Dyspepsia (Indigestion, Upset Stomach)

What is Dyspepsia?

Dyspepsia is a medical condition caused by the abnormal functioning of the gastrointestinal organs, primarily the stomach and esophagus (the initial part of the small intestine). It a chronic disease, and the symptoms may vary from person to person, and in frequency and intensity. It is a condition which causes pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen. It is caused by acid in the stomach coming into touch with the mucosa of the digestive system. Dyspepsia is a group of symptoms which often include bloating, nausea and burping.

The sensation that you get, appears immediately after consuming food and drinks. One can easily relieve their symptoms of dyspepsia, by making significant changes to their lifestyle.


Most people experience some or the other symptom of Dyspepsia during their lifetime. It is often termed gassiness, indigestion, or burning. The symptoms may include:

  • Pain in upper abdomen or discomfort.
  • Bloating of stomach.
  • Early satiety.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Heart burn.
  • Burping and burning sensation along with food or liquid reflux (regurgitation).
  • Weight loss.
  • Blood in Stool.

People at times may be confused between belching and burping (signs of Dyspepsia). Belching is the act of expelling gas or air consumed while eating through the mouth. The excess of air swallowed due to gulping of food or aerated drinks may cause slight discomfort in stomach, and is relieved after its expulsion using belching.
However, burping with reflux or pain in the upper abdomen right after eating is the primary symptom for dyspepsia.


There are several causes of Dyspepsia. The most common causes include:

  • Burped-up stomach juices and gas.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Peptic stomach ulcer.
  • Lactose intolerance or state of indigestion of dairy products.
  • Pain or inflammation in the gallbladder (biliary colic or cholecystitis).
  • Anxiety or depression.
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and medicines.
  • Swallowed air.
  • Stomach cancer.




The main risk factors include:

  • Use of drugs that may cause stomach irritation.
  • Ulcer.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Emotional problems such as depression.



To prevent the occurrence of dyspepsia, there are certain things one should take care of:

  • Eating small meals frequently, instead of two or three large meals.
  • Avoid taking snacks late-night.
  • Quit the habit of smoking and consuming tobacco.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes around your waist.
  • Lose weight if required.

It is also important to educate patients about the condition and illness. They need to be reassured that dyspepsia is not a serious disease, and it is curable. A very few and small changes in lifestyle and eating habits can bring major difference in their condition. Psychological awareness can help patients lead a healthy life.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, your doctor might use the following ways to detect the presence of this disease:


How is it treated?

At Medanta, patients are treated based on observation of the viewable symptoms of dyspepsia. However, the patients with unidentifiable conditions are put under observation and reassured. Some key points to remember are: 


  • Endoscopy

    Patients with acute “Gas” can only undergo coronary ischemia.
    For patients above 55 years and with warning dyspepsia symptoms, endoscopy is recommended.



  • Empiric treatment

    Empiric treatment with acid blocker is reasonable for patients below 55.

  • Drug therapy

    Drugs like misoprostol, diazepam, pantoprazole, noroxin, digoxin, and many more are highly recommended to be taken.

When do I contact the doctor?

Indigestion is a common problem, and even local practitioners can treat the condition. However, in case of warning symptoms and acute dyspepsia, patients are referred to a gastroenterologist. Then based on the conditions (symptoms, duration and age of patient), a doctor or specialist will decide the course of action. A young patient with mild symptoms may not undergo a cancer test for treating dyspepsia. However, on the other hand someone who has developed the condition with warning symptoms may need to undergo the cancer test.

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