How Do You Cure Dyspepsia?
Treating any underlying illnesses is the best method to cure dyspepsia.

Dyspepsia, commonly called heartburn, is a symptom that indicates underlying gastrointestinal issues.

Treating any underlying illnesses is the best method to cure dyspepsia. Treatment depends on what is causing your indigestion or heartburn.

Dietary intervention

These include having food three hours before bedtime and avoiding oily and spicy, highly fermented, and stale foods. Increased water intake, fiber-rich food, and probiotics help reduce the problem.

Medication

  • Antacids: These are the first-line treatments used to keep the acid levels in the stomach under control. These include Pepto-Bismol.
  • H2-receptor antagonists: They lower stomach acid levels and have a longer duration of action than antacids.
  • Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs: They are more effective than antacids and H-2 receptors to lower acid levels. However, long-term use has been linked to kidney issues and poor bone health.
  • Prokinetics: This drug improves the function of the stomach muscles and lowers the occurrence of dyspepsia.
  • Antibiotics: If the dyspepsia is caused by a bacterial infection (H pylori), these drugs are recommended.
  • Medications to relieve nausea (anti-emetics): If you feel sick after eating, your doctor may advise you to take anti-emetics.
  • Medications that control muscle spasms: Antispasmodic drugs may help relieve stomach pain caused by intestinal muscle spasms.

All the medications have side effects that may vary with patients. Patients may notify side effects to the treating doctor to change the drug or lower their dosages.

Correcting dietary habits and lifestyle

  • It is common for dyspepsia symptoms to be provoked after consuming specific types of meals.
  • Typically, raw vegetables, high-fat diets, milk, and milk products set off an episode of dyspepsia.
  • People suffering from dyspepsia should keep track of the items that do not agree with their digestive system and try to avoid them.
  • Making lifestyle changes may further help decrease your symptoms.

Psychological therapies

Much of the control of digestive function and sensation is guided by the central nervous system. Therapies that target the central nervous system may help reduce symptoms. 

Although more research and studies are needed, a few patients have found relief with these therapies according to studies.

  • Hypnotherapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Behavioral therapy

Stress-reduction techniques

These may help control signs and symptoms.

To reduce stress, try to:

  • Determine the present stressors in your life. Learn how to deal with stress.
  • Exercising and listening to soothing music may be beneficial.
  • Relaxed breathing, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscular relaxation are a few beneficial methods.
  • Engage in calming activities. Spend time engaging in activities that you enjoy, such as hobbies or sports.

Surgery for dyspepsia

  • Surgery is not usually needed to treat dyspepsia, but if your symptoms are linked to a chronic condition, such as hiatus hernia, your doctor may advise it. 
  • Surgery can prevent stomach acid from causing problems.
  • It can alleviate symptoms of dyspepsia and acid reflux.

Surgery may be advised if:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms are associated with dyspepsia.
  • Other therapies, such as lifestyle modifications and medication, have not worked or are not appropriate for you.
  • A structural problem, such as a weakening in the muscle or valve or a hernia, can be surgically repaired.

How is treatment for dyspepsia determined?

The appropriate treatment strategy will be determined by the source of your indigestion

  • Lifestyle changes are usually important, but you may benefit from taking medication to lower your stomach acid.
  • If you have dyspepsia due to an underlying reason, you may require extra treatment to address this.

Seeing a gastroenterologist is the best method to find the proper treatment for dyspepsia. The doctor will be able to check for potential reasons for indigestion and provide you with personalized recommendations on possible treatment options.

11 signs and symptoms of dyspepsia

Dyspepsia is a collection of symptoms rather than a disease; however, it may be a sign of certain digestive tract diseases or conditions and have the following symptoms:

  1. Pain, a burning feeling or discomfort in the upper abdomen
  2. Feeling full too soon while eating a meal
  3. Feeling uncomfortably full after eating a meal
  4. Bloating
  5. Burping
  6. Loud growling or a gurgling stomach
  7. Nausea
  8. Gas
  9. Belching and flatulence
  10. A burning feeling in the chest (heartburn)
  11. An acidic taste in the mouth

Dyspepsia may be a symptom of a more serious disease in rare circumstances. If you observe any of the following warning signals, contact your doctor right away:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Severe vomiting
  • Black stools (often a sign of intestinal bleeding)
  • A strange lump or bulge in the abdomen
  • Severe pain in the upper-right abdomen

What are the 3 types of dyspepsia?

The 3 types of dyspepsia include:

  1. Occasional: Happening occasionally.
  2. Chronic: Happening regularly for a few weeks or months.
  3. Functional: Having chronic symptoms without a specific cause.

QUESTION

Pancreatitis is inflammation of an organ in the abdomen called the pancreas. See Answer

What are the common causes of dyspepsia?

The abdomen and a portion of the small intestine are thought to operate improperly in dyspepsia. Theories propose that the muscles or nerves of these organs work improperly, giving rise to the condition.

There is no single cause of dyspepsia in a person. Rather, a combination of variables, dysfunctions, and other medical issues are thought to cause the muscles of the intestine and the nerves that regulate them to become dysfunctional.

Some of the most common causes are:

  • Infection: In many people, Helicobacter pylori bacterium infection is the most prevalent cause of dyspepsia.
  • Wrong eating habits:
    • Eating too much food without thoroughly chewing it can cause indigestion and pain.
    • Certain foods, such as spicy foods, fatty foods, chocolates, citrus fruits, and caffeine, might cause the symptoms.
    • Tobacco and alcohol are suspected of being involved.
  • Complications of the intestine can lead to dyspepsia:
  • Other health conditions:
    • Dyspepsia is sometimes present in persons who have other chronic disorders, such as:
  • Anxiety and stress: According to research, dyspepsia can be caused by a high level of stress, anxiety, or depression.
  • Drug overuse: Specific medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ibuprofen, and estrogen supplements, can cause dyspepsia symptoms.

In nearly 60 percent of all cases, there is no visible disease, infection, or injury that could explain the discomfort of dyspepsia.

  • In most cases, the brain-gut axis can be the cause.
  • It is a neural system in the stomach that transmits and receives messages from the brain.
  • The nerve and muscle sensations in the gut may differ in some people with more sensitive digestive systems, translating into pain or discomfort in a specific place.

Although dyspepsia is not fatal, it is sometimes a symptom of a more serious problem, such as:

  • GERD: When the lining of your esophagus becomes damaged by stomach acid.
  • Peptic ulcer: When a sore develops on the lining of the stomach or small intestine.
  • Stomach cancer: In rare cases, frequent indigestion can be a sign that cancer cells are breaking down the stomach’s protective lining.

How can I prevent dyspepsia?

Managing or preventing dyspepsia is typically possible through modest lifestyle modifications.

More serious conditions may cause indigestion in some circumstances, but even if more active therapy is required, minor modifications in your eating habits can help manage your symptoms.

The following are a few of the many things you can take to help minimize the severity of dyspepsia. If you require additional assistance, speaking with your nutritionist can be an excellent resource to help you take control of your symptoms.

Common preventing methods of dyspepsia include:

  • Eat more slowly
  • Eat smaller meals
  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain ideal weight
  • Avoid acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes
  • Do not lie down right after eating
  • Cut out caffeine by removing coffee, tea, and other beverages
  • Reduce your consumption of alcohol because alcoholic drinks can irritate your stomach lining
  • If your indigestion is related to stress, work on meditation, biofeedback, and other techniques to relieve or lower your stress
  • Use pillows to prop your head and torso up while you sleep
  • Avoid exercising on a full stomach

Although many people have identified certain foods that cause dyspepsia, it has been shown that this varies with people. As a result, no universal advice on diet is recommended.

SLIDESHOW

Super Tips to Boost Digestive Health: Bloating, Constipation, and More See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 3/3/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Dyspepsia: What It Is and What to Do About It. Am Fam Physician. 2010 Dec 15;82(12):1459-1460. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/1215/p1459.html

National Institutes of Health. Treatment of Indigestion. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia/treatment

Longstreth GF, Lacy BE. Approach to the adult with dyspepsia. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/approach-to-the-adult-with-dyspepsia

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Indigestion. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/indigestion

Wyeth J. Managing dyspepsia and heartburn in general practice - an update. Best Practice Advocacy Centre New Zealand. https://bpac.org.nz/bpj/2011/february/dyspepsia.aspx

MUSC Health. Indigestion (Dyspepsia). https://muschealth.org/medical-services/ddc/patients/symptoms-and-conditions/indigestion