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Dyspepsia

Chronic indigestion

Indigestion, particularly heartburn, is a common condition said to affect one in three of us each month

What is dyspepsia?

Dyspepsia, also known as chronic indigestion, refers to many different symptoms that cause discomfort or pain in the upper abdominal regions, such as the top part of your bowel (duodenum) or food pipe (oesophagus). The most common cause of dyspepsia is an excessive production of stomach acid or an over-sensitivity to this acid.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of dyspepsia? icon plus

    Symptoms may include:

    • excessive belching
    • bloating
    • fullness
    • stomach pains
    • nausea, or even vomiting after eating

    There are a number of factors that are thought to make the symptoms worse including increased air swallowing, poor relaxation of the stomach after eating, a high-fat diet, alcohol and fizzy drinks, obesity, stress, certain infections, stomach ulcers, a hiatus hernia and some medications.

  • How is dyspepsia diagnosed? icon plus

    The most common test for dyspepsia is an upper gastrointestinal Endoscopy. In this test a flexible telescope is passed via your mouth into your stomach and small intestine. Biopsies are taken at the same time. Other tests include an ultrasound or CT scan of your abdomen or the barium swallow test.
  • Indigestion treatment options icon plus

    Treatments vary depending on the severity of your symptoms, but include:

    • simple steps such as altering your diet or losing weight
    • over-the-counter medications including antacids to reduce your amount of stomach acid
    • if the indigestion is being caused by a bacterial infection stronger antacids or antibiotics may be prescribed by your consultant
    • Anti-reflux surgery

    If lifestyle changes and medications fail to relieve your symptoms, your consultant may recommend surgery. This involves creating a more effective valve between your oesophagus and stomach, called fundoplication. It is performed laparoscopically (as keyhole surgery).

Our gastroenterologists

Across the HCA UK network we have a number of leading gastroenterologists that specialise in conditions of the upper and lower intestine. Investigations to assist diagnosis are conducted at our endoscopy centres with team of experienced endoscopy nurses at each siite to assist the consultant. 
Consultant with patient

Our facilities

From complex gastrointestinal surgery to investigative procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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