What is dyspepsia?


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Know the basics

What is dyspepsia?

Indigestion, or medically called dyspepsia, is the feeling of discomfort or pain in the upper gastrointestinal track (stomach, esophagus or duodenum). Indigestion consists of a group of various symptoms including bloating, nausea and burping and is often a sign of an underlying problem.

How common is dyspepsia?

Dyspepsia should not be understood as a disease, it is a sign of underlying unhealthy conditions and happens to almost everyone from time to time. It can be prevented and managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of dyspepsia?

The common symptoms of dyspepsia are:

  • Bloating;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • A burning sensation in the stomach;
  • Easily feeling full after eating a normal-sized meal;
  • An acidic taste in your mouth;
  • Stomachache;
  • Belching

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

As dyspepsia  can be a symptom of another underlying disease. You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Severe vomiting or there is blood in your vomit;
  • Unexplained weight loss;
  • Trouble swallowing;
  • Chest pain;
  • Yellow coloring of eyes and skin;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Heart burn.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes dyspepsia?

Dyspepsia is considered as a symptom rather than a disease. Some illnesses could cause dyspepsia:

  • Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD): A condition when stomach acids flow leaks up into your esophagus. Those acids can irritate and even damage your gullet.
  • Obesity increases your chance of getting indigestion;
  • Felling stress or over-anxiety;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Irregular contractions of the colon.
  • Stomach infections, usually by Helicobacter pylori;
  • Stomach ulcers: Thinning or holes that appear on your stomach walls;
  • Stomach cancer;

Certain medications could also cause dyspepsia:

  • Aspirin and group of pain relievers called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs);
  • Medication contains nitrates (maybe for your hypertension)
  • Estrogen and birth control pills;
  • Steroid medications;
  • Some antibiotics;
  • Thyroid medicines.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for dyspepsia?

Your daily habits can greatly affect your dyspepsia. Besides some diseases and potential causes mentioned above that can cause dyspepsia, a few things can increase your risk of getting dyspepsia, such as:

  • Smoking;
  • Drinking alcohol;
  • Eating too much and too fast;
  • Stress and fatigue.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is dyspepsia diagnosed?

The doctor will ask you some questions about the symptoms, your medical history and may also examine the stomach and chest. The doctor may perform some tests to understand more about your conditions as well as rule out any other disease that cause indigestion.

  • Endoscopy: This test is performed on patients who have not responded to treatment by inserting a long thin tube with a camera into the stomach to know in detail.
  • H pylori test(s): Group of tests is used to find H pylori depending on your personal severity and other factors. They include stool antigen test, breath test or blood test, also.
  • Liver function test: The liver produces bile – a gastrointestinal fluid used to break down fat. Problem with the liver can reduce bile production and lead to indigestion.
  • X-rays and abdominal ultrasound: To check if there is any blockage in your stomach.

How is dyspepsia treated?

The treatment you receive will aim to reduce the symptom of dyspepsia, help you feel better and of course, to treat the root disease you have. Thus, the medication doctor prescribes and other supportive therapy will depend on the underlying conditions.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage dyspepsia?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with dyspepsia:

  • Eat meals just at suitable amount for each one.
  • Avoid late night eating if you experience indigestion at bedtime.
  • Avoid spicy, fatty foods that can trigger heartburn.
  • Try to eat slowly.
  • Try to stop or reduce smoking.
  • Have a healthy body weight.
  • Reduce the amount of coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol intake.
  • Discuss with your doctor to replace medicines that irritate the stomach lining, such as NSAIDs and aspirin.
  • Reduce stress in daily life.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: April 13, 2017

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