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Dyspepsia - Topic Overview

Dyspepsia is a common condition and usually describes a group of symptoms rather than one predominant symptom. These symptoms include:

  • Belly pain or discomfort.
  • Bloating.
  • Feeling uncomfortably full after eating.
  • Nausea.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Heartburn.
  • Burping up food or liquid (regurgitation).
  • Burping.

Most people will experience some symptoms of dyspepsia within their lifetimes.

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Common causes of dyspepsia include:

You can make changes to your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms of dyspepsia. Here are some things to try:

  • Change your eating habits.
    • It's best to eat several small meals instead of two or three large meals.
    • After you eat, wait 2 to 3 hours before you lie down. Late-night snacks aren't a good idea.
    • Chocolate, mint, and alcohol can make dyspepsia worse. They relax the valve between the esophagus and the stomach.
    • Spicy foods, foods that have a lot of acid (like tomatoes and oranges), and coffee can make dyspepsia worse in some people. If your symptoms are worse after you eat a certain food, you may want to stop eating that food to see if your symptoms get better.
  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
  • If you get dyspepsia at night, raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by putting the frame on blocks or placing a foam wedge under the head of your mattress. (Adding extra pillows does not work.)
  • Do not wear tight clothing around your middle.
  • Lose weight if you need to. Losing just 5 to 10 pounds can help.

Treatment depends on what is causing the problem. If no specific cause is found, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms with medicine.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 15, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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