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How Does Functional Dyspepsia Affect The Body & What Triggers It?

Functional dyspepsia is a common term to describe the recurring signs and symptoms related to indigestion, which does not have any obvious reason. Also, doctors refer to Functional dyspepsia as non-ulcer dyspepsia or non-ulcer stomach pain.

Functional dyspepsia is an indigestion issue and it sometimes becomes a long-lasting one. The condition may result in various signs and symptoms, which resemble with ulcer. These include discomfort and pain in the upper abdomen accompanied often by nausea, belching and bloating.(1)

How Does Functional Dyspepsia Affect The Body?

How Does Functional Dyspepsia Affect The Body?

Symptoms related to functional dyspepsia (as a category of indigestion) originate from the upper area of one’s gastrointestinal tract i.e. the stomach and the initial part of his/her small intestine. These include-

  • The feeling of discomfort and pain or both in the upper abdominal area
  • Abdominal bloating, also known as the sensation of fullness in the abdomen without any visible distention
  • Nausea combined with or without the problem of vomiting
  • Belching
  • The sensation of fullness even after having food in small amounts i.e. early satiety
  • Distension in the abdomen area i.e. visible swelling
  • Chest pain in the lower area of the chest

In most cases, symptoms related to functional dyspepsia provoke by having any food i.e. when most of the gastrointestinal functions work in concert. This tendency often takes place after a person has his/her meals and thereby, triggers an erroneous notion. In this way, indigestion takes place because of abnormality associated with the digestion of food.

Abdominal Discomfort Because Of Excessive Air In One’s Stomach

In general, belching gives relieve to some extent whenever a person experiences abdominal discomfort in its mild form. Even people forcefully belch whenever they suffer from a mild form of an abdominal problem to release the excessive air present in the stomach regardless of the underlying cause.

However, if the stomach does not have any gas to expel, forced belches fail to do anything rather than simply drawing air within the esophagus. In this situation, the air also enters your stomach and results in excessive gas, which requires to expel with more belching.

If you experience discomfort or pain in your abdomen other than because of excessive air in your stomach, you may not get relief from belching. Instead, belching in such situations make your condition worse than before. When you fail to ease your pain and discomfort with belching, you should consider it as a sign and symptom of your abdominal problem. Thus, you have to find out the underlying problem.(2)

Additional Complications To Force You For Doctors’ Visit

If you are suffering from mild indigestion, you do not have to worry about it. However, if your pain and discomfort persist for two or three weeks, you have to consult your doctor immediately. Especially, you should never delay if you experience severe pain accompanied by:

  • Unintentional appetite or weight loss
  • Repeated vomiting with or without the presence of blood
  • Tarry, foul and black stools
  • Difficulty in swallowing food, which worse progressively
  • Weakness or fatigue, which is a problem of anemia
  • Chest pain radiating towards the arm, neck or jaw, sweating and breathing shortness.(3)

What Triggers Functional Dyspepsia?

Functional dyspepsia comprises of indigestion without any clear cause. The problem may be anything such as gastritis, ulcer or acid reflux in the stomach or gastrointestinal region. Even though doctors have until now have found any specific cause to cause Functional dyspepsia, a few people suffer from the problem because of specific triggers.

Even the triggers may make the patient’s condition or his/her symptoms worse. These are-

  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Obesity
  • Anxiety and stress levels
  • Stomach muscles’ impairment, which leads to slow in the emptying of the patient’s stomach within the duodenum i.e. the first segment present in the small intestine
  • Functional dyspepsia can be triggered because of infection caused by Helicobacter pylori germ
  • A few people experience irritable bowel syndrome i.e. IBS
  • Secretion of acid beyond its normal level
  • Allergens
  • Changes in the intestinal microbiome
  • Inflammation caused in one’s digestive tract
  • Poor lifestyle and diet
  • NSAID’s i.e. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs’ side effects.(4)(5)


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 16, 2019

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