Dyspepsia is pain or an uncomfortable feeling in the upper or middle part of the stomach that can cause symptoms of bloating, heartburn, nausea, vomiting and belching. Dyspepsia is often caused by a stomach ulcer or acid reflux. Dyspepsia is also a term used to describe non-ulcer stomach pain or signs and symptoms of indigestion without an obvious cause.
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A dyspepsia diet is designed to avoids foods that are stomach irritants in patients who have symptoms of peptic ulcer disease or non-ulcer dyspepsia. Nonulcer stomach pain can cause signs and symptoms that resemble those of an ulcer but not necessary caused by a specific disease. If dyspepsia symptoms are present, a physician may do some testing to find out if an ulcer or acid reflux disease is to blame. Following a dyspepsia diet may reduce the risk of developing an ulcer in the first place and speed recovery if you already have one.
Some foods may trigger dyspepsia. These foods may include fatty, fried and spicy foods; carbonated beverages; caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea; alcohol; cocoa; chocolate; citrus fruits and juices; tomato products; and peppermint. These foods can increase stomach acid. Keep a track of foods that cause symptoms or dyspepsia and omit any food that causes discomfort. Also, foods that contain flavonoids, such as apples, celery, cranberries, and cranberry juice may inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that is responsible for most stomach ulcers.
Chewing food thoroughly can help control symptoms of dyspepsia. Eating in a leisurely, calm and relaxed atmosphere and chewing and swallowing foods slowly may help reduce symptoms of dyspepsia, notes Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. Taking steps to reduce excess gas and belching may also help control symptoms of dyspepsia. To avoid taking in excessive air, avoid smoking, eating quickly, chewing gum, drinking through a straw and drinking carbonated beverages.
Medications are sometimes prescribed for patients who have acid reflux disease or who have a peptic ulcer. Medicines can cut down on the amount of acid in the stomach, but taking measures to avoid developing stomach ulcers may help control dyspepsia symptoms. This includes lifestyle changes such as diet. Ulcers are not caused by spicy food or stress, but are caused by H. pylori or long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If a peptic ulcer is suspected, medication is almost always needed to alleviate symptoms and must be used to treat the H. pylori.
An empty stomach can sometimes produce dyspepsia symptoms. Consuming six small meals a day as opposed to three larger meals may help with symptoms, as can avoiding skipping meals, notes MayoClinic.com. Eating within two hours before bedtime may also trigger symptoms of acid reflux or dyspepsia.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.