Dyspepsia

DYSPEPSIA pain

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What Is Dyspepsia?

Dyspepsia is a very common disorder of the digestive system. You may know it by the more commonly used name ‘indigestion’. Usually, this involves a distinct feeling of discomfort in the abdominal area along with heartburn and frequent burps. This occurs when something interferes with or upsets the normal process of digestion.

Nearly everyone, whether young or old, has experienced indigestion at some point of time in their lives. There may be brief episodes that are soon resolved with the right kinds of home remedies or medications. However, some patients suffer from chronic dyspepsia wherein the symptoms persist for longer periods of time and reappear frequently.

 

What Is Responsible For Indigestion?

DYSPEPSIA painDyspepsia may be described as a functional disorder. In other words, it occurs when there is a dysfunction of an organ like the stomach or the small intestine, as a result of which normal digestive activity is impaired. The reasons for this may have to do with the problems in the affected organs themselves (in other words, disease). Alternatively, dyspepsia may have to do with a dysfunction of the nerves that control the functioning of these organs. Hence, there can be many different reasons for developing indigestion.

Dyspepsia is often caused by existing gastrointestinal disease such as peptic ulcers. Other times, it may be provoked by certain diet or lifestyle-related factors. It is believed that some people are genetically more susceptible than others. Women are more prone to developing indigestion during the course of pregnancy because the growing foetus puts pressure on abdominal organs such as the stomach, giving rise to acid reflux.

You may notice that the severity and intensity of symptoms vary between episodes of indigestion. This is typical of the condition. In fact, women may observe that their dyspepsia tends to be more severe if it happens to coincide with the menstrual cycle. This observation has led scientists to investigate the links between dyspepsia and hormonal activity. Patients who have experienced more than a few episodes soon come to identify the specific triggers or habits that can set off indigestion. They can avoid the problem by avoiding those triggers.

Some well-known triggers are:

  • Caffeine.
  • Alcohol.
  • Smoking.
  • Chewing tobacco.
  • Certain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Stress or anxiety.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Citrus fruits.
  • Mint.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Fatty foods.
  • Chocolates.

Behaviours or habits associated with dyspepsia include:

  • Lying down or going to bed soon after a meal.
  • Eating very quickly.
  • Having very large meals.
  • Irregular eating patterns.

DYSPEPSIA stomachIndigestion or dyspepsia may be caused by the following health conditions:

  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Peptic ulcers.
  • Acid reflux.
  • Hiatal hernia.
  • Lactose intolerance.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.
  • Problems with the intestines, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Problems with the gallbladder, such as cholecystitis.
  • Stomach cancer.

 

What Are Some Easily Identifiable Signs Of Indigestion Or Dyspepsia?

If you are experiencing the following common symptoms, it is likely that you may have developed indigestion:

  • Discomfort in the abdomen or in the lower part of the chest.
  • Distended stomach.
  • Heartburn.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Belching.
  • Flatulence.
  • Bloating.

 

Is There Any Danger Of Severe Complications?

There are rarely any critical consequences of having indigestion. However, if you have frequent and recurrent episodes, you may lose quite a bit of weight. Some patients may even notice blood in vomit or in stools. These signs indicate that you may be suffering from a more serious underlying problem such as peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome or even stomach cancer. This should be taken seriously and medical help should be sought since there can certainly be severe consequences as a result of these conditions.

 

How Is Dyspepsia Diagnosed And Treated?

Dyspepsia is a very common problem and is not, in itself, difficult to diagnose. Based on your description of the symptoms you are experiencing, your doctor will most likely conclude that you are suffering from indigestion. However, before you can proceed with treatment, the most important step is to identify the cause of this problem. The following procedures may be involved in making the diagnosis:

  • Physical examination.
  • Medical history.
  • Breath tests.
  • Blood tests.
  • Gastroscopy.
  • Barium swallow test.

If you have observed a pattern in your symptoms with regard to food triggers or behaviors that upset your digestion, you should share these observations with your doctor. For instance, if you are aware that your symptoms are usually linked to coffee consumption, knowing this can help the doctor devise a specific plan for you. This will most likely involve making dietary and lifestyle changes. For one, you will need to avoid the trigger that sets off your indigestion. If you are overweight, losing some weight can help reduce the frequency of episodes. Alternatively, if you have the habit of eating large meals or going to bed soon after dinner, you will have to modify these practices and start eating smaller meals more frequently and introduce a gap of two or three hours between mealtime and bedtime.

Medications can provide temporary relief. However, if the underlying problem warrants surgical intervention, this can provide lasting relief. Of course, this depends on the nature of the problem involved. For instance, conditions like peptic ulcers can certainly be helped by medication and surgery. On the other hand, stomach cancer, if in an advanced stage, may not be curable. In such instances, treatment will focus on alleviating pain and discomfort.

 

Preventive measures

Refer to a doctor immediately if you feel any sort of discomfort in your GI tract, especially when you try to sleep. Flatulence, when accompanied by abdominal pain, is a sign of dyspepsia. The treatment of dyspepsia depends upon the exact cause, whether its ulcer or increased acidity. If the reason is a bacterial infection, usually it is treated with antibiotics. If the pain persists, then an endoscopy might be performed to check for additional causes of pain.

There are many preventive measures for dyspepsia. The most effective one is refraining from any form of tobacco consumption, be it smoking or chewing. Try to find out what irritates your stomach and stay away from such foods/ingredients. Stress relief through yoga and meditation can work wonders in improving your overall gastric health. Refrain from taking too many NSAIDs.

 

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • The foremost way to control this condition is to eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet rich in essential nutrients and fibers.
  • Make sure that you are drinking an adequate amount of water which keeps your gut clean.
  • Refrain from overeating. Eating too much causes acid reflux or GERD.
Don'ts
  • Lead a largely sedentary life. Have some amount of healthy physical exercises.
  • Let stress overpower you. Stress has a largely negative effect on your entire gastrointestinal system.
  • Go to bed immediately after eating. Keep a gap of minimum 3 hours between your meal and bedtime.

 

 

 

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Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
Gynecomastia or male breast enlargement
Gynecomastia Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male breasts. Learn about the treatment options, surgeries, and post-op care for…
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove the ear wax.…
Nootropics: How safe are these drugs that make you smarter? Nootropics is a group of cognition-enhancing substances that facilitate better learning, memory, and other executive functions pertaining to…
Low carb diet
8 appetizing and mouth-watering recipes that every low-carb dieter should try Looking for delicious recipes that will fix your hunger pang without adding those pesky carbs? Look no further…
Cellphones and Human Brain
Cellphones and Human Brain – Are Cellphones a Slow Poison to Our Brains? Cellphones have become an intricate part of our lives but they can be highly addictive and overuse can…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
Rheumatoid Arthritis xray
Arthritis Profile Arthritis profile is a panel of primarily blood tests used to detect the presence of arthritis or check…
Splenda
Splenda Splenda is an artificial sweetener derived from Stevia plant extracts. It is low in calories and a popular…
cytomegalovirus igm test
Cytomegalo Virus (CMV) – IgM Test The CMV antibodies include both IgM and IgG antibodies which are the immune system's response to a CMV…
Urologist: When should you visit one and why? A urologist can treat not only genitourinary problems of both men and women but also can treat various…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
6 arguments in favour of glucosamine and where can you find it Studies have shown that glucosamine works by preventing the breakdown of cartilage of the joints. This is usually…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
Proteinuria and blood pressure
Hypertension Profile Hypertension profile is a panel of blood tests done to analyse the cause of hypertension or high blood…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and also development of…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
HSV-1_IGG
Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…

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