Dyspepsia - Complaints And Therapy

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Dyspepsia - Complaints And Therapy
Dyspepsia - Complaints And Therapy
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dyspepsia

Dyspepsia is the second most common gastrointestinal disease after reflux disease. It is a complex of symptoms with different causes. Up to 20 percent of the population are affected by dyspeptic symptoms - mainly pain, bloating, heartburn and nausea.

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  • What are the causes of dyspepsia?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is the diagnosis made?
  • How is dyspepsia treated?
  • What can I do myself?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

What are the causes of dyspepsia?

The causes of dyspepsia are many. Possible triggers include inflammation, ulcers and tumors in the upper digestive tract. In the majority of those affected, however, there is no evidence of an organic cause for the symptoms. In these cases, the symptoms are referred to as functional dyspepsia (non-ulcer dyspepsia, "irritable stomach"). Various factors are discussed as triggers or amplifiers. Overall, the clinical picture of dyspepsia is probably caused by a complex interplay of psychosocial aspects (anxiety, neuroses, depression, etc.) and physiological factors. Diet also seems to play a certain role.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms are varied, patients often contact their doctor about "digestive disorders" or upper abdominal complaints. Typical are:

  • repeated pain or burning in the upper abdomen,
  • Feeling of fullness after eating,
  • rapid feeling of satiety,
  • Flatulence or bloating,
  • less often nausea and vomiting.

These symptoms are everyday complaints that usually disappear spontaneously or with simple aids. If it lasts more than three months or keeps coming back and the medical examination is inconclusive, it is called functional dyspepsia or irritable stomach.

How is the diagnosis made?

In addition to anamnesis (survey of living conditions, lifestyle factors, eating habits, etc.) and physical examination, laboratory tests, testing for Helicobacter pylori and endoscopic examination (gastroscopy, possibly plus biopsy) are relevant. If necessary, for example, computed tomography and ultrasound can be used. The main goal is to rule out other diseases with similar symptoms. These include:

  • Peptic ulcer disease (stomach and duodenal ulcer);
  • Reflux disease;
  • Stomach cancer;
  • Gallbladder stones (cholecystolithiasis);
  • Pancreatitis;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome often occur in parallel. Typical for the irritable bowel are pain in the middle and lower abdomen, changing stool behavior accompanied by bloated stomach (meteorism) and copious discharge of mucus.
  • Drug-induced dyspepsia: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) play an important role in causing side effects and diseases in the upper digestive tract. Often, however, NSAID-induced ulcers are asymptomatic, ie without symptoms. Dyspepsia-like symptoms are caused by numerous other drugs, including metronidazole, calcium channel blockers, bisphosphonates, orally administered potassium, iron supplements, colchicine, corticosteroids, oestrogens, levodopa, various antibiotics, new anticoagulants (NOACs).

How is dyspepsia treated?

In the case of organically caused dyspepsia, the treatment of the causative disease is the focus. The primary goal of the treatment of functional dyspepsia is not complete freedom from symptoms. Rather, the patient should be able to better deal with his / her symptoms. Therapy is based on the most pronounced symptom. The following strategies are available:

  • Acid suppressive therapies (proton pump inhibitors, H 2 blockers),
  • Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy,
  • Tricyclic antidepressants,
  • Prokinetics,
  • Phytotherapeutic agents: for example anise, caraway, wormwood or centaury;
  • Psychotherapeutic procedures and abdominal hypnosis.

What can I do myself?

The following measures can be recommended, although their positive effect has not been clearly proven in studies:

  • Do not smoke,
  • Little or no alcohol consumption
  • Avoidance of individually intolerable foods,
  • Stress management strategies,
  • Psychotherapy.

Whom can I ask?

If you suspect you have dyspepsia or an irritable stomach, you can contact the following offices for clarification:

  • General Practitioner,
  • Specialist in internal medicine (specializing in gastroenterology and hepatology).

How are the costs going to be covered?

The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance. All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by your responsible social insurance agency. A deductible or contribution to costs may apply for certain services. You can obtain detailed information from your social security agency. Further information can also be found at:

  • Right to treatment
  • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
  • What does the hospital stay cost?
  • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
  • Medical aids & aids
  • Health Professions AZ
  • and via the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs.

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