If you experience a feeling of fullness in your throat after eating, you may be having indigestion, which is medically referred to as dyspepsia. Indigestion is a common condition and, although uncomfortable, does not usually indicate a serious health problem. The term indigestion is often used interchangeably with heartburn, but it is important to note that these are two separate conditions.
In addition to a feeling of fullness in your throat after eating, indigestion is characterized by early fullness during a meal, excessive fullness after the meal and pain or burning between the lower portion of your chest bone and your navel. Some people with indigestion may also experience nausea, vomiting and bloating, although these symptoms are not as common.
A person may experience indigestion for several reasons. Occasional indigestion is usually related to the foods you eat and other lifestyle factors. Common causes of occasional indigestion include nervousness, consuming too much caffeine or alcohol, eating spicy or greasy foods, eating too much and eating too quickly. If you experience indigestion regularly, it may be due to an underlying digestive condition or regular habit, such as smoking, emotional trauma, gastritis, pancreatitis, gallstones, peptic ulcers, stomach cancer or the use of certain medications, according to MayoClinic.com.
If you suspect you suffer from indigestion, a proper diagnosis is necessary to ensure that symptoms are not caused by a more serious underlying medical condition. To diagnose indigestion, your doctor may take an X-ray of your esophagus as well as perform an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, which involves inserting a camera down the throat to look for abnormalities. Your doctor may also perform an abdominal ultrasound or computed tomography, or CT, scan to rule out other serious causes.
If you are diagnosed with indigestion, treatment involves lifestyle changes and possibly medication. Lifestyle changes to reduce your symptoms include eating smaller meals, avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, exercising regularly, losing weight and engaging in stress-management techniques such as yoga and deep breathing. If lifestyle changes do not work, your doctor may prescribe medications that can reduce stomach acid production or neutralize stomach acid. If indigestion is caused by an underlying medical condition, and the condition is left untreated, symptoms will persist.