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Dyspepsia is not typically a disease, rather a cluster of symptoms arising from problems in your gastrointestinal system, which includes the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Doctors often use the alternate terminology- indigestion for dyspepsia.


Symptoms associated with dyspepsia

  • Stomach pain and abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Not feeling hungry
  • Heartburn, acidity
  • Bloating of stomach
  • Excessive burping, sour burps


What causes dyspepsia?

Symptoms of dyspepsia can be triggered by many factors, which include:

  • Acid reflux disease or GERD
  • Oesophagitis- inflammation of the oesophagus
  • Stomach ulcers or peptic ulcers
  • Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, lactose intolerance
  • Stomach cancer, hiatus hernia
  • Stomach infection from H. pylori
  • Side effects of medicines, bad eating habits and lifestyle


When to see a doctor?

Neglecting the aforementioned symptoms can aggravate your digestive health. Therefore, visit a doctor if the symptoms are lingering for a week and you are experiencing considerable discomfort.


Diagnosis of dyspepsia

Your doctor would suggest several tests to figure out the underlying health issue that is causing the symptoms. Your doctor would ask you several questions about your eating habits, lifestyle, if you are taking medicines or have a medical condition. 

After the initial physical evaluation, you might need to undergo the following tests:
  • Imaging tests like X ray and ultrasonography would be suggested to find out complications in digestive system
  • Stool test or breath test is a very common test for finding out H.pylori infection.
  • Blood tests would be done for ruling out metabolic disorders and hormonal problems
  •  An endoscopy would be done for severe case of dyspepsia


Treatment of dyspepsia

Treatment for dyspepsia is directed towards controlling the symptoms with the help of medicines and incorporating changes in eating habits and lifestyle.

Your doctor would give you a course of antibiotics if H. pylori infection has been detected. OTC antacids are usually given to control acidity and stomach discomfort.

If stomach ulcers, GERD, gastritis, etc. has been diagnosed then your doctor might consider performing treatment with medicines like proton pump inhibitors, H-2-receptor antagonists, prokinetics, etc.


Managing dyspepsia at home

Eating habits: 

  • You need to refrain from eating foods that trigger acidity, like fried foods, milk, oranges, pulses, carbonated drinks, etc.
  • Your doctor would prepare a food chart for you. Make sure you follow it.
  • Eat small meals at frequent intervals. Include mint, cumin seeds, fennel, caraway seeds, ginger, etc. in your diet to enhance digestion
  • Have buttermilk, yogurt, and other types of fermented products to restore the microbial flora of your stomach
  • Drink at least 2-3 litres of water daily. If you have ulcers in your stomach then drink cold water
  • You have to ease on drinking and eventually quit smoking to get over the symptoms completely


Exercise for dyspepsia

Sedentary lifestyle induces dyspepsia. Therefore, exercise is must every day. Give yourself half an hour to move your body; be it walking, running, playing, yoga, dancing, or anything you love.

Clear your bowels

You must clear your bowels whenever you feel the pressure. Start eating dietary fibres and drink warm water after getting up from bed to get over constipation

Get over stress and anxiety

As said above, these two factors can deteriorate your digestive health and therefore, must be avoided at any cost. You can seek counselling for this and try various stress relief techniques like massage, meditation, etc.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: July 02, 2014

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