Information on Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia is a catchall term that includes a variety of digestive problems such as stomach discomfort, gas, bloating, belching, appetite loss, and nausea. Although many serious medical conditions can cause digestive distress, the term “dyspepsia” is most often used when no identifiable medical cause can be detected. In this way, dyspepsia is like a stomach version of the symptoms in the intestines and colon called irritable bowel syndrome.

Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen that is not associated with a structural abnormality. This type of general indigestion is more common in adults, more common in males and risk factors include: stress, being overweight, smoking and certain dietary habits.

The chronic recurrence and persistence of crippling dyspeptic symptoms disrupt the lives of many Americans. People suffering from the most severe symptoms can become disabled enough to miss work. Frequent doctors’ visits and expensive diagnostic procedures can create a financial drain. In addition, many unnecessary operations are performed in an attempt to relieve the painful symptoms. Unfortunately, despite the surgery, many patients continue to suffer from the symptoms of dyspepsia.

Dyspepsia (indigestion) is a term which includes a group of symptoms that come from a problem in your upper gut. The gut or ‘gastrointestinal tract’ is the tube that starts at the mouth, and ends at the anus. The upper gut includes the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Various conditions can cause dyspepsia.

Dyspepsia is the term applied to difficulty in digesting food. Its means painful, difficult or disturbed digestion. Dyspepsia affects almost one-forth of the adult population in the U.S. It is often defined as a chronic or recurrent discomfort centered in the upper abdomen and can be caused by a variety of conditions. It includes a group of symptoms that come from a problem in your upper gut. The gut is the tube that starts at the mouth, and ends at the anus. The pain might come and go, but it is normally there most of the time.

The main symptom of dyspepsia is usually pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. In addition, other symptoms that may also develop include: heartburn, bloating, belching, quickly feeling ‘full’ after eating, feeling sick (nausea) or vomiting. Symptoms tend to occur in ’bouts’ which come and go, rather than being present all the time.

Some symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, bleeding from the digestive tract, regurgitation, and difficulty swallowing, usually suggest a digestive disorder. More general symptoms, such as abdominal pain, flatulence, loss of appetite, and nausea, may suggest a digestive disorder or another type of disorder.


Doctors diagnose functional dyspepsia only after eliminating other possible causes of symptoms, such as a peptic ulcer, diabetes or gastroesophageal reflux disease (Gerd). Mayo offers many tests to evaluate the digestive system. Some of the more advanced tests were developed at Mayo Clinic and are not available at many other centers. Read more about dyspepsia diagnosis.

Early evaluation of dyspepsia A thorough patient history and physical examination may be helpful in the initial investigation of dyspepsia, although symptoms alone may not indicate a clear diagnosis. Symptoms may overlap, making it more difficult to distinguish between organic and functional dyspepsia and other ailments. Thus, risk factors for more serious disease should be identified.