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Is Functional Dyspepsia A Progressive Disease & Alternative Treatments For It?

Functional dyspepsia is a common, long-recognized condition with several upper abdominal symptoms. It can certainly be ignored as the symptoms having similarities with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

It affects up to 40 % of adults every year and is often diagnosed as functional (non-ulcer) dyspepsia. The symptoms are epigastric pain & discomfort, including postprandial fullness & early satiety, which may correspond with stomach-ache and vomiting.

Is Functional Dyspepsia A Progressive Disease?

Is Functional Dyspepsia A Progressive Disease?

The pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia is not entirely recognized. There is no clear cause for this condition even people with healthy gastrointestinal are affected with functional dyspepsia. However, several hypotheses suggest that functional dyspepsia is associated with extreme acid secretion, infection of the intestine or duodenum, diet sensitivities, lifestyle and food changes, psychological aspects, and medication side effects.

The condition is depressing and affects the overall quality of life. However, there are many treatment options available with varying levels of positive results and recovery. Your treatment is primarily based on reassurance, lifestyle changes, acidic restraint, prokinetic medications that include fundic relaxors, tricyclic antidepressants, rifaximin and psychosomatic treatment.

Based on clinical interpretation, there is slow progress in the symptom model, effect and pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia. 1. 2.

Alternate Treatment For Functional Dyspepsia

There is an absence of unanimity among scientists on how to best quantify the effect in functional dyspepsia experiments and more significantly, there is an absence of proven outcome processes. If symptoms settle down entirely, therapy was considered effective however with limited progress analysis, it has lesser clarity.

In recent times, with the advancement in clinical trials, the validated outcomes look more promising. Based on those trials, let us see some of the alternate ways how to manage functional dyspepsia effectively. 3.

Dietary And Lifestyle Modifications- There is proven evidence to show that patients with functional dyspepsia have a reduced quality of life. Several people account for their signs that are often associated with food ingestion. It does make sense to restrict or avert diets where a symptom outcome is apparent.

Items that are frequently associated with gastric discomfort which includes chocolate, citrus fruits, and juices, fried foods, hot and cold beverages should be avoided. Foods that alleviate dyspepsia include rice, apple, bread, honey, yogurt, caraway seeds, dates, walnut, and quince. In a nutshell

  • Limit or avoid diets that trigger this condition
  • Eat food in intervals (small portions)
  • Avoid overeating
  • Chew your food properly to improve digestion

Medications- There are two main methodologies in treating functional dyspepsia with medicines:

H2RAs- Several medicines are used to treat functional dyspepsia. Among many, H2RA works by impeding the influence of histamine, which promotes specific cells in the stomach to generate acid.

PPIs- Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are generally considered as one of the safest medicines. It has been suggested as a curative alternative in functional dyspepsia, but its ability remains debatable. Especially, when it continued in the long term, it shows some adverse effects. Studies were conducted on several patients and PPI was found to be more effective than a placebo for reducing symptoms in patients with ulcer-like and reflux-like functional dyspepsia.

Acupuncture For Treating Functional Dyspepsia- Acupuncture, one of the most sought medicinal modalities in conventional Korean Treatment, has been universally used for treating gastrointestinal ailments. Several clinical trials show that acupuncture therapy achieves the statistically significant effect for functional dyspepsia in comparison with sham acupuncture and displays better results in improving the symptoms of functional dyspepsia compared to prokinetic agents.

Antidepressants And Anxiolytics- Patients with ulcer-like functional dyspepsia were treated with amitriptyline. The results were more likely to report adequate relief. The medication improved the overall health of the patients and did not affect gastric emptying or meal-induced satiety 4. 5.


  1. Functional Dyspepsia Overview https://badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/functional-dyspepsia/
  2. The pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5768602/
  3. Complementary and alternative treatment in functional dyspepsia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5802680/
  4. Herbal (non-Chinese) medicines for functional dyspepsia https://www.cochrane.org/CD013323/UPPERGI_herbal-non-chinese-medicines-functional-dyspepsia
  5. Food and hypersensitivity in functional dyspepsia https://gut.bmj.com/content/51/suppl_1/i50

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 16, 2019

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