Dyspepsia, which means “bad” (dys) “digestion” (pepsia) is a term that is often used by doctors to describe a set of symptoms that are believed to have their cause somewhere in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract.
There is a large group of patients, who have symptoms that resemble symptoms of patients with ulcers, but upon further investigation, do not have an actual ulcer. The term dyspepsia is used to describe a combination of symptoms that are felt to have their cause in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Usually, the symptoms are believed to be coming from either the oesophagus, stomach or first part of the small bowel (duodenum). Dyspepsia can also be thought of as “chronic indigestion”
Dyspepsia is a pain or an uncomfortable feeling in the upper middle part of your stomach. The pain might come and go, but it’s usually there most of the time.
People of any age can get dyspepsia. Both men and women get it. About 1 of every 4 persons gets dyspepsia at some time.
Signs Of Dyspepsia:
- A gnawing or burning stomach pain
- Bloating (a feeling of fullness in your stomach)
- Heartburn (stomach contents coming back up into your throat)
- Upset stomach (nausea)
What Causes Dyspepsia:
Often, dyspepsia is caused by a stomach ulcer or acid reflux disease. If you have acid reflux disease, stomach acid backs up into your oesophagus (the tube leading from your mouth to your stomach). This causes pain in the chest. Investigations need to be done to find out if you have an ulcer or acid reflux disease.
Some medicines, like anti-inflammatory medicines, can cause dyspepsia. Rarely, dyspepsia is caused by stomach cancer, so seek medical advice and never go for self-medication. Sometimes dyspepsia can be the sign of a serious problem–for example, a deep stomach ulcer.
How To Avoid Dyspepsia:
- Stop smoking.
- If some foods bother your stomach, try to avoid eating them.
- Try to reduce the stress in your life.
- If you have acid reflux, don’t eat right before bedtime. Raising the head of your bed with blocks under two legs may also help.
- Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, don’t take a lot of anti-inflammatory medicines.