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What Are The First Symptoms Of Functional Dyspepsia & How Do You Test For It?

Functional dyspepsia problem takes place whenever the upper digestive tract of a person shows various symptoms related to pain, stomach upset and prolonged fullness for one’s mouth. Doctors mention this condition as functional because of the fact that they do not find anything wrong according to the structure of one’s upper digestive region. However, a person continues to experience various bothersome symptoms. In some cases, the condition may become chronic while affecting the quality of an individual’s life. There are many ways to deal with the discomfort caused by functional dyspepsia. These include medications, lifestyle and diet changes, along with specific types of therapy to reduce stress.(1)

What Are The First Symptoms Of Functional Dyspepsia?

Functional dyspepsia or indigestion characterizes a group of various symptoms, which affect the person’s gastrointestinal tract. However, a few of the symptoms, which take place at the initial phase are-

  • Feeling of discomfort and pain in the upper abdomen or chest often after having meals, eating meals too fast and after having a heavy meal
  • Stomach bloating
  • Excessive belching
  • Heartburn problems
  • Feeling full easily and quickly
  • Feeling of excessive fullness after having meals
  • Vomiting and nausea

Symptoms of functional dyspepsia or indigestion vary typically in severity among individuals. Moreover, the symptoms may be unpredictable and vague. In most of the cases, people do not experience each of the dyspeptic symptoms even though they have two or three different symptoms simultaneously.(2)

If your symptoms continue for more than 3 months period, you should immediately consult your doctor. Especially, you should approach immediately if you experience-

  • Few drops of blood while vomiting
  • Tarry and dark stools
  • Breathing shortness
  • Abnormal weight loss
  • Pain, which radiates towards your arms, jaws and neck area.(3)

How Do You Test For Functional Dyspepsia?

Preliminary Steps: In the preliminary steps, your doctor will review various signs and symptoms, while performing a detailed physical examination. Also, your doctor will ask about your medical history in detail.

List Of Diagnostic Tests: Your doctor will conduct varieties of diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause of your pain and discomfort to segregate other disorders involving more or less similar types of symptoms. These include the following-

  • Blood Tests: Blood tests are helpful in ruling out various other diseases, which have more or less similar types of symptoms, as you may experience in the case of functional dyspepsia.
  • Tests To Identify Bacteria: Depending on your underlying symptoms, your doctor will recommend a special test to diagnose the bacterium of Helicobacter pylori, which often causes stomach disorders and other similar types of problems. H. pylori test may involve the use of breath, urine, stool or blood.
  • Tests By Using Endoscope: Doctors may suggest for endoscopy of your digestive system. Accordingly, a pathologist will insert a light, thin and flexible instrument called endoscope from your throat to view the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, and other small intestinal areas. In this way, the doctor may collect small pieces of tissues from the duodenum to detect any type of inflammation.(4)

Risk Factors In Case Of Functional Dyspepsia

There are many factors, which may increase your risk related to functional dyspepsia, which are-

  • Old age
  • Gender i.e. females
  • Regular intake of OTC medicines, especially the pain relievers
  • Poor lifestyle and diet plans for a long time
  • Depression, stress and anxiety levels
  • Cigarette smoking

In some cases, a child suffered from sexual or physical abuse in the past remains at a higher risk to suffer from functional dyspepsia.(3)


Symptoms of a person suffering from the problem of functional dyspepsia may vary largely and they last for more than 3 months. Even though not all the symptoms take place simultaneously, a person experiences two or three of them at one time. Indeed, the diagnostic procedure will depend on the symptoms experienced by a functional dyspepsia patient.


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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