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Dyspepsia is description of a group of symptoms such as: stomach upset, heartburn, abdominal/chest pain, discomfort, flatulence, burping, belching, and nausea. Dyspepsia is usually cased by stomach ulcers. The most common cause of stomach ulcers is Helicobactor pylori infection. Another term used for dyspepsia is indigestion.


Heartburn is caused by a reflux of stomach acid up the food tube or esophagus. Pain occurs at the center of the chest and sometimes is confused with a heart attack.


Symptoms of dyspepsia are stomach upset, indigestion, increased gas, nausea and pain. Dyspepsia symptoms can fluctuate, occurring in spurts or at specific times. Dyspepsia can be a sign of a more serious illness. If weight loss occurs, severe pain or a change in pain, or experiencing dyspepsia initially over the age of 45, then a doctor should be consulted. Immediate medical attention should be sought in the even of blood in vomit. Blood in vomit can look like coffee grains (older blood) or be red as in immediate bleeding.

Symptoms can last a long time or appear in sporadic bursts at certain times, like in the evening or after meals.


The stomach creates strong acids to digest food and prevent infection. The esophagus, stomach and intestines are normally protected from acids by a thick mucus layer. If this layer is damaged, the acid will begin to aggravate the tissues. In the case of heart burn, the valve connecting the esophagus and stomach does not properly maintain a barrier and acid can leak into the esophagus. Smoking, heavy eating, excess alcohol, irregular eating, stress, pregnancy, peptic ulcer, aspirin and other anti inflammatory drugs can trigger an episode of dyspepsia or make symptoms worse.

The Helicobacter pylori bacteria is commonly present in the mucus layer of the somach, but it can cause irritation and lead to dyspepsia. Up to ninety percent of patients with a peptic ulcer have an H. pylori overgrowth. A small number of patients may progress to stomach cancer.

A hiatus hernia can cause the stomach to move up into the chest cavity, this can cause severe dyspepsia. A hiatus hernia most likely occurs in pregnant and overweight patients.


Diagnosis is needed for chronic dyspepsia, because it can indicate a severe medical condition. Breath tests and blood tests can determine if H. pylori is present in the stomach.

An x-ray in which barium is swallowed by the patient prior and during the procedure will provide a clear view of the esophagus, stomach and small intestines and any abnormal physical structure or behavior (such as a spastic esophagus) can be noted. This test can determine if ulcers, narrowing of esophagus, reflux, cancer or a hiatus hernia are present.

A gastroscopy involves inserting a tube with a light and camera at the end. This will give the physician images of the structures within the stomach, intestines and esophagus. Some times a biopsy is taken at this point. Biopsy will determine if bacterium are present, if the stomach lining is inflamed and if cancer is present.

It these tests are inconclusive an ultra sound, MRI or CT scan can be used to evaluate other organs or conditions that may be causing the dyspepsia.


Treatment involves determining the cause of the dyspepsia. To alleviate the symptoms it is often recommended that patients cut down on certain foods, such as fatty foods, tea, coffee, and alcohol; eat little meals frequently throughout the day, stop smoking, sleep in an upright position (to help keep stomach acid in the stomach), and reduce stress.

Antacids are used to neutralize stomach acids and help stop reflux. Antacids are available in many forms and are taken orally. Antacids can contain magnesium, aluminum and a ingredient known as alginate. Alginate forms a coating on the top of the contents of the stomach, which helps prevent acid from refluxing into the esophagus. Side effects of antacids include loose bowels or constipation.

H2 are medications that reduce the amount of acid that is created by the stomach. Current over the counter drugs are Pepcid and Zantac. These are taken orally.

If the dyspepsia is decreasing the patient’s quality of life, then a medical practitioner may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor. These are stronger drugs than H2 s, but they also block acid production in the stomach. If H. pylori infection is detected a triple therapy may be prescribed. Triple therapy includes one week of proton pump inhibitors combined with two types of antibiotics to kill of the bacteria.

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Nexium capsules


Nexium, called Esomeprazole, is used to treat duodenal ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a condition in which the acid in the stomach washes back up into the esophagus. It also reduces the chance of gastric ulcers in patients who more...

Prilosec tablets


Prilosec, or Omeprazole, is used to treat conditions in which there is too much acid in the stomach, like duodenal and gastric ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which the acid in the stomach washes back up into the esophagu more...



Omeprazole belong to a class of drug known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI). It works by decreasing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It is indicated for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions caused by excess more...

Pepcid tablets


Famotidine, also known as Pepcid, is a histamine H 2 -receptor antagonist, also known as an H 2 -blocker, and an Antiulcer Agent. Pepcid is used to treat certain ulcers and prevent their return. They are also used to treat some conditions, like Zollinger- more...

Ranitidine tablets


Ranitidine, also known by the brand name Zantac, is a histamine H 2 -receptor antagonist, also known as an H 2 -blocker, and an Antiulcer Agent. Ranitidine is used to treat certain ulcers and prevent their return. They are also used to treat some conditio more...



Famotidine is in a class of drugs called histamine receptor antagonists. It blocks the histamine 2 receptors found along the lining epithelium of the stomach. Famotidine works by decreasing the amount of acid the parietal cells of the stomach produces. He more...



Zantac is a histamine H2-receptor antagonist that inhibits stomach acid production, and commonly used in the treatment of peptic ulcer disease (PUD) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is currently marketed by GlaxoSmithKline under the trad more...

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