Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Frequent Indigestion - What to know about indigestion or dyspepsia

Dr. Ravindra B.S. sheds light on Frequent Indigestion or dyspepsia and suggests ways to combat it

Published: Mar 29, 2023 01:25:07 PM IST
Updated: Apr 6, 2023 06:02:55 PM IST

Frequent Indigestion - What to know about indigestion or dyspepsiaDyspepsia is defined as painful, difficult, or disturbed digestion, accompanied by some other symptoms  such as nausea and vomiting, heartburn, bloating, and stomach discomfort. In most cases, symptoms  suggestive of irritable bowel syndrome and reflux disease frequently overlap but do not form part of the  definition of dyspepsia. Hence, Dyspeptic symptoms are a relatively poor guide to the origin or nature of  any “disturbances” in the gut.

When there are no organic causes for the problem, in such cases, dyspepsia is classified as functional or  non-ulcer dyspepsia. There is clinical evidence that functional dyspepsia may be related to abnormal  motility of the upper gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand, dyspepsia can also be associated with a  bacterial or viral infection, peptic ulcer, gallbladder, or liver disease. Usually, the bacteria Helicobacter  pylori are found in individuals suffering from duodenal or gastric ulcers.  

The treatment of dyspepsia is based on an assessment of symptoms and suspected causative factors. A review of eating habits (e.g., chewing with the mouth open, gulping food, or talking while chewing) may  reveal a tendency to swallow air. This may contribute to feeling bloated, or to excessive belching.  Smoking, caffeine, alcohol, or carbonated beverages may contribute to discomfort. When there is  sensitivity or allergy to certain food substances, eating those foods may cause gastrointestinal distress.  

Clinical evaluation is aimed at distinguishing those patients who require immediate diagnostic work-ups  from those who can safely benefit from more conservative initial treatment. Some of the latter may  require only reassurance, dietary modifications, or antacid use. Further, an additional diagnostic  investigation should be indicated if there is severe abdominal pain, pain radiating to the back, unexplained  weight loss, difficulty swallowing, a palpable mass, or anemia.

Lastly, as a concluding point, it can be said that underlying problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux  disease ( GERD ), ulcers, etc have been long associated with dyspepsia. Therefore, making smaller but  significant lifestyle changes can also help to “Guard against GERD” and further complications of  dyspepsia.

Issued in Public Interest by Dr.Reddy's Laboratories LTD

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