Indigestion

What is dyspepsia?

Dyspepsia (dis-PEP-se-ah) is another name for indigestion. It can cause bloating, or make you feel full too early when you eat. It may also cause acid reflux (a burning pain that moves up from your stomach into your chest), nausea, or vomiting.

What causes it?

Dyspepsia can be caused by many things. However, in many people the cause is unknown. This is called functional dyspepsia. In some cases of dyspepsia, your stomach may not be emptying properly, or you may have acid buildup. Sometimes you can get dyspepsia from taking overthe- counter pain medicines, such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin. Some people get ulcers in their stomach or intestines from bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Infection from this bacteria can cause indigestion. Sometimes dyspepsia can be a sign of something serious, such as gallstones. In rare cases, it may be a sign of stomach cancer. Other signs of serious disease may include unplanned weight loss, anemia (a blood problem), loss of appetite, trouble swallowing, frequent vomiting, and other indigestion symptoms that begin after 55 years of age. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

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How is it treated?

You should stop taking over-the-counter pain medicines. Avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, and changing your diet may also help. Try to avoid foods that make your symptoms worse; take several smaller meals instead of a single large meal. Increase physical activity; a daily walk may help, especially at night.

Can medicine help?

If you have pain or burning, your doctor may recommend medicine, such as Ranitidine or Omeprazole. There are other medicines that may help if you feel bloated or full. If you have a bacterial infection, you may need antibiotics.

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