Indigestion and heartburn often occur together, but you can also get one without the other.

Indigestion usually happens after you eat, although you might not notice it straightaway after a meal. You may have indigestion if you:

  • have pain or discomfort high up in your tummy
  • feel uncomfortably full and bloated
  • experience belching, flatulence and trapped wind
  • feel sick or vomit

Heartburn is a distinctive burning pain rising up behind your breastbone, caused by your stomach acid irritating the lining of your food pipe (oesophagus). You might also notice an acidic taste in the back of your throat.

Heartburn is most common after eating a large meal. Fatty foods, large portions, and late-night meals are the top three triggers that affect many people with heartburn.  However, certain exercises such as crunches and ab work can sometimes trigger heartburn, as well as certain medications.

The most common foods and drinks that cause heartburn are:

  • alcohol and in particular, red wine
  • caffeinated drinks
  • spicy foods, garlic black pepper and raw onions
  • chocolate
  • citrus fruits and products, such as oranges and orange juice
  • tomatoes
  • peppermint

Sometimes indigestion and heartburn can be signs of another medical condition. Speak to your GP if your symptoms persist or worsen.