Suffering From Dyspepsia? Know What You Can Do About It!
Dyspepsia, also known as indigestion, is a gastrointestinal condition that can happen to anybody regardless of their age. Dyspepsia can be split into 2 fundamental categories: functional dyspepsia and organic dyspepsia.
Organic dyspepsia is usually caused by conditions such as drug or food intolerance, biliary or pancreatic disorders, oesophageal or gastric cancer, GERD, or peptic ulcers. Functional dyspepsia, also known as non-ulcer-causing dyspepsia, is a common term for chronic upset stomach symptoms, such as bloating during and after meals, feeling of over-fullness, or a stomachache, that have no distinct cause.
What causes dyspepsia?
Dyspepsia can be caused by several conditions and diseases, such as:
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Bile duct- or pancreas-related issues
- Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD)
You also developed an increased risk of getting dyspepsia if you:
- Suffer from other stomach conditions, such as stomach ulcers
- Often experience anxiousness or stress
- Consume medications, such as aspirin
- Have irregular eating habits
- Are overweight
- Frequent alcohol consumption
What are the signs and symptoms of dyspepsia?
Dyspepsia-related symptoms may appear and disappear on their own. However, there are several common symptoms that many experience, such as:
- Signs of over-fullness
- Signs of bloating during and after eating
- Epigastric pain
With functional dyspepsia, some other symptoms might include excessive burping, acid reflux, vomiting symptoms, and upper abdominal pain. The issue with organic and functional dyspepsia is that some of these symptoms are common signs of other gastrointestinal conditions, such as peptic ulcer diseases or stomach ulcers.
Hence, if you experience frequent signs of dyspepsia, your healthcare provider will typically look into your GI tract to identify the root cause. If nothing is detected, your condition will be diagnosed as functional dyspepsia.
How to diagnose dyspepsia?
Depending on your age group as well as the predominant symptoms, individuals above the age of 40 or experiencing severe signs, such as low blood count, difficulty swallowing, extreme weight loss, or frequent vomiting, will be advised to go for an upper endoscopy procedure.
Individuals below the age of 40 or experiencing mild symptoms are typically offered non-invasive tests, such as breath testing or stool analysis, to detect the presence of an H. pylori infection. Other than that, blood tests might be administered.
If there are no signs of a biochemical or structural disease and the individual has been experiencing symptoms for more than three months, the individual will be diagnosed with functional dyspepsia.
How to treat dyspepsia?
It all depends on what type of dyspepsia you are diagnosed with. If you have tested positive for an H. pylori infection, you will be administered a course of antibiotics. However, if you have been diagnosed with functional dyspepsia, some of the treatments may include the following:
- Acid reduction: A short-term medication course to neutralise or repress stomach acid production, such as famotidine, omeprazole, or antacids, will be prescribed, allowing your stomach lining to repair itself.
- Prokinetic agents: If your indigestion is caused by the impaired motility of your digestive system, prokinetic agents are administered to help speed up the process.
Other medications, such as ranitidine or domperidone, are also available to treat ulcer-causing dyspepsia or vomiting, nausea, and gastrointestinal conditions like gastroparesis, respectively.
Additionally, lifestyle and diet changes are also recommended to improve their digestive condition.
Dyspepsia can, for some people, be a chronic condition that surfaces and disappears indefinitely. For many that have sought medical remedies for both organic and functional dyspepsia, very few have reported complete, permanent relief.
Nevertheless, what you can do when you experience the abovementioned symptoms is to manage with professional assistance and develop a certain level of awareness of its triggers. The fortunate news is that dyspepsia is not a progressive or deadly condition. It can only get better, not worse.
At GUTCARE, our team of digestive care specialists is more than experienced and eager to help you with all your gastroenterology conditions, whether mild or severe, from piles symptoms to fatty liver symptoms. It is imperative that you do not take your gut health lightly.
Click here to make an appointment with us today!