side-effect of another condition.
Indigestion in pregnancy is very common and is typically associated with changes in hormones or the baby pressing against the stomach.
What foods cause indigestion?
The most common foods to cause indigestion are greasy, spicy, or fatty foods.
Moreover, consuming too much alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, or chocolate has also been known to cause indigestion symptoms.
Indigestion at night may be more common for some people, especially for those who are eating large meals or trigger foods before going to bed.
How is indigestion diagnosed?
In most cases, the doctor will be able to identify indigestion and offer a diagnosis based on your symptoms and evaluating your medical history.
They may also ask for information on your regular eating habits, to determine whether it could be caused by something in your diet.
However, if indigestion began very suddenly, if you’re over the age of 55 or if you’re having severe indigestion symptoms, the doctor may suggest additional testing, such as:
- Breath and stool tests
- Imaging tests, such as X-rays
- Lab tests (i.e. blood, urine, or stool)
How is indigestion treated?
Typically, if indigestion can’t be connected to another condition, the doctor may suggest some lifestyle changes to help ease your symptoms. Some indigestion treatment recommendations could include:
- Avoiding certain pain relievers
- Finding alternative medications to ones that are triggering your indigestion
- Reducing or eliminating caffeine or alcohol from your diet
- Avoiding trigger foods
- Eating five or six smaller meals a day, instead of three large meals
- Controlling anxiety and stress
If these suggestions don’t help reduce your indigestion symptoms, the doctor may suggest some indigestion medications to help alleviate your discomfort. Some of these medications include:
- Over-the-counter antacids
- Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications
- H-2-receptor antagonists (H2RAs)
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
Can indigestion last for days?
Yes. Indigestion can last for hours, days, or even months depending on what’s causing the condition.
What is the difference between indigestion and heartburn?
Heartburn is a burning or painful feeling that begins after eating. It usually starts in the center of your chest and can radiate into the neck or even become back pain. Indigestion describes painful or tight feelings in the upper abdomen and stomach.
So, while they have some similar symptoms, they are two different conditions that affect two different areas of the body.
Can indigestion feel like a heart attack?
Indigestion can be one of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. People experiencing a cardiac event sometimes attribute it to reflux incorrectly.
Heartburn or GERD, which are both often confused with indigestion, share some similar symptoms with heart attacks.
If you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of a heart attack and indigestion, you should seek immediate medical attention.
What is Maple?
With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in minutes. We’re a healthcare platform for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.
Simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it works page to learn more.
Our doctors can assess symptoms and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.
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