Dyspepsia is a condition that affects the upper abdomen and is characterized by pain. It is also called indigestion or upset stomach.
When someone is complaining about dypsepsia they will often say ‘My stomach is upset’ or ‘My stomach feels nervous’.
These symptoms usually result from eating too much, eating food that does not go together or eating too fast.
Causes of Dyspepsia or Upset Stomach
It is possible that the symptoms are caused by problems with the intestines such as gastritis, gallbladder disease, peptic ulcer or appendicitis.
Often, a delay occurs when the stomach is trying to empty it’s chyme (food that has been turned into a paste for easier digestion) into the duodenum (top part of the small intestine).
If this occurs, the stomach becomes full and stomach acid is produced too quickly. The excess stomach acid ends up being pushed into the esophagus.
Before your doctor can determine whether or not you have indigestion they must rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. These include ulcers, acid reflux and gallstones.
You will be asked to describe your symptoms. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep a journal for a few weeks before you have to go to the doctor. You will likely have several x-rays taken and an endoscopy is usually called for.
An endoscopy is a procedure where a tiny camera and light that is attached to a flexible tube is inserted through the anus.
Dyspeptic symptoms are very common in women aged 16 to 60. Men are less likely to have these symptoms, but they still get them quite often. The symptoms can be debilitating especially when they are combined with anxiety, stress or depression.
It is really important to seek treatment if you are experiencing one or several of these symptoms: diarrhea, nausea, growling stomach, regurgitation, burning stomach ache, vomiting, stomach bloating after you eat, heartburn, acidic taste, belching or gas.
Treating Dyspepsia and Indigestion
Your treatment plan will be determined based on whether or not it is caused by an underlying condition. Medications are extremely effective at treating the symptoms but sometimes come with unwanted side effects.
In minor cases, a change in diet is all that is necessary to treat the symptoms.
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