Often, you may be able to treat indigestion at home with over-the-counter medication, or other techniques you can try at home. However, if you have tried these and they have not worked, or if your indigestion is reoccurring or severe, it is best to speak to a GP.
How our doctors diagnose indigestion
To give you a diagnosis, our doctor will need to fully discuss the symptoms you are experiencing with you. They will also ask you about your diet and lifestyle, as well as what, if any, medication you are taking, as these can sometimes contribute to indigestion.
A diagnosis for indigestion can normally be reached just by going over your symptoms and through a few simple questions - further procedures are not usually needed. However, if the doctor thinks that there could be an underlying cause, further tests may be required, which they can refer you for.
Further tests for indigestion causes
As we mentioned, these are not usually needed, but if you have symptoms that may be caused by another condition, you may be referred for:
- A gastroscopy, or endoscopy, where a thin, flexible telescope is passed down your oesophagus so the doctor can look at it in more detail, along with your stomach and part of your small intestine.
- A blood test to look for anaemia, which can be a sign of a bleeding ulcer, or in rare cases, stomach cancer.
- H. pylori infection breath test to confirm whether you have the bacteria in your stomach. A sample of your breath will be tested after you drink a special liquid to see whether the bacteria is present. H. pylori infection can also be tested via a stool sample that can be sent to the lab.
- Tests of the liver, gallbladder, pancreas or another part of your body, depending on what the doctor believes the problem could be.
Once the cause of the indigestion has been found, a suitable treatment can be recommended. Find out more about how to treat for indigestion.