Upset Stomach or Dyspepsia


Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Upset Stomach or Dyspepsia (Symptom)


Description

Dyspepsia is characterized by a vague feeling of epigastric discomfort after eating. There is an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, heartburn, bloating, and nausea.

Causes

Dyspepsia is not a distinct condition, but it may be a sign of an underlying intestinal disorder. The term dyspepsia is often used for these symptoms when they are not typical of a well-described disease (for example, gastrointestinal reflux) and the cause is not clear. After a cause for the symptoms has been determined, the term dyspepsia is usually dropped in favour of a more specific diagnosis.

The characteristic symptoms of dyspepsia are upper abdominal pain, bloating, fullness and tenderness on palpation. Pain worsened by exertion and associated with nausea and perspiration may also indicate angina. Occasionally dyspeptic symptoms are caused by medication, such as calcium antagonists (used for angina or high blood pressure), nitrates (used for angina), theophylline (used for chronic lung disease), bisphosphonates, corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, used as painkillers).

The presence of gastrointestinal bleeding (vomit containing blood), difficulty swallowing, and loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, abdominal swelling and persistent vomiting are suggestive of peptic ulcer disease or malignancy, and would necessitate urgent investigations. The bacterium Helicobacter pylorus is often found in those individuals suffering from duodenal or gastric ulcers. Investigation of recurrent indigestion should rule out these possible causes.

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