Indigestion or Dyspepsis

Dyspepsia, also called indigestion, is a condition that describes a feeling of discomfort in the upper part of your abdomen. It is not a disease but a group of symptoms. Dyspepsia is caused by eating too much or too fast, eating spicy, fatty or greasy food, drinking too much caffeine, alcohol or carbonated beverages, smoking and stress. It can also be associated with other conditions including gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), stomach ulcers, swelling of the pancreas and gallstones.

Symptoms of dyspepsia include an early feeling of fullness, feeling uncomfortably full after eating, burning sensation, feeling of tightness and pain in the upper abdomen, bloating and nausea.

Dyspepsia is diagnosed by reviewing your medical history and by performing a thorough physical examination. If you experience severe symptoms, your doctor may order breath and stool tests to detect ulcer causing bacteria, tests to check for thyroid and other metabolic disorders, endoscopy and biopsy to look for abnormalities in the upper digestive tract, and imaging tests such as X-ray and CT scan to detect intestinal obstructions.

Treatment involves making lifestyle changes such as changing your eating habits (eating several small meals instead of three large meals a day), avoiding alcohol, caffeine and foods and medicines that aggravate symptoms of dyspepsia. Your doctor may also recommend medications to relieve symptoms.