Fasting and Acid Indigestion

Acid indigestion can cause discomfort in the upper abdomen. This digestive condition also goes by the names of dyspepsia and sour stomach. Indigestion most commonly occurs after eating certain foods, but it can also cause discomfort during fasting. Although your dietary practices may contribute to digestive discomfort, some underlying conditions can cause stomach pain that mimics acid indigestion.

Your diet may contribute to acid indigestion.

Acid Indigestion

Dyspepsia is a symptom rather than an illness. It usually involves a gnawing or burning pain in the stomach area. You also may experience bloating, heartburn, nausea, burping and vomiting. Common causes of acid indigestion include certain medications such as anti-inflammatory medicines. The pain also may occur when stomach acid enters your esophagus, although this is more common after overeating rather than during fasting. Gallbladder problems, pancreatitis, hepatitis and peptic ulcers may cause nausea and upper abdominal pain. Dyspepsia may also occur without any obvious reason or cause.


Fasting consists of eliminating the intake of food for a period of hours or days. Some formal fasts allow the consumption of broth or tea during the fasting period. Many types of alternative health practices use fasting as a way to treat illness and disease, although little scientific evidence exists to support these claims of health benefits. Medical professionals may recommend temporary fasting prior to surgical procedures and some diagnostic tests.


Fluids can help settle your stomach, reduce nausea and lessen the unpleasant taste in your mouth. Ginger tea, ginger ale, chamomile tea and broth may help minimize acid indigestion without derailing your fast. Resting and avoiding strong food odors may also help limit nausea and indigestion.


Long-term fasting may increase your risk of organ damage, especially to your liver and kidneys. Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin, especially on an empty stomach. Smoking and stress can increase your risk of acid indigestion. Notify your doctor if other symptoms such as black bowel movements, trouble swallowing, severe vomiting or unexplained weight loss accompany the acid indigestion. These symptoms may indicate a serious health condition that is unrelated to your diet or fast.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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