Difference between Nausea and Indigestion

Key Difference: Nausea is a feeling of physical unwellness, usually with the desire to vomit. Indigestion is a common medical condition most often caused by eating too quickly, or eating oily or spicy food.

Wikipedia defines Nausea as, “a sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach with an involuntary urge to vomit.” The word nausea has been derived from the word ‘nausia’, meaning motion sickness. Nausea does not have a specific symptom, but it has many possible causes. Nausea basically is a sickness of the stomach that occurs after having food. It especially happens by a strong dislike/disgust or bad feeling, and that may lead to an impulse to vomit.

Wikipedia defines Indigestion as, “a medical condition characterized by chronic or recurrent pain in the upper abdomen, upper abdominal fullness and feeling full earlier than expected when eating.” It is also known as dyspepsia. The word dyspepsia was derived from the Greek word ‘pepsis’ , meaning digestion. Heartburn is a symptom of indigestion. It happens when one eats food too fast or overeats.

Comparison between Nausea and Indigestion:






  • Sickness of the stomach, especially when accompanied by a loathing for food and an involuntary impulse to vomit.
  • Extreme disgust; loathing; repugnance.
  • Uncomfortable inability or difficulty in digesting food; dyspepsia.
  • An instance or case of indigestion.


  • Pregnancy
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Migraine
  • Appendicitis
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Eating too fast
  • Overeating
  • Eating fatty or spicy foods
  • Significant alcohol consumption
  • Large amount of coffee or tea intake
  • Smoking

Unusual causes

  • An abnormally high blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • A blockage in your bowel, such as a gallstone
  • Kidney infection
  • Helicobacter pylori – causes irritation in stomach
  • Hiatal hernia – causes pain and heartburn


  • Emotional stress
  • Motion sickness
  • Intense pain
  • Overeating
  • Food poisoning
  • Vomiting
  • Infections such as stomach flu
  • Pregnancy
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heartburn – that usually starts in the chest
  • Severe pain in the chest
  • In extreme cases- vomiting with blood
  • Vomiting with blood like brown color
  • Unplanned weight loss


  • Drink clear, cold water
  • Eat only light foods
  • Stay away from fried
  • Steer clear of sweets
  • Rest for a while after eating
  • Eat light food like plain bread
  • Maintain a proper nutrition, so find a variety of vegetables and proteins
  • Lose weight, if one is over weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat less spicy and fatty foods
  • Avoiding or cutting down on alcohol
  • Reduce drinking such as tea, coffee or cold drinks like cola


Image courtesy: fakesick.com, canstockphoto.com

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