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DYSPEPSIA


Dyspepsia is a common condition and usually describes a group of symptoms rather than one predominant symptom like belly pain or discomfort, bloating, feeling uncomfortably full after eating, nausea, loss of appetite, heart burn and burping.

 

Symptoms tend to occur in bouts which come and go, rather than being present all the time. However, some people have frequent bouts of dyspepsia which affect quality of life. Dyspepsia is commonly caused due to burped up stomach juices and gas caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or a hiatal hernia, irritable bowel syndrome (A disorder that affects movement of food through the intestines), Peptic (stomach) ulcer or duodenal ulcer, an inability to digest milk and dairy products (lactose intolerance), Gallbladder pain (biliary colic) or inflammation (cholecystitis), Anxiety or depression, Side effects of caffeine, alcohol, or medicines. Examples of medicines that may cause dyspepsia are aspirin and similar drugs, antibiotics, steroids, digoxin, and theophylline, Swallowed air and stomach cancer.

 

Some of the changes that one can make to lessen the pain are avoiding fatty foods (which can slow the emptying of the stomach); eating small frequent meals instead of three large meals, eat five or six small meals, avoiding foods that make you feel worse. However, do not stop eating whole food groups unless you talk to your doctor or nurse.

 

Unfortunately, effective treatments for functional dyspepsia are limited although acid suppression, antidepressants, antispasmodics and prokinetics may provide some symptom relief in selected patients.

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