ID: 120
Category: Stomach
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createdon: 31 Jan 2023
updatedon: 04 Apr 2023

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Author: Khoa Tran
Published Jan 31, 2023
Updated Apr 04, 2023

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Indigestion (dyspepsia)

Etymology and Pronunciation

Dyspepsia (dis-PEP-see-uh)
dys- - Greek for "difficult" or "abnormal"
pepsis - Greek for "digestion"

History of Indigestion (dyspepsia)

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a medical condition that has been known to humans for thousands of years. The term "indigestion" was first used in the English language in the 14th century, but the symptoms associated with the condition have been described in various medical texts throughout history.

In ancient times, indigestion was often attributed to an imbalance of bodily fluids, such as bile and phlegm, which were believed to cause digestive problems. The Greek physician Hippocrates, who is considered the father of Western medicine, described indigestion as a "dyspeptic disease" and recommended dietary changes and herbal remedies to treat the condition.

During the Middle Ages, indigestion was thought to be caused by demonic possession, and exorcism was often used as a treatment. In the 18th century, indigestion was recognized as a medical condition, and various theories were proposed to explain its cause, including the accumulation of gas in the stomach and problems with the digestive juices.

In the 19th century, the discovery of the link between indigestion and gastric ulcers by German physician Carl von Rokitansky marked a major breakthrough in the understanding of the condition. Later, the discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori by Australian scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren in the 1980s led to a better understanding of the underlying causes of indigestion and the development of more effective treatments.

Today, indigestion is a common medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor diet, stress, and underlying medical conditions, and is typically treated with lifestyle changes, medication, or a combination of both. The history of indigestion is a testament to the long-standing interest in the workings of the human digestive system and the ongoing efforts to understand and treat digestive disorders.

Modern Understanding of Indigestion (dyspepsia)

Dyspepsia, also known as indigestion, is a common condition that causes discomfort in the upper abdomen. It is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including eating too much or too quickly, consuming certain foods or beverages, and stress.

It is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

Dyspepsia is characterized by a range of symptoms that can include upper abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, belching, heartburn, acid reflux, regurgitation, fullness after eating, loss of appetite, early satiety, constipation, diarrhea, and flatulence. 

The symptoms of dyspepsia can range from mild to severe, and can be relieved by making simple lifestyle changes, such as eating smaller meals, avoiding certain foods, and not lying down after eating. Over-the-counter antacids and acid-suppressing medications can also help to relieve symptoms.

Causes of Indigestion (dyspepsia)

- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): A condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing heartburn, regurgitation, and other symptoms.
- Peptic ulcer disease: An open sore or ulcer in the lining of the stomach or duodenum, which can cause pain and discomfort.
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection: A bacterial infection of the stomach that can cause peptic ulcers and dyspepsia.
- Gastritis: Inflammation of the stomach lining, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
- Gallstones: Hard deposits of digestive fluid that form in the gallbladder, which can cause pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen.
- Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas, which can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, and steroids, can cause dyspepsia as a side effect.
- Emotional stress: Stress and anxiety can cause dyspepsia symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea.

Treatments for Indigestion (dyspepsia)

There are several treatments for dyspepsia, including lifestyle changes such as avoiding certain foods, reducing stress, taking medications, and avoiding alcohol and smoking. Medications such as antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can also help to manage symptoms. In severe cases, a doctor may recommend antibiotics to treat an H. pylori infection or surgery to treat underlying conditions such as a peptic ulcer or gallbladder disease.

In severe cases, or if dyspepsia is accompanied by other symptoms, such as weight loss or vomiting, it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. With proper treatment and management, however, many people with dyspepsia are able to find relief and enjoy a good quality of life.


Abdominal pain
Acid reflux
Loss of appetite

Confirmation Tests

- Upper endoscopy
- Blood test
- Stomach swab

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