Acid indigestion

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Acid indigestion is a type of indigestion involving an excess of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Frequent occurrence of acid indigestion can lead to aggravation of the duodenum or to an aggravation of the lining of the stomach, both of which can lead to ulcers which can be life-threatening. However, it is important to note that some 85...95% of all stomach ulcers are caused by infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, and not by excess acidity.

Acid indigestion should be distinguished from heartburn, which typically involves aggravation of the esophagus.


Common Causes

Common contributors to acid indigestion are:

  • Eating foods with too much fat in them.
  • Eating foods with too much spice in them.
  • Excess consumption of
  • Smoking
  • Overeating
  • Eating too late in the evening, or eating just before sleeping.

Over the counter remedies (antacids) are available at almost all grocery stores and drugstores. However, a kind of dependence can develop on these medications, and other complications can arise from excess use of antacids.

Causes of Acid Indigestion by Organ System

Cardiovascular No underlying causes
Chemical / poisoning 4-Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone, amanita phalloides, smoking, sodium dichloroisocyanurate
Dermatologic No underlying causes
Drug Side Effect 4-Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone, adefovir, atazanavir, cholestyramine, cholestyramine Resin, colofac, duloxetine, efavirenz, emtricitabine, Epoetin Alfa Injection, Fentanyl Skin Patches, frovatriptan, imatinib, Interferon Beta-1b Injection, lithium, meropenem Injection, oxycodone and aspirin, pergolide, pramlintide injection, quetiapine, rivastigmine, simvastatin, tadalafil, Tiotropium Oral Inhalation
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine Primary hyperparathyroidism
Environmental Multiple chemical sensitivity
Gastroenterologic Tropical sprue
Genetic No underlying causes
Hematologic No underlying causes
Iatrogenic No underlying causes
Infectious Disease Hookworm
Musculoskeletal / Ortho No underlying causes
Neurologic No underlying causes
Nutritional / Metabolic Diabulimia, eating fatty foods, eating just before sleeping, eating spicy foods, eating too late in the evening, excess alcohol consumption, excess caffeine consumption, garlic, indian gooseberry, overeating, suillus luteus
Obstetric/Gynecologic No underlying causes
Oncologic Ovarian cancer
Opthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose / Toxicity Niacin, Vitamin C
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary No underlying causes
Renal / Electrolyte No underlying causes
Rheum / Immune / Allergy Oral allergy syndrome
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma No underlying causes
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous Couvade, Gulf War syndrome, SSRI discontinuation syndrome, trichophagia

Causes of Acid Indigestion in Alphabetical Order