If you are experiencing stomach discomfort or pain, you may be worried that you could have an ulcer. However, not all stomach pain is related to ulcer development.
Any stomach pain or discomfort warrants a medical check-up by a medical doctor or a gastroenterologist.
What is non-ulcer dyspepsia?
Non-ulcer dyspepsia is a condition that mimics an ulcer when no actual ulcer is present. Diagnostic testing rules out the presence of an ulcer, but the patient continues to suffer with troubling stomach discomfort.
What are the symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia?
If you are suffering from non-ulcer dyspepsia, you will experience many of the same symptoms someone with an ulcer would suffer. For instance, you may feel a gnawing and burning pain in your upper abdomen. You may belch frequently and feel a lot of abdominal bloating.
You may feel full faster when eating meals. You may also experience frequent bouts of nausea.
What causes non-ulcer dyspepsia?
Doctors often do not know what causes the condition. However, it may be related to excessive stress, depression, and anxiety in some individuals. Some doctors think it may be triggered by certain foods you are sensitive to or an over production of stomach acid.
How is non-ulcer dyspepsia diagnosed?
If you present with burning abdominal pain, your gastroenterologist will likely order some tests to rule out other conditions. Typically an upper endoscopy is the best procedure for confirming a diagnosis. During an upper endoscopy, the gastroenterologist uses a device to look inside your stomach. You will be sedated during the procedure. Your doctor can look for any suspicious areas in the stomach lining and may take a biopsy to test for H. Pylori, which is a bacterial infection that can lead to stomach discomfort.
How is non-ulcer dyspepsia treated?
If your symptoms are mild and only occur occasionally, your doctor may recommend dietary changes to see if your flare-ups lessen. You may be required to keep a food diary to see if any particular foods are a problem.
You may also be encouraged to try to relieve stress in your life by eating healthy, exercising, or trying relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.
If your symptoms are chronic and occur regularly, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to reduce the acid in your stomach.
Finding a gastroenterologist is a wise choice if you are bothered by stomach discomfort. If you are diagnosed with non-ulcer dyspepsia, your doctor will prescribe a treatment plan for you and follow you regularly until your symptoms resolve.