Dyspepsia, also known as indigestion, is a common condition. Here’s what you need to know.
Causes and Risk Factors of Dyspepsia
Dyspepsia can be caused by a number of things. Acid reflux and stomach ulcers can both irritate the lining of your stomach, leading to burning pain in your upper chest that is associated with indigestion. In the case of acid reflux, stomach acid backs up into your esophagus and causes indigestion. Some over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin can also cause similar issues.
Functional dyspepsia, which is recurring indigestion that doctors can’t find a clear cause for, has a number of risk factors. Women, people who smoke, people with anxiety or depression, and people with h. pylori infection tend to have a higher risk.
In general, there are a few symptoms that define this condition. These include a burning pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, feeling full quickly while eating, nausea, and vomiting. In many cases, these symptoms can occur after eating. However, they may also occur at other times. Most of the time symptoms are intermittent, tending to come and go.
There are a few serious symptoms to look out for. If you experience shortness of breath, bloody vomit, unexplained weight loss, or tarry stools, seek medical attention as soon as you can. These can be signs of more serious conditions.
Since indigestion can be caused by so many things, your doctor diagnosis it by first talking through your symptoms and medical history. They may perform diagnostic testing to figure out the exact cause as well. These tests may include blood tests, breath testing, or stool tests if they suspect a bacterial infection could be present. They can also perform an upper endoscopy to visualize your upper digestive tract and identify the cause of your indigestion. During this procedure, they may also take a biopsy to get a closer look at any potential issues.
Treatment and Prevention
There are several lifestyle changes and medications that can help with dyspepsia. Your doctor may recommend quitting smoking, eating smaller meals slowly throughout the day, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and managing stress and anxiety. You may also try to avoid foods that tend to cause your symptoms. If stress, anxiety, or depression seems to be a cause of your symptoms, you may consider working with a therapist or another mental health professional to develop skills that improve your mental health. All of these behaviors can help improve your symptoms. They are also important preventative steps you can take to prevent dyspepsia from recurring long-term.
Your doctor may also recommend over the counter or prescription medication to help. The specific medication they recommend will depend on your symptoms. This can help with everything from acid reflux, bloating, nausea, and gas to depression and anxiety.
Our experienced team at GHP has years of experience treating patients with conditions including dyspepsia. We can help establish the best plan of care for your situation. Contact any of our office locations to learn about the options we offer and schedule an appointment today.