Related Terms

  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Poor Digestion
  • Stomach Upset


Principal Proposed Natural Treatments

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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 used when no identifiable medical cause can be detected. In this way, dyspepsia is like a stomach version of the symptoms in the intestines called irritable bowel syndrome . The standard medical approach to dyspepsia begins by looking for an identifiable medical condition such as gallstones , ulcers , or esophageal reflux . If none is found, various treatments are often suggested on a trial-and-error basis, including medications that reduce stomach acid as well as those that decrease spasm in the digestive tract. The drugs cisapride (Propulsid) and metoclopramide (Reglan) increase stomach emptying, and have also been tried for dyspepsia. However, cisapride has been taken off the market, and metoclopramide causes many side effects. It's thought that stress plays a role in dyspepsia, as it does with irritable bowel syndrome. Interestingly, one study of 30 people with dyspepsia found that after 8 weeks of treatment with placebo, 80% reported their symptoms had improved. 1 This unusually high placebo response emphasizes the emotional contribution to this condition. In Europe, it is widely believed, though without much supporting evidence, that dyspepsia is commonly caused by inadequate function of the gallbladder.

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