Q. Can indigestion cause diarrhea?

Answered by
Dr. Geetha Priyadarsini Kamminana
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 08, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jul 02, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have been having a bad case of diarrhea since last two days. I had outside food before two days and from that time I am experiencing diarrhea. I am excreting around six times daily. The consistency is not completely watery, but still very loose. The symptoms I am experiencing are as follows. I felt feverish yesterday and today not much fever though there is weakness. I cannot stand for long and feel fatigued. Today, I felt some burning in my esophagus like acid reflux while excreting, pain in the stomach and intestine and also below the rib cage. But, the pain is not constant and occurs for around 1-2 minutes per 20 minutes or 30 minutes or 1 hour. I also got dry cough since today. Also, lots of burps as well. I do not feel like eating anything and even the smell makes me feel escape. I feel like eating only fruits. Since yesterday, I have been having rice, mashed potatoes and toast. Is it indigestion or something else? Please help. Thanks.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • During diarrhea, there is an increased loss of water and electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium and bicarbonate) in the liquid stool, also through vomit, sweat, urine and breathing.
  • Dehydration occurs when these losses are not replaced adequately. It is the dehydration that should be immediately corrected.
  • Antimicrobials should not be used routinely though it should be given in bloody diarrhea and those with fever and severe abdominal colic.
  • Here are a few symptoms listed for your knowledge. The symptoms of dehydration in adults include tiredness, dizziness, headache, muscular cramps, sunken eyes, dry mouth and tongue, weakness, fatigue and becoming irritable.
  • Now, it is clear from the above mentioned list that you have dehydration. Our main aim now is to replenish your body with fluids.
  • Drink as much fluids as you can or you want. Drink at least 200 mL after each bout of diarrhea (after each watery stool).
  • ORS (oral rehydration salts) will replenish lost salts. You may take one to two sachets per day along with regular fluids like plain water, fresh green coconut water, barley water, unsweetened fresh fruit juice, buttermilk and lemon water with both salt and sugar.
  • Eat as soon as you are able, but do not stop drinking.
  • Avoid fatty, spicy or heavy food at first. Plain foods such as wholemeal bread and rice are good foods to try first.
  • Lifestyle changes like no tea, coffee, spicy food, coke, alcohol, raw onions in salads, fast food, chicken or mutton or fish. Eat meals in small portions multiple times a day. Do not sleep immediately following dinner.
  • Elevate your head end by raising the angle by placing under your mattress not under the pillow as in hospital beds. Do not take painkillers Like Aceclofenac or Ibuprofen.
  • You may take less spicy soups like lentil soup or spinach soup.
  • Antidiarrheal medicines are not usually necessary. However, if frequency is more and uncontrollable, then the safest and the most effective is Loperamide that works by slowing down your gut's activity.
  • I suggest the following medication to indigestion and gastritis. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and take the medicine with consent.
  1. Tablet Pantop-D (combination of Pantoprazole and Domperidone) once a day before breakfast for five to seven days or till the symptoms are completely gone.
  2. Syrup Gelusil or Sucralfate 15 mL three times daily 1 hour before the meals.
  3. If your diarrhea is not controlled in another three to four days or worsen with fever and pain, then you may start a brief antibiotic course of tablet O2 that is a combination of Ofloxacin and Ornidazole twice daily for three to five days.
  • Do not worry you will be perfectly well in two days. Do not forget to drink fluids and take medicines.

For further doubts consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

Thank you doctor,

I am not sure whether I had indigestion. I just wanted to know whether the diarrhea is caused by indigestion, as I am experiencing burps. Should I really need to use those antacids? Because, I have seen that I get diarrhea the next day when I consume antacids on normal days. Will they make my diarrhea worse? Also, I do not eat breakfast, only lunch and dinner is on my schedule and that too at somewhat erratic times. So, can I use the first medicine before lunch as I will not be able to start eating breakfast? Can I take tablet Pantop-D before lunch? How much time before should I take it before my first meal? Shall I take tablet Pantop-D and Gelusil once together and the rest of the time only Gelusil?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Tablet Pantop-D has to be taken on an empty stomach. Just take that tablet and drink milk or juice.
  • With regard to antacid induced diarrhea, I suggest syrup Sucralfate as it is very less frequently associated with it.
  • Yes, it is vice-versa. Diarrhea in some cases is associated with reflux disease and bloating and similarly indigestion, particularly intolerance to specific foods like milk, egg and peanuts may be associated with diarrhea.
  • You should change your irregular feeding habits and try to be punctual to avoid gastritis in the future.

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

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